AMD Reveals High-Performance Zen CPU, GPUs With HBM, And FinFET

Today, during AMD's Financial Analyst Day 2015 presentation, AMD announced that it is working on a new x86 microarchitecture called "Zen," succeeding the Excavator core, along with a couple of new tidbits on GPUs.

The Zen core is based off of a completely new core design, which is aimed at high performance, offering over 40 percent more instructions per clock than its predecessor. AMD CTO Mark Papermaster said that it would have simultaneous multithreading for high throughput, along with a new high-bandwidth low-latency cache system.

More interesting, although arguably unsurprising, is that the new CPUs will be based on the new energy-efficient FinFET technology.

On the high-end side, AMD will be introducing a new FX CPU with these new cores, which will have a  "high core count," drop into a new AM4 CPU socket, and have support for DDR4 memory.

With the new Zen, AMD intends on putting competition back into the high-performance x86 CPU market, so our hopes are high.

Beyond the new Zen core, AMD also announced some work in the GPU department. For 2016, its goals are to create even high-performance GPUs that offer twice the energy efficiency, which it will achieve by using FinFET technology.

That's not all, though. These new GPUs would come with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), which is essentially a 3D DRAM die stack on an interposer that creates a shorter path for data to travel to the GPU. Thus, its performance per watt should be 3x that of GDDR5, and on top of that, it should consume more than 50 percent less power.

AMD did not announce any new high-performance desktop GPUs, but CEO Lisa Su did say that the next GPUs (read: Radeon 300-Series) will come out at an industry event in the coming months and will feature HBM memory. The generation following this will feature the second generation of HBM memory.

The new CPUs with the Zen microarchitecture and the new GPUs should be available sometime in 2016.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • Kewlx25
    I enjoyed the AMD vs Intel during the Athlon64 days. Lets have that again.
    31
  • bootcher
    Well, there goes my bank account (again) :-).

    Seriously, this is exciting news, if AMD can really pull a rabbit out of their hat again and give Intel a run for the crown, that would be very exciting!! Their last few cpu/apu series were a bit disappointing performance-wise, so hopefully 'ZEN' will be able to deliver as promised.
    20
  • azathoth
    From the results I have seen, at the same clock speed on SINGLE threaded benchmarks, haswell is ~60% better than the 8xxx series. If this 40% holds up, AMD will seriously close that gap, and create some SERIOUS competition with multithreaded tasks which is currently their strong point. I can't wait to see how their lineup unfolds.
    19
  • Other Comments
  • bootcher
    Well, there goes my bank account (again) :-).

    Seriously, this is exciting news, if AMD can really pull a rabbit out of their hat again and give Intel a run for the crown, that would be very exciting!! Their last few cpu/apu series were a bit disappointing performance-wise, so hopefully 'ZEN' will be able to deliver as promised.
    20
  • MyDocuments
    Looks interesting, and with the new FX line using DDR4 then I guess we're in for a new MoBo chipset...
    Message to all Motherboard manufacturers, don't forget to produce some smaller Form-Factor motherboards this time around; uATX and ITX (as well as the standard ATX) for these new processors. Thank you.
    6
  • 3ogdy
    I'm all excited but...a 40% performance increase isn't that much, is it, people?
    I mean...that's 40% better performing than...FX-8150...which would translate into 25% higher performance than the FX-8350.

    How wrong am I?
    -11