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AMD: Zen 3 Remains on Track for 2020

(Image credit: Fritchenz Frenz)

News that AMD was facing delays to its Zen 3 architecture surfaced this week via a DigiTimes report, but the company quickly quashed those rumors during a press briefing, stating that “AMD confirms that the rumor on ‘Zen 3’ delay is inaccurate."

The initial reports of a delay to for AMD's Zen 3 processors, which the company has stated will arrive this year, were fueled by a DigiTimes report. Some observers also took AMD's announcement of the Ryzen XT models yesterday as a sign that the report was true. 

There are no signs yet of exactly when chips with the Zen 3 microarchitecture and 7nm process will debut this year, but that won't stop the speculation. AMD has shared a roadmap that points to the EPYC Milan processors this year, so that's an obvious starting point. 

(Image credit: AMD)

The HEDT market is firmly in AMDs hands with the existing Threadripper processors, so the company might focus on other strategic products with the first Zen 3 chips for the consumer side of the market. AMD's latest mobile processors are just now taking hold in the market and have finally gained some traction, but a quick follow-up would cement AMD's position as a serious contender in the mobile segment that comprises 60% of the consumer x86 market. However, AMD could also launch a new Ryen 4000 (codenamed 'Vermeer") desktop PC chip to cement its ever-growing success there, too. 

It isn't surprising to see AMD communicate that it remains on track for the Zen 3 architecture: The company has publicly stated that one of its primary objectives during its turnaround is to establish a steady cadence of "boring execution," meaning that it develops and delivers products on such a steady pace that it becomes boring. 

That's important given AMD's continuing penetration into more margin-rich climes, like the data center. AMD's EPYC Rome processors continue to claw share from Intel's Xeon lineup, but as AMD CEO Lisa Su has often stated, data center customers don't necessarily buy into products; they buy into roadmaps. That's an accurate statement because the cost of switching over infrastructure and validating new software stacks can be daunting, so customers want to make sure those initial efforts pay off over the long term as new products are released that bring more advantages to the table. That next product? EPYC Milan

AMD's stratospheric performance in the S&P 500 has also led the company to record share prices this year, and much of the investor interest is predicated on AMD's potential in the profit-rich data center market. Communicating that the company is still on track, even if it means countering a spurious report, is important from many angles, but it also gives us enthusiasts plenty to think about as we ponder AMD's next move. 

Paul Alcorn is the Deputy Managing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews on CPUs, storage and enterprise hardware.