During the event at CES 2019, for the first time AMD publicly showed its promising third-generation Ryzen processor, based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture and built using 7-nm technology. The demonstration was preliminary, the characteristics of future products were not announced, however, the executive director of AMD, Lisa Su (Dr. Lisa Su), promised that the new articles will be officially presented in the middle of the year.
Said and shown by Liza Soo on future processors for desktop computers, in fact, has partially confirmed the rumors that were circulating so far. The Ryzen model of the 300th series with the codename Matisse, which was discussed in today's event, did not suggest an increase in the number of cores in desktop processors at this stage, and was an eight-core processor.
However, it has been confirmed that future AMD CPUs for desktop systems will be assembled from different semiconductor crystals of different types: chiplets. One of the crystals is a chiplet made with 7-nm technology with eight Zen 2 processor cores, which TSMC will be responsible for production. The second chiplet is a crystal with a memory controller, a PCI Express bus controller and other strapping, produced using 14nm technology at GlobalFoundries companies. As is clear from the AMD leader's comments, received by journalists after the event, AMD does not deny the ability to release desktop processors with more than one chiplet with computational cores.
At the same time, AMD has managed to promise directly that the third generation of Ryzen will be the first mass-processor for users, released with 7-nm technology, and the first processors with the implementation of the PCI Express 4.0 bus. However, it is obvious that new motherboards will be needed to support the new version of the bus. On older motherboards, the compatibility with which it will probably be preserved, the PCI Express bus will most likely work in normal 3.0 mode.
During the demonstration, a third-generation Ryzen sample without a processor cover was presented to the public, which allows to verify its double crystal design. Judging from the size of the crystals, the processor uses the same chiplets with the computational cores, which are used in the promising EPYC (Rome generation), but the "peripheral" chiplet is different in this case.
AMD also showed a working system based on the future Ryzen processor with a new Radeon VII video card. In the test in the famous Cinebench R15 benchmark, a computer with an advanced eight-core processor and sixteen points scored 2057 points. This is about 15% more than the same previous Ryzen test of the current generation, the Ryzen 7 2700X. However, it should be remembered that AMD has not yet defined the target clock frequencies of its future products, and the preliminary sample, which was installed in the test system, probably worked at frequencies far from the final ones. In other words, the future eight-core Ryofer of the three hundred thousand series has the possibility to be much faster in rendering than the Core i9-9900K, whose result in the Cinebench R15 is about 2040 points.
Furthermore, the promising Ryzen was already able to surprise with its energy consumption characteristics. The system based on it during the Cinebench R15 test consumed only 130 watts, while the consumption of a nearby system with a Core i9-9900K processor with a similar load reached 180 watts.
It is worth mentioning that the Zen 2 design as well as the transition to a new process technology promises notable microarchitectural improvements. The new processors will improve the prediction of the transitions and the prefetching instructions, the optimization of the operations and the increase of the volume of the micro-operations cache, the improvement of the command dispatcher throughput, the "honest" support for 256-bit floating point operations and faster loading and saving data.
Furthermore, the design of the new product chiplet does not stop the possibility of increasing the number of cores in Matisse. In theory, AMD has the ability to add another chiplet with eight processing cores inside the processor package and thus obtain a 16-core desktop processor. After his speech, Lisa Sue privately mentioned this opportunity: "If you look at Ryzen's evolution, then we always had an advantage in the number of cores"He told PCWorld journalists, and then with a little smile he added:"Some may have noticed further space in the package, and I think we can expect that we will have more than eight cores".
More information on the promising chips that AMD promises to report as the ad approaches.
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