Leaked slides show major AMD refresh coming in 2016

Now all they have to do is hang on for one more year and make no missteps.

AMD is holding a financial analyst's day is scheduled on Wednesday, May 6, but materials from the event may have leaked out. Slides done in the usual style of AMD have been floating around Reddit show the company is basically treading water this year, but next year comes a massive jump in technology with new desktop and mobile CPUs based on AMD's next-generation Zen architecture.

This year the company plans to release a second generation FX CPU with up to eight Piledriver CPU cores. The fastest chip AMD has on the market is the AMD FX-9590 with eight cores at 4.70GHz and a ridiculous TDP of 220 watts. There's also the eight-core FX 8370, a 4GHz part with a TDP of 125 watts.

Coming later this year for mainstream and all-in-one PCs will be the "Godavari" line, a refresh of the Kaveri line already on the market, with up to four Steamroller CPU cores, AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU technology, HSA features but not full support and AMD TrueAudio. AMD lists Beema as its low-end part for 2015, which is stretching things out because Beema has been on the market for almost a year.

In 2016 comes a complete refresh with major die shrinks. The FX will be replaced by Summit Ridge CPU with up to eight Zen cores. Unfortunately there are no further details on Summit Ridge beyond a 14nm design. That's quite a jump. The FX CPUs are 32nm.

Zen is the new architecture being designed by CPU design wiz Jim Keller. If the rumors around Zen are even half true, it will be a major improvement over the older Piledriver/Steamroller designs, which were crippled from the start.

Godaveri and Carrizo, AMD's mobile performance and mainstream CPU, will be replaced in 2016 by Bristol Ridge. This processor has up to four Zen CPU cores, a Next Generation GCN engine, HSA 1.0 support, AMD True Audio, AMD Secure processor and a new FM3 socket. Bristol Ridge is also a 14nm design.

Beema, a 28nm SoC design, and Carrizo-L, a low-power mobile version of Carrizo, will be replaced in 2016 with a 14nm part called Basilisk. This dual core unit will also feature next-gen GCN GPU tech, full HSA 1.0 support, AMD TrueAudio and AMD Secure Processor.

Finally, AMD's ultra-low power Amur CPU, based on ARM processor cores, will be replaced in 2016 with Styx, a dual core K12 processor. K12 is AMD's custom CPU based on the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set. Amur is reportedly based on the current Cortex A57 processor.

Styx will reportedly have a 2 watt SDP, which I can only assume means they borrowed Intel's Scenario Design Power acronym. SDP measures the power draw of a CPU on "average" conditions, which means regular use cases; long periods where it's idle interrupted by occasional bursts of use.

So it's looking more and more like 2015 is a tread water yet as AMD tries to get a little more mileage out of its already-obsolete chipsets, but 2016 sees huge leaps. Not just in architecture but design. They are going from 32nm chips to 14nm in one fell swoop, which is risky as hell because it's a very bleeding edge design process that even Intel has struggled with getting right. Globalfoundries, AMD's manufacturing partner, says it's on 14nm FinFET process technology now, so hopefully by next year it will have the process down. AMD cannot afford another repeat of the Barcelona debacle.

Related:
ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon