AMD HAS TAKEN the covers off is Zen 2 processor architecture, showcasing its 7-nanometre design and effectively paving the way for next-generation Ryzen CPUs.
Zen 2 was shown-off in AMD's new "Rome" series of EPYC server processors, which use a 14nm I/O die that can support up to eight 7nm Zen 2 "chiplets".
Linked with AMD's Infinity Fabric, these chiplets effectively create a server chip that can be equipped with up to 64 Zen 2 cores and 128 threads. With support for PCIe 4.0 and 8-channel DDR4 RAM, the Rome series of EPYC chips look to offer some serious compute horsepower.
According to AMD, Zen 2 in the Rome chips offers twice the performance of previous generation EPYC chips per socket and four times the floating point performance.
But the EPYC chips are designed for data centre use and powering cloud workloads rather than supercharging a desktop PC or workstation.
Yet they do pave the way for the next wave of Ryzen processors. Almost certainly, the Ryzen 3 family will make use of the 7nm Zen 2 architecture, which could see AMD push ahead of Intel in the raw performance and clock speed stakes, as Intel is still on the 14nm process node given it has kept pushing back the debut of 10nm-based CPUs due to problems with manufacturing them at scale.
AMD wasn't explicit about the clock speeds Zen 2 could facilitate but it looks likely Ryzen 3 chips will have more gigahertz to play with than their predecessors, as well as other enhancements to boost their appeal over Intel's Core processor series.
We expect Ryzen 3 processors to make a debut in 2019, and given AMD has also managed to create 7nm graphics card chips, we also expect to see next-generation Radeon GPUs in the new year.
As a bit of a comeback king, 2019 is looking like it could shape up to be a very good year for AMD unless Intel pulls something special out of its chip foundries. µ
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