AMD Zen Launching In January At CES 2017 – High-End X370 AM4 Motherboards Shipping In December

Khalid Moammer

AMD's next generation Zen CPUs will reportedly launch at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January 2017. This next generation family of desktop processors code-named Summit Ridge will feature up to eight cores & sixteen threads and will be compatible with AMD's upcoming AM4 platform. There will a wide collection of AM4 motherboards displayed on the show floor, including the high-end models featuring the X370 series chipset.

This news, which will undoubtedly have AMD fans excited to bits, comes directly from the supply chain reports Digitimes. AMD is currently in the process of clearing its existing inventories of FX 8300, 6300 and 4300 series processors with a combination of aggressive price cuts and bundles to make way for Zen.

AMD Zen CPUs Launching At CES 2017 In January, High-End X370 AM4 Motherboards Shipping In December

This doesn't necessarily come as a surprise.  After all, AMD did hint during its $1000 i7 6900K performance topping demonstration of Zen that we’ll see Summit Ridge CPUs on the show floor at CES.  We've also heard news of motherboard makers building their inventories of AM4 products very recently. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago we started seeing AM4 motherboards show up in the wild. All of which indicate that the platform is indeed ready to go as soon as the chips hit the market early next year.

The boards that we've seen over the past little while have been entry-level and mid-range products. High-end X370 AM4 motherboards will be shipping in December and launch at CES. There's talk that we might get a look at some of those higher-end boards some time this month.

Motherboard partners have also reportedly witnessed improved performance from AMD beginning in early 2016. Driven by more semi-custom designs and the company's newfound success in the Chinese market. Including rising IP licensing deals, several joint ventures and monetization of testing and packaging facilities.

Backside of AMD AM4 Zen Summit Ridge & Bristol Ridge Processors via hwsw

AM4 Motherboards & The High-End X370 "Promontory" Chipset Detailed

Summit Ridge & Bristol Ridge CPUs & APUs share pin to pin compatibility on the AM4 socket.  Giving prospective Bristol Ridge owners a clear upgrade path to the high-end Zen "Summit Ridge" parts. Bristol Ridge APUs have begun shipping to OEMs last month. Boxed DIY Bristol Ridge APUs will be available, we're told, in retail stores by the November-December time frame.

There are three different chipsets for the AM4 socket to serve different areas of the market. The highest end chipset has now been revealed to be the X370. If you're planning to build a Summit Ridge based build this will likely your best way to go. Along with the X370 chipset AM4 will also support two other chipsets for the mid-range and entry level market dubbed "B350" and "A320".

All Zen FX CPUs that are part of the Summit Ridge family will include the company’s new platform security processor, PCIe 3.0 support, dual channel DDR4 memory controllers, copious amounts of L3 cache and updated storage features. Including USB3.1 and NVMe. Summit Ridge will include CPUs ranging from 8 cores & 16 threads to 4 cores & 8 threads with 95-65 watts of power.


AM4’s Key Features

  • DDR4 Memory
  • PCIe Gen 3
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 10Gbps
  • NVMe
  • SATA Express

AMD Zen Press Release
From 7th Gen APUs to upcoming Zen-based “Summit Ridge” desktop processors, the future-ready AM4 platform features the newest I/O standards and an AMD commitment to support it into the future.

The initial “Zen” cores for “Summit Ridge”-powered desktops will utilize the AMD AM4 socket, a new unified socket infrastructure that is compatible with 7th Generation AMD A-Series desktop processors. With dedicated PCIe® lanes for cutting-edge USB, graphics, data and other I/O, the AMD AM4 platform will not steal lanes from other devices and components. This allows users to enjoy systems with improved responsiveness and the future looking technologies that the AM4 platform provides, resulting in a powerful, scalable and reliable computing solution for all their needs.

AMD's Journey To Zen

Zen has been one of AMD's most eagerly anticipated products for as far as I can remember. It’s the company’s first attempt to compete at the high-end, enthusiast, CPU market since the introduction of the Bulldozer microarchitecture five years ago. Zen breaks new ground for AMD in many ways. It’s the company’s first ever CPU architecture to feature simultaneous multithreading. It’s also the very first product for AMD to be built on a process technology that's very close to parity with Intel since the days of the original Athlon more than a decade ago.

This fact alone is huge. It means that for the very first time since the early 2000s AMD’s CPU products won’t be at an inherent disadvantage due to Intel’s process lead. From an architectural point of view Zen is a brand new clean-slate design that’s been led from the get-go by accomplished CPU architect Jim Keller. The very same engineer that played a pivotal role in designing the original Athlon XP and Athlon64 processors. The most competitive CPU products in the history of the company.

Zen is AMD’s biggest long-term technology bet and one of the company’s largest engineering efforts undertaken by the company. President & CEO Lisa Su stated that this year’s products, culminated in Zen and Polaris, represent company’s most competitive roadmap in more than a decade.

AMD President & CEO Lisa Su – Q4 2015 Earnings Call

We remain focused on completing our strategic work around three key growth pillars. First, in PCs, even in a declining overall market, we believe we can regain client compute and discrete graphics share for the year, driven by gaming, VR, commercial, and our most competitive product roadmap in more than a decade.
We have clear opportunities to regain GPU share in 2016 based on the performance per watt of our new GPUs and software leadership. Earlier this quarter at CES, we announced our new Polaris GPU architecture, which we expect to begin shipping in the middle of 2016.”

Getting Back In The Game

The promise was to deliver a modern performant and power efficient microarchitectre. Everything that we've seen so far indicates that Zen is indeed that. A single Zen core delivers double the performance of a Bulldozer core and uses less power. A point that the company drove home hard recently with an incredibly impressive public performance demo.

It's not all about the core microarchitecture. To ensure Zen is a success AMD has built a comprehensive eco-system around it. Including the AM4 socket that we have already discussed at length as well as a collection of new system IP. Which includes new security & encryption IP as well as a brand new CPU interconnect technology that's going to play a pivotal role in supercomputing.

Next Generation AMD CPUs And APUs

WCCFTechAMD Summit RidgeAMD Pinnacle RidgeAMD Bristol RidgeAMD Raven RidgeAMD Gray Hawk
Family NameRyzenTBDAMD 7th Gen A-SeriesRyzenTBD
Product ArchitectureZenZen Refresh / Zen 2ExcavatorZenZen 2
Process Node14nm12nm28nm14nm14nm
CPU CoresUp to 8Up to 8Up to 4Up to 4Up to 4
GPU ArchitectureN/AN/ACaribbean IslandsVegaNavi
Memory SupportDDR4DDR4DDR4DDR4DDR4
Launch201720182016 (Mobile)
2017 (Desktop)
2017 (Mobile)
2018 (Desktop)
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