AMD announces Zen 4 for laptops, RNDA 3 and 4 launches, and the timeline for Zen 5

AMD has announced a timeline for the launch of new CPU and GPU architectures over the next few years. It covers laptop, desktop, and server parts (both CPU and GPU) and transitions to more advanced manufacturing nodes.

AMD's new Ryzen 7000 series is based on the upcoming Zen 4 architecture. There will be a 15% improvement to single-thread performance, as well as 8-10% higher Instructions Per Clock (IPC). There will be 'significant generational' improvements in performance per watt (25%) and higher memory bandwidth with the move to DDR5.

The first desktop and server components made on a 5nm process are scheduled for release later this year. However, TSMC's 4nm node will be used to manufacture laptop chips. 

Zen 5 is described as having a 'completely new microarchitecture,' however little information is yet available. The company did indicate that these processors will be manufactured on 4nm and 3nm technology. TSMC's 4nm node is only the 5nm node reengineered, but the 3nm node is totally different. Zen 5 chips will appear in 2024, so we will have to wait for more concrete details before then.

AMD's next major GPU architecture, RDNA 3, will be fabricated on a 5nm process and implement a chiplet design (similar to the CPUs). RDNA 2 parts were fabricated on 7nm and 6nm processes, so the new GPU units will benefit from the latest node.

This will be accompanied by an improved graphics pipeline, improved compute units, and the second generation of on-die Infinity Cache. AMD estimates that performance-per-watt for RDNA 3 will be at least 50% greater than RDNA 2.

RDNA 3+ will be available for some products. The next major upgrade will be RDNA 4, which is expected in 2024. While AMD was coy about details, all we know is that the new GPU architecture promises increased performance and efficiency in addition to a smaller manufacturing node.

AMD's Financial Analyst Day just ended yesterday, which brought all these announcements to light. But these are just the general strokes of the company's plans. It has not yet disclosed how it will incorporate these new components into consumer and business products.

Zen 4 is an example. Parts will be made from both 5nm and 4nm processes. Desktop and server chips will feature 3D V-cache (an extra layer of cache stacked onto the CPU chipslets); some will also feature the Zen 4c variant. As Zen 4's trimmed-down version, this version allows more cores to be supported in a single socket. The 'Bergamo' design (4c) will support up to 128 cores, while the 'Genoa' design (4) will have a maximum of 96 cores.

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