AMD outs details on new 86-core processor line dubbed “Zen” AMD outs details on new 86-core processor line dubbed “Zen”
AMD has revealed details about their new high-performance 86-core processor series dubbed "Zen" AMD outs details on new 86-core processor line dubbed “Zen”

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su and CTO Mark Papermaster recently delivered architectural updates and never-before-seen demonstrations of its upcoming “Zen” core processor. Here’s what we know about AMD’s shared information about “Zen”.

The Road to “Zen”
Four years ago, AMD embarked on a journey that happens rarely in the semiconductor industry when we took a clean sheet approach to develop a ground-up design for our next high-performance CPU engine. Since then, hundreds of skilled AMD engineers around the world have devoted millions of hours of labor to the precise, intricate work required to build an x86 compute core. Thanks to their collective teamwork, perseverance and vision, we expect “Zen” to deliver the most stunning increase in generational performance in the company’s history. Beginning early next year with desktop processors, AMD will launch a line-up of “Zen”-based products that will span from server, networking and storage solutions in the datacenter, to client desktops and notebooks, and beyond.

New Information
The innovators at AMD focused on three key areas when designing this special architecture (see attached Road to Zen Presentation for details):
· Performance of the engine itself with completely new branch prediction, introduction of a micro-op cache and a much wider instruction window;
· Throughput, to keep that high-performance engine fed with data and instructions out of memory through pre-fetching and a completely new cache memory hierarchy with 8 MB of L3 cache; and finally,
· Efficiency — having performance and throughput without increasing power, by leveraging a 14nm FinFET process and a wealth of power saving design techniques in the architecture.
Check out the demo video here:

  • New, grounds-up, high-performance x86 core design
  • Simultaneous Multithreading architecture (SMT) for high throughput
  • New high-bandwidth, low latency cache system
  • Energy-efficient FinFET design scales from client to enterprise-class products
    • Targets 40% improvement in instructions per clock cycle over the previous generation cores
  • “Zen” for Desktop (codename: “Summit Ridge”)
    • 8-core, 16-thread on the AM4 platform
  • “Zen” for Server (codename: “Naples”)
    • Priority server customer sampling began Q2 2016, and dual socket server platforms are now running at both our labs and our customers’ labs.

Know more about the Zen project here.

Jason Dayrit
Jason is a gadget junkie, a gear head, and an aspiring Internet Supervillain. He is also the EIC of twenty8two.com.

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