At the CES 2021 event, Dr. Ian Cutress of Anandtech, interviewed AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su regarding company’s future plans, and how the current demand, supply and tariff situation is going to affect the launch of future products from AMD.
Lisa assured that the CPU teams are highly focused on the next-gen upcoming Zen 4 and Zen 5 CPU architectures, and GPU team is also currently working hard on developing the new RDNA 3 architecture which is going to land up in future AMD RX Radeon series of high-end GPUs.
This doesn’t come as a surprise since AMD had a lot of success lately with the current Zen 3 CPU lineup, and its RDNA2-based Radeon GPUs. Lisa confidently stated that AMD’s next-generation Zen 4 and Zen 5 core architectures are already being readied and prepped, and these are going to be extremely competitive as well.
As Lisa Su stated in the Q&A session with Anandtech:
“Mark, Mike, and the teams have done a phenomenal job. We are as good as we are with the product today, but with our ambitious roadmaps, we are focusing on Zen 4 and Zen 5 to be extremely competitive. Bets are made, and we track the progress.”
AMD’s Rick Bergman also spoke on AMD’s next-gen Zen 4 Ryzen CPU lineup, coming via The Street:
Q- How much of the performance gains delivered by AMD’s Zen 4 CPUs, which are expected to use a 5nm TSMC process and might arrive in early 2022, will come from instructions per clock (IPC) gains as opposed to core count and clock speed increases.
Bergman: “[Given] the maturity of the x86 architecture now, the answer has to be, kind of, all of the above. If you looked at our technical document on Zen 3, it was this long list of things that we did to get that 19% [IPC gain]. Zen 4 is going to have a similar long list of things, where you look at everything from the caches, to the branch prediction, [to] the number of gates in the execution pipeline. Everything is scrutinized to squeeze more performance out.”
“Certainly [manufacturing] process opens an additional door for us to [obtain] better performance-per-watt and so on, and we’ll take advantage of that as well.”
Even though we don’t have much technical info on AMD’s Zen 4 CPU architecture, but the platform is surely going to be overhauled and refined than previous gen Zen architectures. More importantly, Ryzen CPUs based on this Zen 4 architecture will support a brand new AM5 platform which will offer next-generation DDR5 compatibility & USB 4.0 support as well. The Zen 4 will transition to a new AM5 socket.
So expect even more performance per watt and efficiency gains with the Zen 4 CPU lineup. Apart from this, AMD also plans to increase the CPU core counts with this lineup. Currently, we have up to 64 cores on servers & high-end desktops/HEDTs, 16 cores on the mainstream consumer and gaming desktop section, and 8 cores on the mobility platform, and the Notebook market as a whole.
With Zen 4, we can expect even higher core count SKUs, like e.g. 96 cores on the server/HEDT platform, 32 cores on the mainstream desktop platform, and 12-16 cores under the mobility section.
“There will be more core counts in the future – I would not say those are the limits! It will come as we scale the rest of the system.” Lisa Su via Anandtech.
When it comes to the next-gen RDNA 3 GPU architecture, Lisa assured that David Wang and the team are currently focused on long term roadmaps.
“Also on GPUs, David Wang and the team focus on our long term roadmaps, and we pick the right mix of risk to get innovation, performance, and predictability.
Bets are made, and we track the progress. We’re happy with RDNA2 on performance per watt, and overall performance, and we have a lot of focus on RDNA3. On elements such as AI specific integration, we are making investments. CDNA launched in November, and you will see us adding more AI capability to our CPUs and GPUs” – Lisa Su via Anandtech.
AMD’s Rick Bergman also spoke regarding RDNA 3 GPUs, once again coming via The Street:
Q- Whether AMD is aiming for its RDNA 3 GPUs, which will use a more advanced manufacturing process, to deliver performance-per-watt improvements similar to the 50%-plus improvements delivered by its RDNA 2 GPUs, and its future plans for the Infinity Cache technology used by RDNA 2 GPUs.
Bergman: “Let’s step back and talk about the benefits of both. So why did we target, pretty aggressively, performance per watt [improvements for] our RDNA 2 [GPUs]. And then yes, we have the same commitment on RDNA 3.”
“It just matters so much in many ways, because if your power is too high — as we’ve seen from our competitors — suddenly our potential users have to buy bigger power supplies, very advanced cooling solutions. And in a lot of ways, very importantly, it actually drives the [bill of materials] of the board up substantially This is a desktop perspective. And invariably, that either means the retail price comes up, or your GPU cost has to come down.”
“So [there are] actually a lot of efficiencies…if you can improve your perf-per-watt substantially. On the notebook side, that’s of course even more obvious, because you’re in a very constrained space, you can just bring more performance to that platform again without some exotic cooling solutions…We focused on that on RDNA 2. It’s a big focus on RDNA 3 as well.”
“On Infinity Cache, it’s somewhat linked to that as well, to a certain degree. If you’ve been in graphics for a long time, you realize there’s a pretty good correlation between memory bandwidth and performance. And so typically, the way you do it is you jack up your memory speed and widen your [memory] bus to open up performance. Unfortunately, both of those things drive up power [consumption].”
So it appears that AMD seems to be very confident about its future next-gen products, and the company also has a very strong CPU and GPU roadmap. It will be interesting to see how these next-gen products are going to compete against INTEL and Nvidia’s offerings. But the competition is going to be tough for sure.
Stay tuned for more tech news!