Monday, April 13th 2015

AMD "Zen" A Monolithic Core Design

AMD's upcoming "Zen" architecture will see a major change in the way the company designs its CPU cores. It will be a departure from the "module" core design introduced with "Bulldozer," in which two cores with shared resources constitute the indivisible unit of a multi-core processor. A "Zen" core will have dedicated resources in a way things used to be before "Bulldozer," and only the last-level cache (L3 cache), will be shared between cores. "Zen" will also implement SMT, much in the same way as Intel processors do, with HyperThreading Technology.

The first implementation of "Zen" will be an insanely powerful APU (on paper anyway), featuring 16 physical "Zen" CPU cores, 32 logical CPUs enabled with SMT, 512 KB dedicated L2 cache per core, and 32 MB of shared L3 cache. The CPU's ISA instruction set will see a spring-cleaning, with the removal of underused instruction-sets, and the introduction of new ones. Other features on this APU are equally surprising - a quad-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller, a separate HBM (high-bandwidth memory) controller dedicated to the integrated graphics, with up to 512 GB/s bandwidth, and an integrated graphics core featuring "Greenland-class" stream processors. Given that AMD is able to build 7-billion transistor GPUs on existing 28 nm processes, building an APU with these chops doesn't sound far-fetched. The company could still have to rely on a newer fab.
Source: FudZilla
Add your own comment

102 Comments on AMD "Zen" A Monolithic Core Design

#1
Chaitanya
I hope we see cpus without integrated gpu based on this architecture.
Posted on Reply
#2
GreiverBlade
looks yummy (on paper ... duh!), time will tell if i stay on Intel (oohhh i made a rhyme) or swap back to AMD for a full red setup :roll:
Posted on Reply
#3
Ebo
I have high hopes for AMD with the Zen project, and I hope they pull a rabbit out of the hat this time, but time will tell.
Posted on Reply
#4
micropage7
looks promising and seriously i think AMD should move their point than just challenging intel, they should offer something better and new since intel's performance is hard to catch
Posted on Reply
#5
HumanSmoke
...and just like that it is like CMT never was.
Posted on Reply
#6
Mussels
Moderprator
cant half tell this is designed for DX12 gaming
Posted on Reply
#7
Lionheart
Pretty much sums up my reaction to what I just read.





BUT!!! I will remain skeptical until released... We all know what happened with Bulldozer :ohwell:




None the less I'm still exited for AMD's R9 390 series GPU's & their Zen platform, I just hope they finally get some profiteering flowing :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#8
NC37
And without the GPU what would we get? 32 cores + SMT, meaning 64 cores? I hope so.

Holy crap I do believe handbrake just got aroused.
Posted on Reply
#9
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Damn, I hope they deliver. If AMD is selling 16 core consumer processors, Intel will have to respond by slashing the prices on their 6+ core Xeon products with plans to make 6+ cores mainstream in future releases. I really, really, really hate the fact you have to buy LGA-2011 to get 6+ cores.

There's a lot to like here and the huge news maker isn't the 16 cores, it's an integrated GPU with...an unbelievable...16 GB of memory on the same die. Too...unbelievable... If true though, that is one very, very serious APU in a very small package. It has next-gen consoles and Steam boxes written all over it.

NC37
And without the GPU what would we get? 32 cores + SMT, meaning 64 cores? I hope so.
No, 16 physical cores and 16 logical cores for a total of 32 threads at once.
Posted on Reply
#10
Mussels
Moderprator
FordGT90Concept
Damn, I hope they deliver. If AMD is selling 16 core consumer processors, Intel will have to respond by slashing the prices on their 6+ core Xeon products with plans to make 6+ cores mainstream in future releases. I really, really, really hate the fact you have to buy LGA-2011 to get 6+ cores.

There's a lot to like here and the huge news maker isn't the 16 cores, it's an integrated GPU with...an unbelievable...16 GB of memory on the same die. Too...unbelievable... If true though, that is one very, very serious APU in a very small package. It has next-gen consoles and Steam boxes written all over it.


No, 16 physical cores and 16 logical cores for a total of 32 threads at once.
dont forget the rumours that DX12 allows sharing/adding of VRAM in multi GPU, that 16GB could be insane
Posted on Reply
#11
bogami
Thes cood be good. well will see:)
Posted on Reply
#12
gaximodo
what happened to "real man uses real cores" :slap:
Posted on Reply
#13
techy1
...if you multiply 0 with anything you get 0.... so: 0 x 16 or 32 = still 0 core valude CPU.... well I hope AMD pulls out something more than 0 and can make big turnover and profit out of that... but I know AMD and those powerslides - according to those - Intel preformance was and is lightyears behind - but in reality is diferent :(
Posted on Reply
#14
Dent1
gaximodo
what happened to "real man uses real cores" :slap:
They gave you REAL cores with Bulldozer and Piledriver, then fan boys complained it wasn't a "REAL" core because its hidden within a module. AMD can't win.

techy1
.. I hope AMD pulls out something more than 0 and can make big turnover and profit out of that..
Turnover and profit relies mostly on marketing efforts, contracts secured, business operation efficiency etc. Product performance, not so much.
Posted on Reply
#15
Parn
Wow! The spec looks fantastic.

Maybe this is AMD's ticket for coming back to the high-end market. Let's hope there will be a HEDT version (ie. no integrated graphics) to compete with the 2011v3 platform.

My main rig used to be primarily AMD based, but switched to Intel since 1st gen i series. There is still a Phenom II X4 box remaining. Will upgrade this one if Zen delivers.
Posted on Reply
#16
HumanSmoke
Dent1
They gave you REAL cores with Bulldozer and Piledriver, then fan boys complained it wasn't a "REAL" core because its hidden within a module. AMD can't win.
So AMD ditched a whole CMT-based architecture because some forum warriors yukked it up on a few tech sites? I think that redefines "hyper sensitive".
Given that the CMT-module architecture begun with BD was aimed squarely at the server market which AMD triumphantly (and prematurely) touted as architecture to take x86 enterprise market share off Intel...which in reality led to AMD's market share plummeting to 1.5%, it would seem that it was more than a few fanboys that killed the architecture. When AMD themselves are on record as stating that the architecture was an unmitigated failure, it's a little hard to lay the blame at the feet of a few forum posters don't you think?
Parn
Maybe this is AMD's ticket for coming back to the high-end market. Let's hope there will be a HEDT version (ie. no integrated graphics) to compete with the 2011v3 platform.
Could be feasible - CPU + 8 or 16GB of HBM RAM on interposer could be a potent package. AMD could shave off the unnecessary logic ( the DDR4 controllers would surely be aimed at server only since HBM couldn't provide the density for enterprise deployment).
Posted on Reply
#17
Vinska
I just spontaneously came in my pants.
Posted on Reply
#18
Dent1
HumanSmoke
So AMD ditched a whole CMT-based architecture because some forum warriors yukked it up on a few tech sites? I think that redefines "hyper sensitive".
Given that the CMT-module architecture begun with BD was aimed squarely at the server market which AMD triumphantly (and prematurely) touted as architecture to take x86 enterprise market share off Intel...which in reality led to AMD's market share plummeting to 1.5%, it would seem that it was more than a few fanboys that killed the architecture. When AMD themselves are on record as stating that the architecture was an unmitigated failure, it's a little hard to lay the blame at the feet of a few forum posters don't you think?
I never said why AMD ditched the CMT-based architecture or was trying to speculate as to why.

I just merely pointed out that AMD gave us real cores within a module but the definition of a "core" often came into question from certain groups of negative people. Now they remove the modules and guys like gaximod still complain and throw the "real men use cores" statement in their faces. This is my own personal observation. I doubt AMD cared enough to make refinements based on this observation.

Their decision with this new architecture is likely because it meets their business needs only.
Posted on Reply
#21
DarkMantle
I'm a little confused. Why aren't you telling us in your article that this is just rumors based on a "leaked" slide Fudzilla got their hands on.

I love AMD as much as the next guy and want them to be profitable but making people believe this is real based on rumors is just not good for the company (and coming from Fudzilla I have no doubt that could very well be part of the reason why they posted this). This could end up worse than the Bulldozer fiasco.
Posted on Reply
#22
ndtoan
Parn
300W is nothing when you consider the unit contains 16 x86 cores + integrated GPU with HBM + DDR4. A current high-end 6 core CPU + a discrete graphics solution already exceeds 390W TDP.
TDP means that maximum heat is dissipated by CPU cooler, not power consumption.

You have to use the hi-end water cooler for CPU TDP 300w, there aren't any air cooler can handle it now.
Posted on Reply
#23
Dent1
ndtoan
TDP means that maximum heat is dissipated by CPU cooler, not power consumption.

You have to use the hi-end water cooler for CPU TDP 300w, there aren't any air cooler can handle it now.
You are missing the point. 300W TDP is low on average because there are 16 cores and an integrated GPU.

The 16 core variant is likely for server use. The commercial processors will likely be 2/4/8 core solutions.

So for a normal four core CPU it will be 300/4 = 75W which is VERY low for a four core processor with integrated GPU in its first revision.
Posted on Reply
#24
Caring1
DarkMantle
I'm a little confused. Why aren't you telling us in your article that this is just rumors based on a "leaked" slide Fudzilla got their hands on.

I love AMD as much as the next guy and want them to be profitable but making people believe this is real based on rumors is just not good for the company (and coming from Fudzilla I have no doubt that could very well be part of the reason why they posted this). This could end up worse than the Bulldozer fiasco.
I thought it was pretty obvious where it was sourced from. I think your first sentence summed it up nicely.
Zen is a rumored architecture and anything printed is purely speculation for now.
Posted on Reply
#25
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This sounds great and I'm not completely surprised, since the new guy at the top apparently has turned around other businesses.

I'd love to see an AMD CPU/APU kick Intel's butt once more like they did a decade ago.

Let's hope this really delivers this time.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment