AMD: Our Goal Is To Beat The Industry’s Annual 7% IPC Growth With Future Zen Cores Every 12-18 Months
In an interview with Anandtech, AMD has revealed that their goal with future Zen cores including Zen 3, Zen 4, and Zen 5 would be to beat the current standard IPC growth rate, offering more CPU performance each generation to end-users.
AMD: Our Goal Is To Beat The Industry's Annual 7% IPC Growth With Future Zen Cores - Next-Gen EPYC and Ryzen CPUs To Provide Bigger Uplifts In Performance
We know that AMD is working on future Zen cores with the design of Zen 3 complete and multiple teams working on the next-generation Zen 4 and Zen 5 cores. AMD's CTO, Mark Papermaster, had some interesting information to share regarding their future Zen core roadmap and the leverages to IPC that they have internally estimated for their upcoming products. First up, Mark was asked of AMD's product roadmap to which he replied that AMD is following a 12-18 month cadence.
Dr. Ian Cutress: So far AMD’s rate of new products is on track to produce a new core almost every year. The roadmaps quite proudly showcase Zen 3 as almost ready, Zen 4 in development, and Zen 5 further out. Is this cadence sustainable?
Mark Papermaster: We’re on a 12-18 month cadence, and we believe that is sustainable. It’s what the industry demands from us.
Mark also stated that AMD is not eyeing Tick-Tock cadence as a model for their Zen roadmap which contradicts the statement from AMD's SVP, Forrest Norrod, who had stated otherwise.
MP: I didn’t see the particular interview you’re referring to, but what I will say is that we’re not on a tick-tock model. What we’re doing is looking at each generation of CPU and marrying the best process variant that’s out there with the right set of IPC improvements, memory hierarchy, and all the things that we can put in there. We are committed to staying on the best possible pace of improvements each generation that we can. This is a formula that’s working well for us at AMD.
Forrest Norrod, stated that AMD will be following Intel's Tick-Tock cadence which Intel seems to have completely abandoned. AMD states that like Intel, a Tick would represent a new process node but similar architecture design as the previous offering while a Tock would represent a brand new chip architecture, but with a similar or improved process node. This shows that the Zen 3 architecture will be AMD's first proper Tock since the original Zen core while the existing Zen 2 architecture is a Tick. The Zen+ cores can also be considered a Tock but having a '+', they were more of a mid-term solution that AMD offered with the then brand new 12nm process node.
Also, the 12-18 months cadence would point to a 2H 2020 launch for Zen 3 which is in-line with what many have predicted for the next-generation Ryzen and EPYC CPU lineup. Also in a previous interview, Mark had confirmed that both Zen 4 and Zen 5 cores were being developed by two leap-frogging teams. This means that AMD is simultaneously working on both Zen 4 and Zen 5 with two different teams to streamline the development and design process.
The more interesting information comes from Mark when he was asked about the IPC growth of future Zen cores. It was stated that the industry as a whole has been on a slow 7% annual IPC growth trajectory and AMD's goal is to beat it. AMD has already beaten that with their previous releases, offering a mammoth 15% IPC growth with their Zen 2 core architecture and are expected to deliver as much as 17% IPC growth next year with Zen 3 cores.
We’ve stated before that the industry has been on a slow 7% annual growth rate in single-threaded performance, and our goal is to beat that with every generation of our products. We’ve executed better than the industry with our recent products and we exceeded industry expectations.
Mark also didn't entirely rule out the possibility of a Zen 2+ core and stated that if they (AMD) see the opportunity to provide a bump in performance, power or die area, similar to what they did with the original Zen with its Zen+ revision, a Zen 2+ may happen. But with eyes set on Zen 3, the most likely case would be that we will be getting that instead of a Zen 2+. Other than that, Mark also confirmed that each new generation of Zen would also get a new generation of Infinity Fabric to go along with the new cores.
As for the core count, AMD wants to keep pushing the boundaries with future Zen architectures including Zen 3. Just like Zen 2 doubled the core count of Zen, offering up to 64 cores and 128 threads, Zen 3 would also drive higher core counts with improved nodes. AMD's chiplet design for Zen 2 is one of the most advanced in the industry, offering high core counts at incredibly good performance efficiency.
IC: Should we expect Zen 2 to have a refresh, like a Zen 2+, like Zen 1 did?
MP: I have nothing to say on any refresh on current designs, but we always look at where it makes sense and where we’re able to take opportunities to provide a bump in performance, power, or die area.
IC: With every new generation of Zen, would it be safe to assume that we should expect new generations of Infinity Fabric to partner them?
MP: That would be my expectation.
In the coming Zen iterations, Mark has stated that Infinity Fabric would continue to evolve to keep up with higher-bandwidth interfaces such as DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 (already confirmed for 2021) that would be featured on AMD's lineup around 2021-2022. What's clear is that the mind share and the market share are on AMD's side and they are all set to surpass their historical market shares in the desktop and server segments. AMD is already eyeing for a double-digit server market share in the coming year with EPYC Milan processors while Ryzen 4000 series would further cement their sheer dominance in the consumer market.
AMD CPU Roadmap (2018-2020)
|Ryzen Family||Ryzen 1000 Series||Ryzen 2000 Series||Ryzen 3000 Series||Ryzen 4000 Series||Ryzen 5000 Series|
|Architecture||Zen (1)||Zen (1) / Zen+||Zen (2) / Zen+||Zen (3)||Zen (4)|
|Process Node||14nm||14nm / 12nm||7nm||7nm+||5nm?|
|High End Server (SP3)||EPYC 'Naples'||EPYC 'Naples'||EPYC 'Rome'||EPYC 'Milan'||EPYC 'Genoa'|
|Max Server Cores / Threads||32/64||32/64||64/128||TBD||TBD|
|High End Desktop (TR4)||Ryzen Threadripper 1000 Series||Ryzen Threadripper 2000 Series||Ryzen Threadripper 3000 Series (Castle Peak)||Ryzen Threadripper 4000 Series (Genesis Peak)||Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Series|
|Max HEDT Cores / Threads||16/32||32/64||64/128||64/128?||TBD|
|Mainstream Desktop (AM4)||Ryzen 1000 Series (Summit Ridge)||Ryzen 2000 Series (Pinnacle Ridge)||Ryzen 3000 Series (Matisse)||Ryzen 4000 Series (Vermeer)||Ryzen 5000 Series|
|Max Mainstream Cores / Threads||8/16||8/16||16/32||TBD||TBD|
|Budget APU (AM4)||N/A||Ryzen 2000 Series (Raven Ridge)||Ryzen 3000 Series (Picasso 14nm Zen+)||Ryzen 4000 Series (Renior)||Ryzen 5000 Series|
We will see a full range of next-gen AMD Ryzen 4000 and EPYC Milan CPUs landing next year with brand new technologies, and once again stunning performance/price segments for everyone. Expect to hear more about AMD's next-gen Zen 3 core based CPUs including the Ryzen & EPYC families at CES 2020.