Intel Used A Lot Of AMD Zen Block Diagrams In Next-Gen Ocean Cove Patent [Updated]


Update: 2:02 AM GMT+5, 4/7/2022. Article updated with Intel's statement. We would also like to note that Intel had provided a citation in the patent to AMD's Zen presentation at HotChips (which is where all the block diagrams are from). As expected, this is not a case of Intel trying to patent any Zen-based tech and instead just legal boilerplate (probably by an enthusiastic intern). An official statement by an Intel spokesperson is given below:
When filing a patent application, citation to existing and relevant technologies in the industry is a common practice. U.S. Pat. No. 11,294,809 discloses Intel innovations in the context of alternative implementations and does not attempt to copy or patent inventions of any other company. Intel respects the intellectual property rights of all parties. - Intel Spokesperson

Intel and AMD currently have their own architectures powering their CPU lineups but it looks like the blue team has been looking at the red team's recent architectures really close when designing their next-gen processors.

Intel's Next-Gen Ocean Cove Core Architecture Looks Like An Exact Copy of AMD's Zen Core In Granted Patent

Shared by Patent hunter and expert, Underfox, over on his Twitter, it looks like the first details of Intel's Ocean Cove architecture, which is being developed by the team over at Hillsboro, have been granted a patent. The patent has been shared but Underfox compared the various block diagrams within it to a technology that was around since 2017 and the discovery is going to shock you all.

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Intel Ocean Cove Patent Copies AMD Zen Core Architecture (Image Credits: UnderFox):


As you can see, the Intel Ocean Cove core architecture layout, both low-level and high-level, is an exact copy of AMD's original Zen core architecture. Even from the most basic Execution, Fetch and Decode layers to the topmost core hierarchy and chiplet design, everything is a blatant copy of the first Zen architecture which was fabricated on a 14nm process node. From what we know, Intel's Ocean Cove core architecture was meant to be fabricated on the company's 7nm process node so Intel '4' but we haven't heard anything about it since over a year.

Intel Ocean Cove Patent vs AMD Zen Core Complex Design (Image Credits: UnderFox):

Now, this could simply be a case of an internee who wrote the patent reusing AMD's slides that may have nothing to do with the Ocean Cove core architecture itself but just using for reference amongst other things as highlighted by Dr. Ian Cutress, Analyst at More Than Moore.

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It is still interesting to see Intel's Hillsboro team who are working on the next-gen Ocean Cove architecture taking design inspiration from AMD's Zen core architecture despite the blue team being invested in a very hybrid ecosystem ahead. Surely, AMD and Intel have lots of things that could be learned from each other's architectural approaches and we hope they find strength in their own designs rather than copying someone else's homework.