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AMD unveils 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture for its future family of processors

08 November 2018

With PCIe 4.0 capability it is capable of a 64 GB/s bidirectional connection to the CPU and with Infinity Fabric Links it has 100 GB/s per-link bandwidth between GPUs. With a focus on Epyc chips for servers, AMD now hopes to surpass the performance of its competitor Intel rather than just match it.

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. The EPYC Rome chip will feature eight CPU chiplets giving out 64 x86 cores.

A little context: Intel's top-of-the-line 28-core Xeon Skylake processor now offers about three times the floating point performance of the first-generation 32-core EPYC 7601 processor. Based, as with its latest GPU designs, on a 7nm process node - manufactured, as if the company has a choice, at Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) - the Zen 2 upgrade brings with it claims of an improved execution pipeline, an improved branch predictor, better instruction prefetching, a newly optimised instruction cache, larger operation cache, enhancements to floating point performance including a doubling of width to 256-bit, and new security features - including hardware protections against the Spectre family of speculative execution vulnerabilities.

AMD will be using a new design approach for the EPYC "Rome" CPU. The next jump with Zen 2 is much bigger and reduces the node to 7nm.

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Following up Intel's announcement of new Xeon server processors recently, AMD is firing a return salvo of their own to lay claim to more real estate in the enterprise CPU market. What exactly gets ported over to Ryzen, however, isn't known. Futhermore, this has also waylaid Intel's plans for significant performance improvements.

As ArsTechnica explains it, Zen 2 has a combination of 14nm and 7nm components under its hood. "As important, on higher-threaded applications, I am expecting improved scaling with more cores".

Zen was originally released in March 2017, with the first generation Ryzen.

Why this matters: Ryzen marked AMD's comeback in consumer CPUs, so expectations are high for the second generation. We know Lisa Su is scheduled to deliver a keynote at CES in January. While the competition with their existing 14nm product line has difficulties meeting the production requirements, AMD has already officially announced the new 7nm EPYC processors based on the Zen 2 core.

AMD unveils 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture for its future family of processors