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Zen 5 + Zen 4D: AMD’s Secret to Tackling Alder Lake-S

As our regular readers will remember, Zen 5 is the name with which we know, provisionally since it is not confirmed that AMD will maintain this nomenclature, the architecture that will succeed Zen 4, and according to a new leak said architecture will be the first from the Sunnyvale company to use the same hybrid scheme we’ve seen at Alder Lake-S.

We may like more or less the approach that Intel has used in these new processors, but after analyzing the Intel Core i9-12900K it is clear that it has been a step in the right direction, which represents the biggest innovation of the chip giant in the industry in recent years, and which is set to shape the future of the industry of high-performance x86 processors for general consumption. If you want to know why, I invite you to follow the link that I have left in this paragraph, and that will take you to the analysis that we published just yesterday.

Going back to the next AMD architectures, doing a compilation of the most recent and credible information, that I have had the opportunity to see, we would find this roadmap for the next few years:

  • Zen 3+: which would be a revision of the Zen 3 architecture, it would be equipped with 3D stacked L3 cache and could use the 6nm node. It would be compatible with current AM4 motherboards, equipped with 500 series chipset.
  • Zen 4: a refinement of the current MCM design, which should improve the IPC and would be manufactured in the 5nm process. It would need the new AM5 socket, and it would use DDR5 memory. It would also be compatible with the PCIE Gen5 standard. It could come in late 2022, or early 2023.
  • Zen 5: It will be the successor to the previous one, and will keep both the 5nm node and the AM5 platform with DDR5 and PCIE Gen5, but at the same time it could be AMD’s first architecture with two blocks of cores, one high performance and one low. consumption. It should arrive in late 2023 or early 2024.

Zen 5 Could Become AMD’s First Hybrid Architecture: Embracing Big.LITTLE Design

This new architecture will bring us the most important change within the AMD processor ecosystem since the arrival of Zen 2, which marked the birth of the chiplet, and the Zen 4D architecture will be one of its central pillars. I know what you are wondering, what is Zen 4D? Well said in a simple and easy to understand way, the functional equivalent to the architecture found in Gracemont cores that we find in the Intel Alder Lake-S processors.

It is not difficult to understand. This means that processors based on the Zen 5 architecture will have a block of high-performance cores with a high CPI (between 20% and 40%), since it will supposedly mark a leap as big as the one that occurred between Zen and Zen 2, and will also have another block of Zen 4D cores. The former will be specialized in tasks that depend more on single-wire performance, while the latter will focus more on energy efficiency and parallelization.

According to the original source of this leak, lThe Zen 4D cores that Zen 5 will use will be:

  • A Zen 4c reviewon a cache and function level snip which will work at lower frequencies, all to reduce consumption.
  • Increase the core density to a total of 16 cores per chiplet. These could lack SMT technology, which means that each core could only work with one thread, although it is not confirmed.
  • Will have half the cache of a Zen 4 core standard.
  • Could lack certain instructions which hardly make sense in kernels of this type, such as AVX512.
  • They will allow to create processors with 16 high-performance cores with SMT and 16 low-power cores (48 threads in total), without compromises at the encapsulation level, and maintaining a good level of efficiency, both thermal and energy.

On a personal note, I must say that this information I think it is very credible, both for the content and for the deadlines it raises. AMD already had a perfectly defined roadmap to Zen 4, so it is sensible to think that, after Intel’s move with Alder Lake-S, it has also decided to go for a hybrid design with Zen 5, and that Zen 4D is its « “Ace up your sleeve” to bring energy-efficient cores to life.

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