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AMD Officially Unveils the Zen CPU Core

Category: CPU's
Posted: 01:15PM
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After plenty of leaks and rumors, and even a core block diagram, AMD has officially unveiled its Zen CPU core. During the company's Financial Analyst Day, the wraps were finally taken off the next-generation x86 core, and things are looking quite good. Zen is the successor to AMD's Bulldozer line and is the first processor from the company to make use of Simulatenous Multithreading (SMT). SMT allows for a processor to use multiple, independent threads to better execute tasks, which should speed things up considerably from AMD's past use of Clustered Multithreading. Zen also makes use of a high-bandwidth, low latency cache system to help improve cache performance compared to Bulldozer. AMD announced the Zen cores will make use of FinFET technology, but did not specifiy if it would be built on a 14nm or 16nm process. The 14nm chips sound most likely, especially if yesterday's roadmaps are any indication.

Compared to AMD's upcoming Excavator CPUs, the last of the Bulldozer line due out later this year, the Zen cores have a 40% increase in instructions per clock. It would put Zen performance on the same level as Intel Haswell, at least according to single threaded benchmarks. It's something AMD needs to aim for, especially with the financial woes.

The first AMD Zen products won't be available until next year when the Summit Ridge CPUs, part of the FX line, appear. Those FX CPUs will have DDR4 support and a "high core count with multi-threading," which could mean up to eight cores, or potentially more. There will also be Bristol Ridge and Basilisk APUs utilizing Zen cores for those who don't need quite that FX level performance. AMD also seems to be pushing the desktop Zen products over to the AM4 socket and not FM3 like yesterday's roadmap leak showed. The mobile APUs will be on the FP4 socket.

Zen right now sounds extremely promising, but we need a lot more information before we form any definitive thoughts on the matter. Hopefully that and more arrives during Computex next month.

Source: WCCFtech




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