AMD has achieved the best position in the PC processor market for years, if not the best in its history. Its presence in the OEM market is bigger than ever and this affects the next processors that are going to be launched this year, where all the launches are based on the OEM market except the one we expect by the end of the year.
Zen 3: on the next versions of AMD processors
The Zen 3 architecture is AMD’s backbone in terms of processors for 2021, but as you may already know, it comes in two different variations:
- The Vermeer variant is based on a processor composed of chiplets where 8 Zen 3 cores are grouped around 32 MB of L3 cache. The different cores and their three levels of cache constitute what is a CCD chip, which is an independent chip from the IOD. Which integrates all the circuits for communication with memory and peripherals.
- The Cézanne variant does this in the form of an SoC and therefore a monolithic chip, the cores are of Zen 3 architecture, but its third level cache is only 16 MB. The fact that the components are not not separated by chips compensates for the lower amount of L3 cache of these processors, which, because they are designed for much lower power consumption, achieve lower clock speeds.
Cézanne’s big advantage over Vermeer is the fact that he can integrate a GPU inside, which Vermeer cannot. The big disadvantage of Cézanne? There is no configuration of more than 8 cores.
AMD Ryzen 5000G
AMD’s first line of upcoming processor versions is the Ryzen 5000 SoC, which are desktop versions of the Cezanne variant, will be released exclusively for the OEM market and therefore will not be available for custom PC mounting. The difference with the laptop versions, also based on Cezanne, is that they are not soldered-in processors or that use a laptop socket, but they use the AM4 socket like the rest of AMD’s desktop processors.
Due to having integrated graphics, AMD Vega, these processors will be adopted by the low range, since this allows computer manufacturers to avoid installing a conventional graphics card. Either when mounting a laptop or a desktop computer.
New AMD Ryzen 5000
The second Zen 3-based lineup that receives an update in the form of upcoming CPU releases from AMD is the Ryzen 5000-based lineup known by the code name Vermeer.
The lineup was not limited to the 5600X, 5800X, 5900X and 5950X which they released in late 2020, but NVIDIA will be releasing the non-X versions of these processors, i.e .: 5600, 5800, 5900 and 5950. They are the same in number of cores but with lower consumption and lower clock speeds. As with the AMD Ryzen 5000G, these processors will not be available for the gaming market, making their purchase impossible if they are not pre-installed on a new PC.
So this is the opposite case of the Ryzen 5000G, by not including a graphics card, they will go to desktop PCs for games, to this must be added their more powerful product not to have the L3 cache cut and to achieve higher clock speeds.
New EPYC and Threadripper
For AMD EPYC and AMD Threadripper, AMD will use the same CCD as the Vermeer-based Ryzen 5000, but unlike an IOD which allows for more cores, allowing configurations of up to 64 cores and 128 threads. . As with Vermeer, AMD has not made any changes from the previous generation in IOD, the main change being the use of the new CCD with Zen 3 cores.
The Zen 3-based AMD EPYC is called Milan and is already available in the market, while for the Threadripper 5000 we will have to wait until August, which will make it the last line of AMD processors to implement the Zen 3 architecture. The next step?
And after? Zen 3+ on the AMD processor roadmap
By the end of the year, the launch of the AMD Ryzen 6000 is expected, this next version of AMD processors will come with a new CCD, which will be manufactured in TSMC’s 6nm node. Since the information reaching us is that TSMC’s 7nm node is full and AMD may move some future processors to TSMC’s 6nm node.
For the new node, we are talking about a new kernel called Zen 3+, which is a slightly improved version of Zen 3 that would take advantage of the higher density for a small increase in performance. Much like Zen +, where AMD used a more advanced variant of the GLOBALFOUNDRIES 14nm node, the 12nm node.
From Zen 3+, we know there are two processors on the roadmap. First we have Warhol replacing Vermeer and another Rembrandt replacing Cezanne, but the latter is not expected to appear this year.
The end of the agreement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES
AMD has two suppliers for its chiplet-based processors, on the one hand TSMC is the one that manufactures the chiplets where the CPU goes and on the other hand the IOD is manufactured by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, in an agreement that ends this year 2021. How does it work does it affect these future AMD processors? Well, we have to keep in mind that SoCs are not affected by this deal because they are completely manufactured by TSMC.
What conclusions do we draw from this? The Zen 3+ architecture will have a very short lifespan before the launch of Zen 4, which will bring with it a new IOD with support for DDR5 memory and PCI Express 5.0. This is not why AMD is not going to promote it and we are going to see Zen 3+ in the form of the AMD Ryzen 6000, where the IOD will be the same as that of the Ryzen 3000 and 5000 series. Therefore, this processor will continue to use DDR4 memory and PCI Express 4.0 ports.
AMD will launch the Zen 3+-based Warhol processors later this year to grab the attention of the high-end gaming market as it did with the Ryzen 5000 in late 2020. The reason for its launch? Respond to Intel’s Alder Lake as Zen 4 Cores wind down.
Processors with DDR5 support in the roadmap
The other story of Zen3 + is that these new CCDs do not come alone, but bring a new IOD which will then take advantage of the processors based on Zen 4. We know that Zen 4 will force a change of motherboard and all the information that comes to us. succeeds. of Warhol is that its socket will continue to be AM4,
The socket is an important communication element with the motherboard and especially with the memory. The upcoming AM4 socket will bring DDR5 memory support with it and we are more than clear that AM4 based processors cannot use this type of memory, as it was designed for DDR4 use.
That’s why we’re not going to see an AMD processor or SoC releasing this year using DDR5 memory, including Warhol. And so AMD users will have to wait until the following year to use the new type of memory.