AMD’s breakneck pace of hardware evolutions shows no sign of abating any time soon. At the launch for its 2nd-Gen EPYC processors, AMD confirmed it had completed the design phase for its next-generation Zen 3 CPU architecture.
The successor to the 7nm Zen 2 architecture used for the smash-hit AMD Ryzen 3000 series, Zen 3 is set to utilise the 7nm+ process node and will be ready to launch at some point in 2020.
Back with first-gen Ryzen, we got both Zen (Ryzen 1000) and Zen+ (Ryzen 2000) but it would appear we’re going to skip over Zen 2+ this time around as AMD deems this next-generation worthy of the jump straight to Zen 3. This would suggest a greater performance jump than Zen > Zen+, although this is pure conjecture at this point.
The big change for Zen 3 won’t be a process shrink but the shift to 7nm EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography. It’s taken a while to get EUV up to the necessary yields but, in theory, it allows for greater transistor density and more efficient power design without shrinking the process.
Looking a little further afield, AMD is also gearing up for the Zen 4 architecture in 2021. Details get a whole lot hazier here with a number of options still at play. By then we’ll be deep into 7nm maturation and production yields should’ve reached high volumes. Zen 4 could either introduce larger dies, meaning more cores, or AMD could potentially even be ready for the 6nm EUV process node. It’s still in the design stage for now, but we would expect Zen 4 to ultimately be a greater performance leap than Zen 2 to Zen 3.
AMD has become a genuine force in the world of CPUs this past couple of years and it shows no sign of letting up. All signs point toward Ryzen 3000 flying off store shelves and we’d imagine it’s got Intel sweating buckets. Keeping up that quality while maintaining a pace to releases puts AMD toe-to-toe with Intel and that only be good for the consumers.