Sunday, January 8th 2017

AMD Says "ZEN" CPU Architecture is Expected to Last 4 Years

After spending almost 4 years developing and perfecting (as much as can be perfected in such an amount of time) it's ZEN CPU architecture, AMD is looking to extract some mileage out of it. Mark Papermaster, AMD's chief technology officer, confirmed the four-year lifespan in a conversation with PC World at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, though he declined to discuss specifics. When asked how long ZEN would last (especially comparing to Intel's now-failing two-year tick-tock cadence, Papermaster confirmed the four-year lifespan: "We're not going tick-tock," he said. "ZEN is going to be tock, tock, tock."
Intel's tick-tock cadence has typically meant that it develops a new micro-architecture every two years (tock), with a process improvement in-between architectures (the tick). Of these, Kaby Lake is the first exception, ushering in a second "tick" moment for the company, which leveraged what it calls its "14 nm +" manufacturing process. AMD, on the other hand, has typically drawn more than 4 years worth of products from most of its micro-architectures (even Bulldozer has lasted from late 2011 until now), with AMD focusing in incremental updates in-between major architecture launches (such as Bulldozer's Piledriver, Steamroller, and Excavator updates).
On Papermaster's words, it seems AMD is planning to iteratively improve its Ryzen chips through some additional generations - whether at the cadence of their Bulldozer architecture or not, remains to be seen, but it can be expected that that will be the case. What those improvements will be, of course, are for now anyone's guess. But Papermaster also said he's a believer in architecture improvements that go beyond simple manufacturing - something he's previously referred to as "Moore's Law Plus."
In interviews, Mark Papermaster referred to this as the industry's failure to achieve Moore's law through transistor shrinking alone - as had been historically the case. Moore's Law Plus means that chipmakers will have to find creative, less-streamlined ways of inching closer to what Moore's Law (in its Intel's David House coating, who predicted that chip performance would double every 18 months) stipulates. According to Papermaster, "It will be ingenuity at the system level to put solutions together. It might be combinations of CPU and GPU, other accelerators, different memory configurations, how they're pieced together - there's room for lots of innovation at the next level."
We're actually seeing hints of that with AMD's upcoming VEGA architecture's additions of a High-Bandwidth Cache (HBC) and an High-Bandwidth Cache Controller (HBCC): of which you can have an excellent read right here at TechPowerUp. How this will translate with the CPU side of the equation, and what this means for AMD's ZEN or forthcoming CPU architectures, however, remains to be seen.Source: PC World
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71 Comments on AMD Says "ZEN" CPU Architecture is Expected to Last 4 Years

#1
Prima.Vera
That's OK. Intel is already in it's six (or seven?) year already, without any major upgrades to its architecture.
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#2
64K
I hope Mr Papermaster isn't just hyping this chip where it looks good on paper but not in real world use. Papermaster lol
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#3
jormungand
they keep talking and talking, FFS i want the damn chips already!!!!!! what are you waitingg!!!
Another month full of blahblahblah
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#4
theoneandonlymrk
Prima.Vera said:
That's OK. Intel is already in it's six (or seven?) year already, without any major upgrades to its architecture.
Quite right , unlike the OP who thinks Intel have moved on from their Core arch instead of just tweaking said arch for the last six+ years, Intel have said they are doing a ground up re arch of x86 in 2018-9 to be fair they have tweaked a hell of a lot but 10 years is too long without much innovation.
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#5
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
So much talk so little benchmarks
lolAMD 4 years .... I have core2duo systems that are 8 and still seeing regular use
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#6
EarthDog
At CES.. met with AMD.. played on some systems...I dont think we will be dissapointed.. :)

OneMoar said:
So much talk so little benchmarks
lolAMD 4 years .... I have core2duo systems that are 8 and still seeing regular use
They are talking about the socket and we were told it was "at least through 2020".
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#7
chaosmassive
jormungand said:
they keep talking and talking, FFS i want the damn chips already!!!!!! what are you waitingg!!!
Another month full of blahblahblah
maybe for chips we ask too much, how about some 3rd party benchmark like prime, aida, or maaybe even heavily redacted screenshot of cpuz
pretty please :clap:
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#8
Hood
EarthDog said:
They are talking about the socket
Maybe, but I got the impression this is about the CPU architecture - "with AMD focusing in incremental updates in-between major architecture launches (such as Bulldozer's Piledriver, Steamroller, and Excavator updates)". Like most of the recent AMD "news", nothing is clearly defined. Or were you being sarcastic?
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#9
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
EarthDog said:
At CES.. met with AMD.. played on some systems...I dont think we will be dissapointed.. :)

They are talking about the socket and we were told it was "at least through 2020".
I know and I have put newerish core2duos in systems recently and they still do the job
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#10
zelnep
intels "tick-tock" clock has fully stopped since Sandy Bridge (2-nd generation). if AMD has something decent (compared to that 2-nd gen) then it is matter of frequency (read TDP) and price - and intels 1000$ and even 1700$ chips will be a thing of the past
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#11
Raevenlord
News Editor
theoneandonlymrk said:
Quite right , unlike the OP who thinks Intel have moved on from their Core arch instead of just tweaking said arch for the last six+ years, Intel have said they are doing a ground up re arch of x86 in 2018-9 to be fair they have tweaked a hell of a lot but 10 years is too long without much innovation.
Oh, even I didn't know the OP thought that. Where did that transpire in the article?
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#12
the54thvoid
EarthDog said:
At CES.. met with AMD.. played on some systems...I dont think we will be dissapointed.. :)

They are talking about the socket and we were told it was "at least through 2020".
So tell me, do I buy a KL now or wait next month for Ryzen, top chip? For gaming.
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#13
Raevenlord
News Editor
Prima.Vera said:
That's OK. Intel is already in it's six (or seven?) year already, without any major upgrades to its architecture.
Quite right. At least AMD's ZEN is fundamentally different from their previous architecture. And if it's all they tout it to be, incremental improvements seem like a smart way for AMD to improve its financial standings and reap what they've sown in the past few years.
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#14
EarthDog
OneMoar said:
So much talk so little benchmarks
lolAMD 4 years .... I have core2duo systems that are 8 and still seeing regular use
They are talking about the socket and we were told it was "at least through 2020".
the54thvoid said:
So tell me, do I buy a KL now or wait next month for Ryzen, top chip? For gaming.
Either or... I played BF1 on 2 systems with a titan..one Ryzen, one intel, no discernable fps difference. I couldn't test it empirically, but there isn't a glass ceiling it seems. :)
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#15
EarthDog
Hood said:
Maybe, but I got the impression this is about the CPU architecture - "with AMD focusing in incremental updates in-between major architecture launches (such as Bulldozer's Piledriver, Steamroller, and Excavator updates)". Like most of the recent AMD "news", nothing is clearly defined. Or were you being sarcastic?
sarcastic, no. Perhaps I misunderstood. But they said they wanted to keep the socket through at least 2020.
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#16
the54thvoid
EarthDog said:
They are talking about the socket and we were told it was "at least through 2020".

Either or... I played BF1 on 2 systems with a titan..one Ryzen, one intel, no discernable fps difference. I couldn't test it empirically, but there isn't a glass ceiling it seems. :)
So, buy a Titan :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#17
theoneandonlymrk
Raevenlord said:
Oh, even I didn't know the OP thought that. Where did that transpire in the article?
"Intel's tick-tock cadence has typically meant that it develops a new micro-architecture every two years (tock), with a process improvement in-between architectures (the tick)."
Node swaps and tweaks are not a new arch.
Posted on Reply
#18
Blueberries
Prima.Vera said:
That's OK. Intel is already in it's six (or seven?) year already, without any major upgrades to its architecture.
What are you talking about? Intel went from 32nm to 14nm, a 25% increase in IPC, a reduction in TDP, improvements in HEVC encoding, massively better iGPU, etc.,

If you guys seriously think Intel hasn't improved in 6 years I would love to see you design your own CPU and compete with them.
Posted on Reply
#19
64K
EarthDog said:
Either or... I played BF1 on 2 systems with a titan..one Ryzen, one intel, no discernable fps difference. I couldn't test it empirically, but there isn't a glass ceiling it seems. :)
Please don't take this personally but that's pretty weak evidence to make a statement like "At CES.. met with AMD.. played on some systems...I dont think we will be dissapointed."
Posted on Reply
#20
Raevenlord
News Editor
theoneandonlymrk said:
"Intel's tick-tock cadence has typically meant that it develops a new micro-architecture every two years (tock), with a process improvement in-between architectures (the tick)."
Node swaps and tweaks are not a new arch.
Intel announces it as a new architecture. Whether those changes are deserving of the 'new architecture' moniker or not are a matter for discussion - but I can say that I personally don't believe they are. But I don't have to say that on every post, and I can say things as neutrally as possible - and as they are accepted in the industry - while having my own opinion on a given subject wouldn't you agree? :)
Posted on Reply
#21
YautjaLord
EarthDog said:
At CES.. met with AMD.. played on some systems...I dont think we will be dissapointed.. :)

They are talking about the socket and we were told it was "at least through 2020".
Any Prime95 torture test teaser/sneak peek/etc...., pretty please? :) No need for 4k gaming, DOOM [4] filled the "void" for me. :)

Atleast thru 2020 - good, good, i'll upgrade in 2019 then, just have this thing benchmarked, AIDA64, HWInfo, Prime95, CPU-Z torture/bench thingie/validation, Unigine's Heaven 4.0 & that new one soon-to-come-out forgot name @ 4k - just bring it. :)
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#22
Steevo
If tock = 2 Years
And he said Tock, Tock, Tock

Then 6 years for a lifecycle?

Also, perhaps their second biggest gain is coming from chip learning and they are hoping to expound on that for future iterations of this core design?
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#23
laszlo
rock-rock-rock this is what we expect not on paper Mr.Papermaster asap!:laugh:
Posted on Reply
#24
TheGuruStud
Blueberries said:
What are you talking about? Intel went from 32nm to 14nm, a 25% increase in IPC, a reduction in TDP, improvements in HEVC encoding, massively better iGPU, etc.,

If you guys seriously think Intel hasn't improved in 6 years I would love to see you design your own CPU and compete with them.
You must be young. 25% over MANY years? LOLOLOLOL. The shrinks aren't relevant as the architecture didn't change much (and was going to happen regardless). They fail at iGPU so bad, that's also irrelevant (and just a waste of die space).

I remember when performance was doubled every 2 years. Get off my lawn!
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