Tuesday, April 28th 2015

AMD "Zen" CPU Core Block Diagram Surfaces

As a quick follow up to our older report on AMD's upcoming "Zen" CPU core micro-architecture being a reversion to the monolithic core design, and a departure from its "Bulldozer" multicore module design which isn't exactly flying off the shelves, a leaked company slide provides us the first glimpse into the core design. Zen looks a lot like "Stars," the core design AMD launched with its Phenom series, except it has a lot more muscle, and one could see significant IPC improvements over the current architecture.

To begin with, Zen features monolithic fetch and decode units. On Bulldozer, two cores inside a module featured dedicated decode and integer units with shared floating-point units. On Zen, there's a monolithic decode unit, and single integer and floating points. The integer unit has 6 pipelines, compared to 4 per core on Bulldozer. The floating point unit has two large 256-bit FMAC (fused-multiply accumulate) units, compared to two 128-bit ones on Bulldozer. The core has a dedicated 512 KB L2 cache. This may be much smaller than the 2 MB per module on Bulldozer, but also indicate that the core is able to push through things fast enough to not need cushioning by a cache (much like Intel's Haswell architecture featuring just 256 KB per core). In a typical multi-core Zen chip, the cores will converge at a large last-level cache, which routes data between them to the processor's uncore, which will feature a DDR4 IMC and a PCI-Express 3.0 root complex.
Sources: Planet3DNow, Many Thanks to qubit for the tip.
Add your own comment

43 Comments on AMD "Zen" CPU Core Block Diagram Surfaces

#1
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
This might just bring AMD back in the game. Their CPUs weren't so bad before Bulldozer.

That new top management might finally be what AMD needed to be competitive again.
Posted on Reply
#2
NC37
256bit...giggidy.

Man I remember when Altivec hit and 128bit was all the rage. Course it still took software to be able to utilize it but that didn't stop Apple from rubbing it in faces.
Posted on Reply
#3
ZoneDymo
qubit said:
This might just bring AMD back in the game. Their CPUs weren't so bad before Bulldozer.

That new top management might finally be what AMD needed to be competitive again.
As if Bulldozer is so bad
Posted on Reply
#4
hojnikb
ZoneDymo said:
As if Bulldozer is so bad
Yes, it is.
Posted on Reply
#5
ZoneDymo
hojnikb said:
Yes, it is.
Arguments?
Posted on Reply
#7
dj-electric
Some people are a bit delusional when they think an architechture like this can simple bring AMD "back into the game". Like there is a game.
Posted on Reply
#8
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
btarunr said:
The core has a dedicated 512 KB L2 cache. This may be much smaller than the 2 MB per module on Bulldozer, but also indicate that the core is able to push through things fast enough to not need cushioning by a cache (much like Intel's Haswell architecture featuring just 256 KB per core).
I've always felt that AMD making a large L2 cache was dumb because it harmed latency. This is probably one of the best moves they've made.
Dj-ElectriC said:
Some people are a bit delusional when they think an architechture like this can simple bring AMD "back into the game". Like there is a game.
I suspect most people don't understand how markets work.
Posted on Reply
#9
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
ZoneDymo said:
As if Bulldozer is so bad
Yes it is. It's all been gone over years ago and established so I'm not going to go over old ground with you about it.

Just google it if you want to know all about it.
Posted on Reply
#10
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Side note: If any of you go to the original article, the very first statement is this:
WCCFTech
Before we dive into what this slide shows we should make sure to mention that at the present moment we absolutely cannot verify the authenticity of the slide in question. However it won’t take long before we can find out for certain if this slide is truly legitimate or not. As it’s supposed to be part of AMD’s upcoming roadmap unveiling at the company’s Financial Analyst Day event on May 6th.
Just keep that in mind when talking about this, so we're still in the realm of speculation.
Posted on Reply
#11
xvi
Even if it's good, it's a bit late. A lot of AMD fans have jumped ship.
Still interested to see what they've got baking in the oven though.
Posted on Reply
#12
ensabrenoir
......dosen't matter what they come out with.....if they don't think like a business and unfortunately to many, price it like a business trying to stay in business..... Its all for not.... I still don't get how even after the gpu mininig bubble, the Ps4, Xbox, and gpu's in the Mac's.....Amd is still in the red. I fear that even if they release a Core crusher cpu it'll have so little a profit margin that it won't matter.
Posted on Reply
#13
TheinsanegamerN
ensabrenoir said:
......dosen't matter what they come out with.....if they don't think like a business and unfortunately to many, price it like a business trying to stay in business..... Its all for not.... I still don't get how even after the gpu mininig bubble, the Ps4, Xbox, and gpu's in the Mac's.....Amd is still in the red. I fear that even if they release a Core crusher cpu it'll have so little a profit margin that it won't matter.
simple. the consoles don't make much money. the margins in that market are razor thin until at least halfway through their life cycle. nowhere near enough to push AMD back in the black.
As for the mining bubble, they DID post a profit in late 2013/early 2014. the problem is, those super high prices? yeah, AMD didnt see any extra money from that. it all went to the manufacturers and retailers. Then, once the bubble burst and tons of used inventory hit ebay and amazon, the market for new cards tanked. once again, no money there.
The mac GPUs? yeah, also razor thin margins. going from two d500 to two d700 gpus only cost $600. you know how much those cost in desktop format? $3000. EACH. Know how much a mac pro with those gpus cost? $4600, with a 6 core i7 and 16 GB or ram, and 256GB PCIE SSD. so, once again, razor thin margins.

Zen could turn it around. Llano APUs sold great with oems, but amd torpedoed that with bulldozer. AMD had a good thing with the enthusiast market with the phenom II. again, bulldozer torpedo. GPU wise, they sat on GCN way to long, giving nvidia the chance to dominate the market for almost half a year with maxwell, which has destroyed AMDs marketshare. zen needs to be good, and the 300 series needs to be really good, or else amd wont make it.
Posted on Reply
#14
ShurikN
xvi said:
Even if it's good, it's a bit late. A lot of AMD fans have jumped ship.
True fans never jumped ship.
Posted on Reply
#15
dj-electric
True fans pigionhole themselves blindly into certain products, potentially losing options.
Be a fan of hardware, not a fan of a brand.
Posted on Reply
#16
Petey Plane
ZoneDymo said:
Arguments?
Well, the fact that there is zero reason to buy an AMD CPU (significantly lower single core performance, lower multi-core performance, significantly higher power usage and thermals, lack of PCI-E 3.0, lack of m.2, etc...) over an equivalently priced Intel CPU for the kind of computer build most readers of this site are interested in (gaming computers).

AKA, if i gave you $230 to buy a CPU, are you getting a 4690K or a FX5950? (i'd say at least, i don't know, 97% are going with the 4690K)

Dj-ElectriC said:
True fans pigionhole themselves blindly into certain products, potentially losing options.
Be a fan of hardware, not a fan of a brand.
agree, hoping AMD offers a truly competitive product, both price and performance wise. I think most people stick with Intel CPUs right now because they are simply objectively better in nearly every way.
Posted on Reply
#17
v12dock
It's going to hard for AMD to recapture the CPU market share but GPU I no doubts they can recapture what market share they have lost.
Posted on Reply
#18
Rais
if they will release a decent processor, not too distant from skylake, i'm sure i will switch to AMD. Everyone love competition, but when it comes to checkout, they'll always buy Intel instead of a decent and competitive AMD solution.
Posted on Reply
#19
GhostRyder
If this architecture really is great and bring their performance back up to par what they really need are some more OEM's to start buying up their chips for use in their machines. That is what will help the most and not people just buying them for gaming rigs as the majority buy pre-built machines.

Hopefully this is a good architecture like the leaks hint it to be.
Posted on Reply
#20
ensabrenoir
GhostRyder said:
If this architecture really is great and bring their performance back up to par what they really need are some more OEM's to start buying up their chips for use in their machines. That is what will help the most and not people just buying them for gaming rigs as the majority buy pre-built machines.

Hopefully this is a good architecture like the leaks hint it to be.
...must be geographical.... I see way more A4, A6, -A10's than intels in the general Office Depot's , Wal-marts etc. Unfortunately There is also a ton of E1's and E2's out there too...:shadedshu:.
Posted on Reply
#21
Jorge
Zen is a huge performance leap for AMD and also a very versatile core that will be applied across AMD's entire product line. Intel will be playing catch-u[p once again, especially in APUs.

Hating on AMD products is a waste of energy. The current AMD products provide good performance and excellent value. If that's not for you then buy from the convicted criminals at Intel. It's your dime. If not for AMD you'd be paying $1000 for a current Intel run of the mill CPU.
Posted on Reply
#22
GhostRyder
ensabrenoir said:
...must be geographical.... I see way more A4, A6, -A10's than intels in the general Office Depot's , Wal-marts etc. Unfortunately There is also a ton of E1's and E2's out there too...:shadedshu:.
Really, its the exact opposite everywhere I go even on newegg so it must be geographical (Or store dependent). For instance, up here at the Best Buy there are about 30 laptops on display and only 3 have an AMD processor in it.
Posted on Reply
#23
BiggieShady
They are finally doing what intel has done after prescott ... intel went back to P3 architecture on a smaller node. This awfully reminds me of Phenom architecture ... on a smaller node. It worked well for intel, so all in all good move AMD.
Posted on Reply
#24
The Quim Reaper
Trouble for AMD is that their improvements don't exist inside a vacuum.

People shouldn't be asking what Zen performance will be like, they should be asking what will Intel's response to it perform like...
Posted on Reply
#25
Petey Plane
Jorge said:
Zen is a huge performance leap for AMD and also a very versatile core that will be applied across AMD's entire product line. Intel will be playing catch-u[p once again, especially in APUs.
And you know this... how? You need to tone down your fanboy. No one is hating on AMD, rather, most are just pointing out the current inferiority of AMD CPUs. Pretty much everyone here wants AMD to make a competitive CPU.

Sorry, but what do you expect when AMD's top CPU gets beaten in virtually every performance metric by an Intel CPU that costs $50 less, and offers things like PCI-Express 3.0, which AM3+ does not support?

Delusional fanboys who ignore basic facts make no sense to me.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment