New details on AMD’s next-generation desktop CPU architecture have arrived courtesy of new rumors from Sweoverclockers. The upcoming Zen architecture will succeed the Bulldozer architecture that AMD has been using from 2011.
According to the report published on the website, the AMD Zen based processors will be arriving by the third quarter of 2016 and will be fabbed on a 14nm FinFET process. This doesn’t sound very surprising given the fact that the 14nm process should become fairly common by the third quarter of next year. Also unsurprising is the claim that the new chips will be manufactured by GlobalFoundries, a company that was spun off by AMD a few years back.
The very first chips under the new architecture are expected to carry the codename ‘Summit Ridge’ with up to eight processing cores on the highest end chips. The new processors will support DDR4 memory and integrated PCI Express 3.0 controller, although it isn’t clear if AMD will include support for the older DDR3 memory as well. What we find really interesting is the claim that the Summit Ridge CPU family will also include high-performance chips with up to 95W TDP. These high TDP chips will only be meant for the enthusiast and enterprise segment though, the other chips with lower TDP are expected to bring major power savings over the previous generation chips. It is also reported that new chips will come with simultaneous multithreading and not cluster multithreading like we saw with the Bulldozer platform.
The new architecture sounds promising, but the nearly 18 month long wait does seem a bit too long. AMD isn’t doing too well currently and has no edge over its main rivals in both the CPU and GPU market. The company’s financial health has suffered as a result, which makes the success of the next-gen Zen architecture very critical to the future of AMD.