In its earnings name, AMD supplied a little bit extra element in regards to the launch of its next-generation processors, constructed utilizing the Zen 2 structure and TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing course of, and new GPU structure, Navi, once more constructed on 7nm. Server-oriented EPYC-branded chips (codenamed Rome) needs to be delivery to prospects within the third quarter of this yr, and so too will Navi-based video playing cards.
In November final yr, AMD outlined the main points of the Zen 2 design. It makes numerous architectural enhancements to shore up a few of Zen’s weaker areas (for instance, it now has native 256-bit floating level items to deal with AVX2 directions; the unique Zen solely had 128-bit items, so it needed to break up AVX2 workloads up into items). However maybe extra important is the brand new method to constructing the processors. Zen used modules of 4 cores (dealing with eight threads), with two such modules per chip. Mainstream Ryzen processors used one chip; the fanatic Threadripper vary used two chips (first technology) or 4 chips (second technology), and the server-oriented Epyc vary used 4 chips. Every die is a full processor, containing the cores, cache, reminiscence controllers, PCIe and Infinity Material Connections for I/O, built-in SATA and USB controllers, and so forth and so forth.
Zen 2 will proceed to make use of a number of chips, however this time the chips will likely be extra specialised. There will likely be 7nm chiplets, every containing CPU cores, cache, and Infinity Material hyperlinks, and a 14nm I/O die, containing reminiscence controllers, Infinity Material connections, and SATA and USB controllers. The 7nm components ought to be capable to obtain Larger Clock Speeds and decrease energy consumption than their 14nm predecessors. The components on the I/O die, nevertheless, usually do not profit from larger clock speeds. In truth, they can not—PCIe, USB, SATA, and even reminiscence, all must run at predetermined speeds, as a result of their efficiency is ruled by the bus specification. The additional efficiency headroom that 7nm would supply is wasted. By maintaining these components on 14nm, AMD is probably going in a position to lower prices (as a result of well-established 14nm manufacturing needs to be cheaper than the newer, extra superior 7nm).
The Rome processor may have as much as eight core chiplets, for a complete of 64 cores and 128 threads, and it’ll assist as much as two sockets. These components are already sampling and will likely be prepared for a third-quarter launch. AMD did not, nevertheless, make any point out of the mainstream 3000-series Ryzen chips. There may be hypothesis that these will likely be introduced at Computex later this month, however for now it appears that evidently AMD’s focus is on the extra profitable server market.
Additionally utilizing 7nm is AMD’s new Navi GPU structure. AMD is already constructing 7nm GPUs, comparable to its Radeon VII utilizing the Vega structure. Unusually, the corporate stated that the primary Navi components will likely be priced beneath the $699 Radeon VII. This means that moderately than launching with a top-end GPU, AMD will as a substitute begin with a mid-range, mainstream half. AMD has disclosed little or no about Navi, refusing to reply whether or not the chip will supply any form of ray tracing acceleration similar to that present in Nvidia’s RTX components. However with a launch subsequent quarter, the corporate goes to must spill the beans sooner moderately than later.