AMD’s Updated Roadmap Suggest Zen 3 ‘Ryzen 4000’ CPUs Before RDNA 2 ‘Radeon RX’ 7nm+ GPUs – Aiming 2020 Launch

Sep 14, 2019
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AMD has updated their next-generation CPU and GPU roadmaps which confirm that the Zen 3 and RDNA 2 would be shipping to customers in 2020. The new products would utilize TSMC's bleeding-edge 7nm+ process node, delivering higher performance and much better efficiency than existing products.

AMD's 7nm+ Zen 3 'Ryzen 4000' CPUs Arrive Before RDNA 2 Based Radeon RX GPUs - Aiming A 2020 Launch Window

While AMD isn't yet done with their 7nm based Zen 2 or RDNA (1) GPUs, their roadmap confirms that we will get a taste of new designs in 2020. AMD's Zen 2 chip architecture would be replaced with the Zen 3 core while the 1st Generation RDNA architecture would be replaced with the 2nd Generation RDNA architecture.

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AMD Zen 3 7nm+ Chip Architecture - Zen 2 Refined For Next-Gen Servers and Desktops

The 7nm+ Zen 3 core design has been completed and we can see production commence sometime in 1H of 2020. While Zen 2 was the first processor architecture to be based on the 7nm node, Zen 3 would be based on an evolutionary 7nm+ node which allows for 20% more transistors than Zen 2's 7nm process. The 7nm+ process node also delivers 10% better efficiency. It is possible that we may not get as significant of a core bump as we got with Zen 2 processors but nevertheless, the added performance uplift would put more pressure on Intel in the server and desktop space.

One of the flagship products of the Zen 3 core architecture would be the 3rd Gen EPYC line known as Milan. The EPYC Milan series of processors would be deployed in the Perlmutter Exascale super-computer, designed by CRAY. Early specifications for a singular node reveal that the Milan CPU has 64 cores and 128 threads and AVX2 SIMD (256-bit). There's also support for 8-channel DDR ram & support for greater than 256 GB per node.

Aside from Zen 3, Zen 4 and Zen 5 have also been confirmed. The 3rd Generation EPYC lineup which was officially confirmed as 'Genoa' during the 2nd Generation EPYC 'Rome' launch event. Zen 4 is currently in-design and will have a launch scheduled around 2021-2022. It will be using sub-7nm process node and definitely be a proper upgrade over the Zen 2 / Zen 3 design. As with every Zen generation, the Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper lineups would also be available, battling out and dominating the desktop/HEDT landscape with sheer amounts of performance & disruptive value proposition.

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AMD CPU Roadmap (2018-2020)

Ryzen FamilyRyzen 1000 SeriesRyzen 2000 SeriesRyzen 3000 SeriesRyzen 4000 SeriesRyzen 5000 Series
ArchitectureZen (1)Zen (1) / Zen+Zen (2)Zen (3)Zen (4)
Process Node14nm14nm / 12nm7nm7nm+5nm/6nm?
High End Server (SP3)EPYC 'Naples'EPYC 'Naples'EPYC 'Rome'EPYC 'Milan'EPYC 'Genoa'
Max Server Cores / Threads32/6432/6464/128TBDTBD
High End Desktop (TR4)Ryzen Threadripper 1000 SeriesRyzen Threadripper 2000 SeriesRyzen Threadripper 3000 Series (Castle Peak)Ryzen Threadripper 4000 SeriesRyzen Threadripper 5000 Series
Max HEDT Cores / Threads16/3232/6464/128?TBDTBD
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 / Threads8/168/1616/32TBDTBD
Budget APU (AM4)N/ARyzen 2000 Series (Raven Ridge)Ryzen 3000 Series (Picasso 14nm Zen+)Ryzen 4000 Series (Renior)Ryzen 5000 Series
Year20172018201920202021?
What do you want to see in AMD's next-gen Zen 3 core architecture based CPUs?

AMD RDNA 2 7nm+ GPU Architecture - High-End Graphics Lineup With Ray Tracing Support

Moving on to the GPU side, AMD has also revealed that the RNDA 2 GPU architecture is currently in-design and scheduled for launch in 2020. Given that the Zen 3 design has completed and RDNA 2 is still in design, we can say that the CPU launch would be much ahead of the 7nm+ GPUs. We can see a possible CPU launch in mid of 2020 with GPUs arriving in late 2020.

There isn't much we know about RDNA 2 aside from rumors but what AMD has officially talked about is Ray Tracing which will be available on their next-gen GPU lineup. With their next-gen RDNA architecture, AMD plans to have hardware-level integration on their GPUs to support real-time ray tracing in games. This would put them on par with NVIDIA’s RTX technology which implemented ray-tracing support through hardware-level integration last year with their GeForce RTX 20 series cards.

AMD also wants to push RDNA 2 towards the higher-end spectrum of the market. While the first generation RDNA GPUs perform great in the $300-$500 segments, we would likely see a range of enthusiast-grade designs with RDNA 2 based Radeon RX series graphics cards. These would take the fight to NVIDIA's RTX 2080 SUPER / RTX 2080 Ti but NVIDIA isn't the company who would just silently sit through a competitors launch. Plans of NVIDIA's 7nm GPUs are underway and it is likely we would see a grand launch in 2020 for their next-generation graphics architecture, presumably known as 'Ampere'.

It should also be pointed out that high-end Navi GPUs might retain High-Bandwidth memory design like the current flagship. While AMD is featuring GDDR6 memory on their mainstream RDNA based cards, it is likely that the company would go ahead with the newer HBM2E VRAM.

The HBM2E DRAM comes in 8-Hi stack configuration and utilizes 16 Gb memory dies, stacked together and clocked at 3.2 Gbps. This would result in a total bandwidth of 410 GB/s on a single and 920 GB/s with two HBM2E stacks which is just insane. To top it all, the DRAM has a 1024-bit wide bus interface which is the same as current HBM2 DRAM. Samsung says that their HBM2E solution, when stacked in 4-way configuration, can offer up to 64 GB memory at 1.64 TB/s of bandwidth. Such products would only be suitable for servers/HPC workloads but a high-end graphics product for enthusiasts can feature up to 32 GB memory with just two stacks which is twice as much memory as the Radeon VII.

AMD GPU Architectures Comparison:

WccftechAMD Radeon RX 400 SeriesAMD Radeon RX 500 SeriesAMD Radeon RX Vega SeriesAMD Radeon RX 5700 SeriesAMD Radeon RX 5800 Series?
Architecture PolarisPolarisVegaNaviNavi
Process NodeGlobal Foundries 14nmGlobal Foundries 14nmGlobal Foundries 14nm / TSMC 7nmTSMC 7nmTSMC 7nm+
MemoryGDDR5GDDR5HBM2GDDR6GDDR6/HBM2?
Year2016-20172017-20182017-201920192020
GPUsPolaris 10, Polaris 11Polaris 20, Polaris 21, Polaris 22, Polaris 30Vega 10, Vega 20Navi 10, Navi 11Navi 20, Navi 21, Navi 23

AMD would definitely detail or give a glimpse of their next-generation product lineup at CES 2020 which would also most likely include the 3rd Generation Ryzen Threadripper lineup so stay tuned.

What do you want to see in AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 GPUs?

Products mentioned in this post

Radeon VII
Radeon VII
USD 849.99
RTX 2080
RTX 2080
USD 759.58
rtx 2080 SUPER
rtx 2080 SUPER
USD 946.84

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