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AMD Summit Ridge Processor With Zen CPU Architecture Shown off – 8 Core / 16 Thread Enthusiast Chip For AM4 Desktop Platform


AMD's CEO, Lisa Su, has just shown off the first sample of their company's Zen architecture based Summit Ridge processor. The latest chip was shown off to several members of the press at AMD's Computex press conference where AMD announced a range of new products such as the new Radeon RX series GPUs and the Bristol Ridge APU lineup. The AMD Summit Ridge processor is on schedule and will be available to enthusiasts later this year.

AMD's CEO shows off the first sample of Zen based Summit Ridge processor.

AMD Zen Based Summit Ridge CPU Shown off - Fast 8 Core and 16 Thread Chips Designed For Enthusiast PCs

The first thing we can note about the sample which AMD showed is that it features a design similar to current generation FX-Series processors.  AMD also hasn't shifted away from their pin design confirming that the AM4 platform which will support Bristol Ridge and Summit Ridge processors will get a similar socket layout as AM3+. Talking about AM4, AMD has confirmed that AM4 is already shipping to OEMs and will be available to buyers soon along with 7th generation desktop APUs.

AMD debuted the world's first live public demonstration of its revolutionary x86 "Zen" processor core architecture in the next-generation AM4 desktop processor (codenamed "Summit Ridge") which features eight cores and sixteen threads. AMD's "Zen" core is designed to scale across multiple markets including high-performance desktops, servers, notebooks and embedded solutions with first availability planned in our high-performance desktop "Summit Ridge" processor. via AMD

The AMD Summit Ridge FX-Series processor will house the new Zen architecture which is aiming to deliver up to 40% IPC (Instructions Per Clock) improvement over the existing Bulldozer architecture. AMD has confirmed that their Zen based Summit Ridge processors will feature 8 cores and 16 threads (SMT). The Summit Ridge chips are going to compete against Intel's current generation products as AMD mentioned that they have achieved parity in performance against their age old competitor:

“By the end of the year, AMD will have moved on, to both its Zen CPU core as well as the Polaris graphics architecture. We are far closer to Intel than ever before – you always need a number two to keep them honest,” said John Taylor. via ITWire

With Zen architecture, AMD plans to aim several different markets as its a scalable solution in design. AMD will first be shipping Zen in their Summit Ridge processors for enthusiast PCs. After that, AMD will be shipping Zen to server and workstations where we can see an even higher core count on Zen based Opteron processors. The AMD APU family will also get a taste of Zen on both desktops and mobility fronts next year.

AMD Zen 14nm FinFET Process and Microarchitecture Details

The Summit Ridge die is rectangular in shape. It houses two computing clusters placed at the opposite ends of the chip. Each computing cluster is comprised of four Zen cores. This rounds up to a total of eight Zen cores in each die. Each core in a given cluster of four shares L3 cache with the other three adjacent cores in the same cluster. In terms of other logic we can also see what appears to a DDR4 PHY placed in the lower left corner of the die. In addition to the DDR4 memory controller the Summit SOC also includes an integrated northbridge as well as numerous I/O logic.

Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process which Globalfoundries has licensed is going to be the basis of all of AMD’s next generation CPU, APU and GPU products. The company’s Chief Technology Officer Mark Papermaster made the announcement last year that the 14LPP process – Samsung’s high performance 14nm process – will be leveraged across all of AMD’s future products.

Mark Papermaster
FinFET technology is expected to play a critical foundational role across multiple AMD product lines, starting in 2016, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has worked tirelessly to reach this key milestone on its 14LPP process. We look forward to GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ continued progress towards full production readiness and expect to leverage the advanced 14LPP process technology across a broad set of our CPU, APU, and GPU products. – Press Release

The 14LPP process features 3D finfet transistors and significantly smaller gates compared to 28nm. Chips manufactured on the 14LPP process have more than double the density of 28nm. Additionally, 14nm FinFET transistors are capable of significantly faster switching speeds. Products designed for the process will be able to achieve much higher frequencies than the same designs on 28nm. The process also delivers considerable power savings, essentially cutting power consumption by half. We can't wait to hear more about Zen when it is close to launch.

WCCFTechAMD Summit RidgeIntel Kaby Lake
Product NamingAMD RYZENIntel Core 7000 Series
Product SegmentMainstream Desktop PCsMainstream Desktop PCs
Product Architecturex86 Zen (+40% IPC compared to Excavator)7th Gen Kaby Lake (Same IPC as Skylake)
Process Node14nm14nm+
Max CPU Cores/Threads8/164/8
GPU ArchitectureN/AIntel HD 600 Series
TDPUp to 95WUp to 95W
SocketAM4LGA 1151
Memory SupportDDR4DDR4
LaunchFebruary - March 2017January 2017