AMD Zen: What Is Known About It So Far; Release Rumors in Early 2017 [Video]


Intel has long dominated the processor wars over the years, but it seems like AMD is not about ready to play second fiddle with its upcoming AMD Zen, which has been talked about much lately.

By continuing to slowly drip information about the AMD Zen, people waited for whatever news that comes out about the processor. Zen is touted to put AMD back on the map in producing high-performance processors. It would be interesting to note that the AMD Zen is a designed-from-scratch CPU employing the x86-processor microarchitecture. The chip would be fabricated featuring a 14nm low-power FinFET.

Zen is quite important for AMD. Being in the works from scratch took longer than expected to challenge Intel's Core lineup of desktop processors that have dominated since their release, according to Trusted Reviews. AMD's Bulldozer microarchitecture that went head to head early on with Intel's Core Series was pulverized.

Codename: Summit Ridge

A desktop PC Zen processor codenamed "Summit Ridge," will ship in the first quarter of 2017, Summit Ridge is an eight-core CPU with 16 hardware threads. Pundits expect Zencore to execute 40 percent more instructions per cycle than that of its previous high-end processor. However, to match or surpass Intel's high-end chips, Zen has to fend off Chipzilla's 14nm Kaby Lake and 10nm Cannonlake that are due to come out within the next 18 months. For the moment, AMD does not want to talk benchmarks at this point.

Codename: Naples

Likely to be branded AMD Opteron, Zen system-on-chip is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2017. It is expected that Naples chips will appear in dual-socket 32 core systems, with 64 hardware threads, per socket. It is rumored AMD is drumming support from Microsoft, Canonical, VMware, Citrix, Red Hat and others, for the chip.

AMD Benchmarked the "Summit Ridge" against an Intel Broadwell-E enthusiast chip with an equal number of cores and set at the same clock speed. The two chips figure in a Blender rendering task where the AMD chip won. It was a close fight, but the Zen-based chip sneaked a victory, see the video below.


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