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AMD Zen 3 ‘4000 Series’ Processors And 600 Series Chipset Landing In Late 2020, Getting USB 4.0

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It is a brand new year and its time for some brand new leaks. This one comes from Electronic Times and they claim that AMD's 600-series chipsets will be landing near the end of 2020. The 600-series chipsets will not only support USB 3.2 but 4.0 as well. The new chipset is designed for Zen 3 based processors and should usher in a new era for AMD processors bringing IPC gains that will put even Zen 2 to shame. We have already heard about this particular timeline and considering this is the second leak reiterating that it is starting to look like reality.

AMD 600-series chipsets will be ready by end of 2020, Zen 3 launching at CES 2021?

Of course, if this report is to be believed then we are looking at the Zen 3-based Ryzen 4000 series processors launching at CES 2021 (considering it doesn't make much sense to launch the processors without the underlying 600-series chipset becoming available). Backward compatibility and support is something on which we have very little information at this point so its best to keep an open mind.

The same source expects 500-series chipsets including the B550 and A520 to start production in the first quarter of 2020. The 600-series counterparts, on the other hand, will be getting some serious upgrades including a USB 4.0 controller. AMD's Zen 3 based processors are expected to be the pinnacle of Zen-based CPU architecture and will be the mature process on the 7nm process from TSMC. Speaking of which, TSMC is expecting AMD to become the largest customer on its 7nm process node this year (it is currently no. 4 on the list).

AMD is currently supply-locked since TSMC's 7nm capacity is fully maxed out with Apple taking on a huge chunk. Sometime around 2H 2020, Apple will be moving on to the 5nm process leaving AMD completely free to take ownership of the 7nm process. Word on the grapevine is that the company has already put in a request for an additional 30,000 wafers (which is a huge amount by the way). Meanwhile, Intel remains supply locked as its foundries work at peak capacity.

AMD's 600-series chipsets will be led by the X670 chipset which will replace the older X570 PCH. Here is where things get murkier, however. According to rumors, the AMD X670 PCH will retain the AM4 socket and feature PCI 4.0 support as well as increased IO support. There are also chances that Thunderbolt 3 will be featured natively on the chipset. Now, here is where things get interesting: there is a good chance AMD chooses to retire the AM4 socket with the 600-series chipsets regardless of what rumors are pointing to right now.

Why? The company is already doing so on the HEDT side of things and it makes sense to streamline the mainstream side as well. Secondly, the introduction of new tech like USB 4.0 might actually make this a business decision worth taking. Thirdly, the AM4 platform would actually have been with us for more than 4 years by the end of 2020 and it would be about time for it to go. If AMD's new platform also supports DDR5 and PCIe 5.0, then it would be a no-brainer to change the socket as well for long-term compatibility.

AMD's SVP, Forrest Norrod, has previously revealed how Zen 3 is going to bring an entirely new chip architecture along with other key enhancements. Based on the 7nm+ process node, AMD aims to deliver some major IPC improvements and key architectural changes with Zen 3 cores. In an ironic turn of events, AMD will also follow the Intel Tick-Tock cadence with Zen 2 being the Tick since it offers a new process node and an evolution to the original Zen design rather than a complete architectural change while the Zen 3 core will be AMD's Tock, offering a similar but enhanced process node (7nm+) alongside a brand new architecture.

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