AMD Promoting Next Generation x86 Zen Architecture For Server Market – Launch Expected in 2016

AMD is currently working on their next generation x86 Zen core architecture that is scheduled for launch in 2016. While the processors are still a year away from launch, Devinder Kumar (AMD's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer), revealed during the Morgan Stanley technology, media and telecom conference that they are actively working with customers in the server business to introduced Zen based parts in the 2016 time frame (via Kitguru).

AMD x86 Zen Likely To Hit Server Market in 2016 Timeframe

Prior to this, we had a report on the release schedule of the Zen architecture based processors that will be rolled out to the server market first. In the report, we explained how AMD will try to gain back their market share in the server business which currently stands at just 2-3 percent due to no updated offerings in this market space. The only server offerings AMD has in this market are the Warsaw offerings based on the old Piledriver cores and even though they come in 12-16 core models, they have been outpaced by Intel's brute Haswell server and workstation offerings. AMD will aim to resurrect their share by launching Zen for server market first as mentioned by Devinder:

“We are working very actively with our customers in the server business to introduce [Zen-based] part in the 2016 timeframe,”

“We know the server business earlier from our history, going back to the Opteron days; we know the x86, we know 64-bit and the [Zen] core will come in 2016, the new core for the traditional x86 server space and then revenue thereafter,” said Mr. Kumar. “But it is still a little while before we get there. But we will have a core then.” via Kitguru

The AMD Zen cores will take the best from Bulldozer and Jaguar, delivering a SMT (Simultaneous Multithreaded) design that takes advantage of the various resources in the core and dedicate it to an additional execution thread for added throughput. This adds to the area efficiency of the core design and reduces the effect of stalls and pipeline back pressure leading to improved resource utilization inside the core which in turn improves overall performance. The processors are supposed to be based on a 14nm FinFET core architecture that will be supplied by Global Foundries. If the roadmap holds true , then we will see the launch of Server x86 Zen CPUs in 2016 followed by workstation parts and finally the HEDT chips (High-end desktop chips).

Details on AMD's Summit Ridge family of processors that is rumored to be the first consumer level Zen offering were revealed last month. According to the details, the Summit Ridge series will contain up to 8 x86 cores based on the AMD Zen architecture and will be manufactured by either Samsung or Global Foundries. On power side, while AMD’s FX series currently pushes the TDP to 95W on APUs, 125W on FX series and 220W on the 5 GHz series, the Zen based processors will feature a maximum TDP of 95W which is inline with Intel’s 22nm Haswell offerings and upcoming Skylake offerings that hit the market in Q3 2015. There will also be more power efficient variants toning the TDP down to more conservative levels as Zen will be featured across the board and is likely to be as scalable as Broadwell architecture which has seen 4.5W TDP variants in the form of Broadwell-Y.

Still Zen is not going to launch any time soon and the only updates AMD is likely to deliver on the desktop front are related to the APU sector. In this regard, AMD has planned their Godavari Kaveri refresh which is going to launch in mid-2015, their Carrizo APUs are also expected to hit mobility platforms around the same time and last but not least, an Excavator powered desktop series called "Bristol Ridge" is expected to arrive in 2016 at the same time as Zen enters market.

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