AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 Comes To AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs First, EPYC Rome Confirmed For Q3 2019

May 1
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In their earnings call today, AMD confirmed that they will be launching their new 7nm based EPYC Rome processors in Q3 2019. The company also confirmed the launch of their Radeon Navi GPUs in Q3 2019, you can get more details on those here.

7nm Zen 2 Comes To AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs First, EPYC Rome Processors Landing in Q3 2019

The confirmation is very interesting since that shows when AMD plans to launch its product lines based on the 7nm Zen 2 architecture. There are three main products coming in 2019 which would utilize the Zen 2 architecture and these include:

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  • AMD Ryzen 3000 Series (Mainstream)
  • AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000 Series (HEDT)
  • AMD EPYC Rome Series (Server)

Following is the official statement from CEO, Lisa Su, during the earnings call:

Turning to our next-generation Rome processor, we made excellent progress in the quarter, achieving key production milestones with our largest OEM and cloud customers.

We’re very excited about the performance of Rome, which is on track to deliver four times the floating point performance and double the compute performance per socket compared to our current generation EPYC processors. We are on track to begin Rome production shipments in the second quarter to support a third-quarter launch. – AMD’s CEO, Lisa Su

Now for some time, we have expected the Ryzen 3000 series and EPYC Rome processors to launch at the same time but that isn’t the case. In fact, AMD will now be bringing their next-generation Zen 2 based CPUs to the mainstream AM4 platform first. Starting off with their Ryzen 3000 CPUs, AMD will be hitting Intel at a time when blue team’s processors are faced by severe shortages due to the 14nm supply constraints. The shortages are expected to last till Q3 2019 and that gives AMD lots of time to take a major chunk of market share for themselves.

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 (3) Zen (4)
Process Node 14nm 14nm / 12nm 7nm 7nm+ 5nm/6nm?
High End Server (SP3) EPYC 'Naples' EPYC 'Naples' EPYC 'Rome' EPYC 'Milan' EPYC 'Next-Gen'
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 Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Series
Max HEDT Cores / Threads 16/32 32/64 64/128? TBD 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
Year 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021?

Here’s What To Expect From The AMD Ryzen 3000 Series Processors

The AMD Ryzen 3000 lineup is based on the new Zen 2 core architecture which is made possible with TSMC’s bleeding edge 7nm process node. AMD has reaffirmed that their Zen 2 based Ryzen 3000 series processors for the AM4 desktop platform will be available in mid of 2019. We are now hearing multiple reports of a possible launch in early July and that might be it as far as the launch day is concerned for the new desktop processors.

AMD has made significant changes to their CPU architecture which help deliver twice the throughput of their first generation Zen architecture. The major points include an entirely redesigned execution pipeline, major floating point advances which doubled the floating point registers to 256-bit and double bandwidth for load/store units. One of the key upgrades for Zen 2 is the doubling of the core density which means we are now looking at 2x the core count for each core complex (CCX).

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  • Improved Execution Pipeline
  • Doubled Floating Point (256-bit) and Load/Store (Doubled Bandwidth)
  • Doubled Core Density
  • Half the Energy Per Operation
  • Improved Branch Prediction
  • Better Instruction Pre-Fetching
  • Re-Optimized Instruction Cache
  • Larger Op Cache
  • Increased Dispatch / Retire Bandwidth
  • Maintaining High Throughput for All Modes

Zen 2 also includes stronger hardware level enhancements when it comes to security. This further solidifies AMD CPUs against enhanced Spectre variants and these mitigations will be adopted fully by Zen 2. When it comes to Zen, AMD already had strong software level support when it came to security and they have further enhanced it through low-level software mitigations.

AMD X570 Chipset – A New House For AMD’s Next-Gen Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs

As we saw with X470, there were a few features for the Ryzen 2000 series processors which were only supported by new motherboards such as Precision Boost Overdrive and XFR 2.0. There’s no doubt that AMD’s Zen 2 based Ryzen mainstream processor family would come with new features but the main highlight would be support for PCIe Gen4. The X570 platform will be an all PCIe Gen4 solution, which means this would most probably be the first consumer platform to feature support for the new PCIe standard.

A teaser shot of an upcoming ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming motherboard which is expected to be unveiled at Computex 19.

That, however, doesn’t mean that AMD Ryzen 3000 series would only be compatible on X570 boards since just like last time, the new CPUs will be backward compatible with X470 & X370 boards too. They certainly won’t display the same feature set that will be available on the newly launched X570 lineup but will feature fully stable functionality for users who just want to drop in a new CPU and continue using their PCs without the hassle of upgrading the motherboard and everything from scratch.

Here’s What To Expect From The AMD Ryzen 3000 Threadripper Series Processors

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000 series family will debut in the second half of 2019. This family will be internally known as “Castle Peak” and is stated to bring dominant leadership in the HEDT market. The family will prove to be a new watermark in performance and overall efficiency while new platform features will be introduced on the TR4 socketed motherboards to take them to the next level. We will also be looking at PCIe Gen 4.0 support on these motherboards which is already confirmed for the X570 chipset based AM4 motherboards for Ryzen 3000 series CPUs.

Considering that AMD would want to remain in a dominant position with the Threadripper 3000 series, we will be looking at some spectacular amounts of multi-threaded performance numbers which would only get better with the added clock speeds thanks to the 7nm process node. The CPUs will also be getting a major core bumps but AMD would like to keep prices close to current levels.

If we look at the trend with AMD’s jump from Ryzen Threadripper 1000 to Ryzen Threadripper 2000, we saw that the new processors with core parity of the previous generation were priced around the same with a $200-$300 shaved off from their previous price tag. The 1950X became 2950X and cost $200 US less. The higher core count parts were at a different market tier entirely, costing north of $1200 US but at the same time, much cheaper than their Core-X competitors.

A leaked slide listing down the main features of AMD’s 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper CPUs, internally codenamed “Castle Peak”. (Image Credits – Informatica Cero)

In terms of raw performance output, the new die layout remains to be tested but since it is more refined over the previous two generations with a stronger interconnect between them, the cache and latency performance may end up giving a bigger boost to total system responsiveness.

AMD EPYC Rome Server Processors – Here’s What To Expect

As for the EPYC Rome processors, AMD has confirmed that they are aiming a launch in Q3 2019 which should be a few months apart from the Ryzen and the Ryzen Threadripper processors. The AMD EPYC Rome processor family is expected to lift AMD’s server CPU market share to 10% by 2020 which is a great deal considering Intel’s ex-CEO, Brian Krzanich, had stated that they don’t want AMD capturing 15% market share but given the demand and adoption of EPYC processors in major server platforms, 15% shouldn’t be too far from now.

Just for number’s sake, Dell EMC has announced that they will be tripling their AMD server offering by adopting more of the EPYC range of processors.

“Out of, let’s say, 50 or so platforms that we have today,” he said, “three of them are AMD – we’ll probably triple that by the end of this year.”

He also confirmed that Dell EMC will be launching servers powered by AMD’s newest architecture – a 7nm architecture codenamed ‘Rome’ – in the second half of 2019.

– Dominique Vanhamme (DELL EMEA vice president and general manager for storage and compute)

via IT Pro

Based on such strong growth figures and adoption rate, we can expect AMD to give major blows to Intel’s Xeon efforts and their server side of operations. We should expect up to 64 cores and 128 threads along with impressive PCIe Gen 4 connectivity with up to 162  lanes as summarized here.

It should also be pointed out that when AMD was designing their 7nm Zen 2 based EPYC Rome processors, they had internally estimated what the performance of Intel’s next-gen server part would be like. The next-gen 10nm part known as Ice Lake-SP is scheduled to launch for 2020 with Cascade Lake-SP and Cooper Lake-SP being offered as an intermediary solution based on 14nm (++) while the Cascade Lake-AP and Cooper Lake-AP would be designed as a multi-core HPC part.

“Rome was designed to compete favorably with “Ice Lake” Xeons, but it is not going to be competing against that chip. We are incredibly excited, and it is all coming together at one point.” – Forrest Norrod.

“Our plan for the Naples-Rome-Milan roadmap was based on assumptions around Intel’s roadmap and our estimation of what would we do if we were Intel,” Norrod continues.

“We thought deeply about what they are like, what they are not like, what their culture is and what their likely reactions are, and we planned against a very aggressive Intel roadmap, and I really Rome and Milan and what is after them against what we thought Intel could do. And then, we come to find out that they can’t do what we thought they might be able to. And so, we have an incredible opportunity

via TheNextPlatform

AMD confirmed that their EPYC Rome processors have been designed to compete favorably against Intel’s Ice Lake-SP parts. This only means that AMD would have an even greater edge versus the Intel 14nm++ server parts arriving this year.

One of the biggest advantage that EPYC Rome processors will have over Intel parts is that they will be socket compatible with EPYC Naples so all of those vendors who have been using Naples would get drop-in compatibility for AMD’s next-gen 7nm EPYC Rome processors on day one.

AMD looks to be in a really good position with their EPYC server processors, even more so than their desktop and mobility portfolios. If everything runs smoothly for AMD and their long-term Zen roadmap in the years to come, we can see them dominating all sectors of the CPU market again.

Which upcoming AMD 7nm consumer products are you most excited about?
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