Editor's Note: With Zen 2 set to launch tomorrow (7/7), here's our architecture analysis from last month for some timely background information.

We have been teased with AMD’s next generation processor products for over a year. The new chiplet design has been heralded as a significant breakthrough in driving performance and scalability, especially as it becomes increasingly difficult to create large silicon with high frequencies on smaller and smaller process nodes. AMD is expected to deploy its chiplet paradigm across its processor line, through Ryzen and EPYC, with those chiplets each having eight next-generation Zen 2 cores. Today AMD went into more detail about the Zen 2 core, providing justification for the +15% clock-for-clock performance increase over the previous generation that the company presented at Computex last week.

AMD’s Zen 2 Product Portfolio

The current products that AMD has announced that have Zen 2 cores include the Ryzen 3rd Generation consumer CPUs, known as the Ryzen 3000 family, and AMD’s next generation enterprise EPYC processor, known as Rome. As of today, AMD has announced explicit details of six consumer Ryzen 3000 processors, including core counts, frequencies, memory support, and power. Details about the server processor, aside from some peak values, are expected in due course over the next few months.

AMD 'Matisse' Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs
AnandTech Cores
DDR4 TDP Price
Ryzen 9 3950X 16C 32T 3.5 4.7 8 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $749
Ryzen 9 3900X 12C 24T 3.8 4.6 6 MB 64 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $499
Ryzen 7 3800X 8C 16T 3.9 4.5 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 105W $399
Ryzen 7 3700X 8C 16T 3.6 4.4 4 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 65W $329
Ryzen 5 3600X 6C 12T 3.8 4.4 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 95W $249
Ryzen 5 3600 6C 12T 3.6 4.2 3 MB 32 MB 16+4+4 3200 65W $199

The Zen 2 design paradigm, compared to the first generation of Zen, has changed significantly. The new platform and core implementation is designed around small 8-core chiplets built on TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process, and measure around 74-80 square millimeters. On these chiplets are two groups of four-cores arranged in a ‘core complex’, or CCX, which contains those four cores and a set of L3 cache – the L3 cache is doubled for Zen 2 over Zen 1.

Each full CPU, regardless of how many chiplets it has, is paired with a central IO die through Infinity Fabric links. The IO die acts as the central hub for all off-chip communications, as it houses all the PCIe lanes for the processor, as well as memory channels, and Infinity Fabric links to other chiplets or other CPUs. The IO die for the EPYC Rome processors is built on Global Foundries' 14nm process, however the consumer processor IO dies (which are smaller and contain fewer features) are built on the Global Foundries 12nm process.

The consumer processors, known as ‘Matisse’ or Ryzen 3rd Gen or Ryzen 3000-series, will be offered with up to two chiplets for sixteen cores. AMD is launching six versions of Matisse on July 7th, from six cores to sixteen cores. The six and eight-core processors have one chiplet, while above this the parts will have two chiplets, but in all cases the IO die is the same. This means that every Zen 2 based Ryzen 3000 processor will have access to 24 PCIe 4.0 lanes and dual channel memory. Based on the announcements today, the prices will range from $199 for the Ryzen 5 3600, up to $700+ for the sixteen core (we’re waiting on final confirmation of this price).

The EPYC Rome processors, built on these Zen 2 chiplets, will have up to eight of them, enabling a platform that can support up to 64 cores. As with the consumer processors, no chiplet can communicate directly with each other – each chiplet will only connect directly to the central IO die. That IO die houses links for eight memory channels, and up to 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity.

AMD’s Roadmap

Before diving into the new product line, it is worth recapping where we currently sit in AMD’s planned roadmap.

In previous roadmaps, showcasing AMD’s movement from Zen to Zen 2 and Zen 3, the company has explained that this multi-year structure will showcase Zen in 2017, Zen 2 in 2019, and Zen 3 by 2021. The cadence isn’t exactly a year, as it has depended on AMD’s design and manufacturing abilities, as well as agreements with its partners in the foundries and the current market forces.

AMD has stated that its plan for Zen 2 was to always launch on 7nm, which ended up being TSMC’s 7nm (Global Foundries wasn’t going to be ready in time for 7nm, and ultimately pulled the plug). The next generation Zen 3 is expected to align with an updated 7nm process, and at this point AMD has not made any comment about a potential ‘Zen 2+’ design in the works, although at this point we do not expect to see one.

Beyond Zen 3, AMD has already stated that Zen 4 and Zen 5 are currently in various levels of their respective design stages, although the company has not committed to particular time frames or process node technologies. AMD has stated in the past that the paradigms of these platforms and processor designs are being set 3-5 years in advance, and the company states it has to make big bets every generation to ensure it can remain competitive.

For a small insight into Zen 4, in an interview with Forrest Norrod, SVP of AMD’s Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom group, at Computex, he exclusively revealed to AnandTech the code name of AMD’s Zen 4 EPYC processor: Genoa.

AMD EPYC CPU Codenames
Gen Year Name Cores
1st 2017 Naples 32 x Zen 1
2nd 2019 Rome 64 x Zen 2
3rd 2020 Milan ? x Zen 3
4th ? Genoa ? x Zen 4
5th ? ? ? x Zen 5

Forrest explained that the Zen 5 code name follows a similar pattern, but would not comment on the time frame for the Zen 4 product. Given that the Zen 3 design is expected mid-2020, that would put a Zen 4 product for late 2021/early 2022, if AMD follows its cadence. How this will play into AMD’s consumer roadmap plans is unclear at this point, and will depend on how AMD approaches its chiplet paradigm and any future adjustments to its packaging technology in order to enable further performance improvements.

Performance Claims of Zen 2


View All Comments

  • fmcjw - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    All good and fine, but I want Zen 2 and 7nm on my laptop. If they aren't announcing it today, products aren't gonna ship by holiday 2019, and most consumers will end up buying 10nm Intel devices. Missed chance. Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Eh, they have perfectly good 12 nm laptop SoCs. 7 nm would've been nice, but it's hard to do everything at once. Reply
  • levizx - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Nope, those 12nm APUs have worse battery life (than current 8th Gen) and no TB3/USB4 support. I can't think of a reason where I would choose Ryzen 3xxxU over Ice Lake Reply
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Do price & availability count? Reply
  • Xyler94 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Misleading remarks. Huawei was able to make a Ryzen APU have better battery life than an 8th gen processor. TB3 and USB4 aren't readily used mainstream yet. Heck USB-C hasn't even caught on yet.

    Currently laptop makers aren't optimizing AMD's CPU, that's just the fact.
  • Cooe - Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - link

    This is mostly nonsense. Performance AND battery life for Ryzen Mobile 2nd Gen is extremely close to Intel's current 8th & 9th gen 4-core parts. And until Ice Lake is a real thing that you can actually buy, Ryzen still has a major value advantage + far better iGPU performance. Ice Lake also isn't really any faster CPU wise than Whiskey Lake, because despite increasing IPC by +18%, clock-speeds were dropped from 4.8 to 4.1GHz, or about -16%, erasing nearly all those gains. Reply
  • fmcjw - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Yeah, I get that they still need time to get the GPU down to 7nm, so they pushed it back to focus on the CPU for desktop (where performance per watt matters much less than server or mobile). But the silence is not reassuring, and mobile-wise, Zen is still inferior to Intel, maybe not performance-wise as Huawei demonstrates with its Matebook, but definitely battery-wise because of the more powerful GPU. Reply
  • scineram - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Nobody is going to buy Shintel vaporware. Or only very few. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Please edit the table on page 1 to combine the rows with identical values into a single row (e.g. the RAM speed). Also edit the 3950X price to have a ? after it as it's not yet confirmed. Reply
  • jfmonty2 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    The 3950X price is most definitely confirmed; Lisa Su said it loud and clear (and showed it on the slide) in AMD's E3 presentation yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxPBXNuX6Xs&t=... Reply

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