Purported details of AMD's next generation CPU leak

Hopefully AMD will be healthy enough to bring this to market next year.


About a year ago, I got word that AMD was preparing a next-generation CPU architecture that could provide some real competition to Intel and not just be "good enough." Now further details have leaked that, if true, indicate this will be quite a CPU.

According to the gaming and hardware blog Fudzilla, the core architecture is codenamed Zen and it will make up the next generation of AMD CPUs. The site obtained a slide of what is said to be information on the highest-end part, but did not specify if this is a desktop or server part. My money would be on a server part, because for a desktop, this is downright overkill.

The new CPU will offer 16 Zen cores, each core supporting two threads via Simultaneous Multithreading, for 32 threads per chip. AMD has been criticized for the bad choice of Clustered Multi-Threading that it used has in the Bulldozer family of CPUs for the last four years. Each CPU core comes with 512K of L2 cache, plus 32MB of L3 cache unifying the cores.

The GPU core is pretty interesting, too. Its codename is "Greenland," a departure from AMD tradition of naming its GPU cores after South Pacific Ocean islands. It supports up to 16GB of high-bandwidth memory at speeds of up to 512GB/s. That's a ridiculous amount of memory for a GPU, especially one on the CPU die.

The chip will also come with a quad DDR4 controller with built-in DDR4-3200 capability, 64 lanes of PCIe 3.0, and SATA Express support. These are notable because right now, the best you can get from an Intel server is 32 lanes of PCIe 3.0 and DDR4 at 2133Mhz speed. Of course, that's what Intel has on the market now, vs. what AMD is looking to bring out in a year. So bumps like this are not out of the question.

The one thing not mentioned is the TDP of the chip. AMD server chips always drew more power than Intel, and power efficiency is the new black today. Vendors will not tolerate a sky-high TDW on this thing, and 16 cores/32 threads with a big GPU almost demands a huge power draw.

If this all holds up, it will certainly show AMD is not going quietly into the night and is prepared to take on Intel in the one area Intel is thoroughly dominating and doing quite well: the server/data center market.

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