AMD To Disclose 14nm CPU and GPU Roadmaps in May – Zen, K12 and Arctic Islands

AMD will be disclosing its future 14nm FinFET CPU, APU and GPU product roadmaps at the Financial Analyst Day on the 6th of May. During the event and for the first time ever, AMD will be publicly revealing its roadmap for 2016 and beyond.

AMD CPU, GPU, APUIt's been a long while since AMD had revealed future product roadmaps. It used to be that the company would actually divulge its plans two to four years into the future. With the introduction of Bulldozer in 2011 for example, the company outlined its product roadmap all the way to 2014. Recently however it's been a little different. Due to the company's recent restructuring efforts and numerous changes in management in a relatively short period of time. Along with many unpredicted roadmap alterations, AMD management seemingly decided to keep things tight under wraps at least until the mist clears.

We're already in 2015 and we have no official product roadmap from the company for next year. In fact we won't get one until May at the annual Financial Analyst Day hosted by the company. Last year AMD hosted the Core Innovation Summit in May. And it was all about the company's ambidextrous strategy and how ARM is going to be a significant focus for years to come.

AMD To Disclose 14nm FinFET CPU and GPU Roadmaps  - Zen, K12 and Arctic Islands

This year is going to be a bit different. We'll get a more well defined roadmap especially with regards to products. Last year it was all about the company's core IP and how it's evolving. This year will be about the products that AMD plans to build with this new IP. Last year it was all about ARM, this year will be x86's turn in the spot-light. And for the first time the company will be timing 14nm and 16nm FinFET process nodes. The most significant nodes since the long-lived 28nm process.

The roadmaps will include AMD's upcoming products based on the next-generation x86 high-performance Zen core and ARMv8 64bit K12 core. In addition to an all new family of FinFET based GPUs code named Arctic Islands. These will feature the company's most significant architectural evolution on the GPU front since the introduction of GCN (Graphics Core Next) back in late 2011.

Thankfully, we already know some of what's going to be revealed at the event. Starting off with Zen, we know that AMD is working on a family of products that will incorporate this new core. Code named Summit Ridge, will feature up to 8 cores, 95W TDP, DDR4 memory support and a new FM3 socket. These will constitute the spiritual successors to the Phenom processors of yesteryear.  The Southbridge for this family of chips is rumored to be developed by Asmedia, an Asus subsidiary. We also exclusively told you that Zen will be arriving to servers first, with high-end desktop parts following soon afterwards. Zen will be AMD's biggest x86 high performance server play since the original Opteron in the early 2000s.

After that we've got the Arctic Islands family of GPUs. These will be the first set of high-performance graphics chips to be fabbed on a FinFET process. The new GPUs will introduce the most significant leap in performance/watt according to AMD's Chief Technology Officer, Mark Papermaster. And will feature an all new post-GCN graphics architecture. All Arctic Islands GPUs will feature stacked high-bandwidth memory (HBM). We don't know if AMD will disclose this as well, but we know that the company is working on HBM based APUs as well that will debut with Zen.
Rory Read, AMD's ex-CEO, focused during his three year tenure on bringing AMD back to its optimum operating efficiency. He also focused on creating a very strong core graphics and CPU IP foundation for the future. And a new dynamic design infrastructure that would enable AMD to tailor products specifically for each segment (desktop, mobile, server, embedded etc...) without inflating cost.
Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's current President and CEO is focusing on putting that new IP into the best possible product configurations. This includes directly addressing the mobile, desktop and long-forgotten but very lucrative server market. Which all high-end desktop parts have historically been derived from.

It takes several years for all of these efforts to pay dividends. This year AMD's Carrizo APU and R9 300 series graphics cards are positioned only to serve as appetizers for what's to come in 2016.

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