What’s going on
AMD will begin shipping its Ryzen 7000 family of desktop processors, bringing a 29% increase in speed to the PCs favored by gamers and creatives such as video editors and animators.
why does it matter
The new model, which packs three “chiplets” into a single processor, keeps the pressure on Intel to make high-end PCs more powerful without massive price increases.
AMD is working on a more powerful and higher performing Ryzen 7000 model using the company’s 3D V-Cache technology.
amd on monday revealed its Ryzen 7000 processor series for desktop PCs, promising a 29% speed boost over the Ryzen 5000 lineup that began shipping in 2020. The new models, which will go on sale on September 27, are good news for gamers, publishers video and anyone else who demands top performance.
The 29% speedup comes with just one major task. When measuring the performance of jobs that can span the top version of the processor’s 16 total processing cores, the performance increase is 49%. CTO Mark Papermaster he said in an exclusive interview. If you want the same performance as a last-gen Ryzen 5000, the Ryzen 7000 lineup matches it with 62% less power, he said.
The most expensive model, the Ryzen 9 7950X, is $699, $100 cheaper than the Ryzen 9 5950X at its 2020 launch during the first days of the pandemic. AMD also offers the $549 7900X, $399 7700X, and $299 7600X models that run at slower clock speeds and don’t have as many new Zen 4 processing cores. AMD also wants to continue selling its 2 year old 5000 products in lower priced machines.
For anyone looking for a high-end machine, this is good news. AMD has been cutting sales from Intel, and the new models will keep the pressure on its rival. And it could reduce the temptations some Windows PC users might feel to switch to other .
“AMD is giving the gaming and content creation crowd exactly what they’re asking for: better performance or less power at the same price,” he said. Patrick MoorheadMoor Insights & Strategy analyst.
Part of the credit for the speed increase goes to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which builds AMD designs into a newer 5nm line that’s faster and more electrically efficient, helping boost clock speeds. maximum of the chip up to 800 MHz at its maximum point. 5.7 GHz, Papermaster said. Also worth checking out is the Zen 4 technology, which produces 13% more programming instructions per chip click than Zen 3.
New chip packaging techniques
More broadly, though, AMD has benefited from the “chiplet” approach that began with the first-gen Zen design in 2017, packing multiple smaller processing elements into a single larger processor.
searchAs it shows which unites two M1 Max chips into a single larger processor, and Intel’s Meteor Lake 2023 processor, which includes four separate processing tiles, three created by TSMC.
The Ryzen 9 5950X includes two chipsets, each with eight Zen 4 cores, and a chiplet for input/output tasks such as communicating with memory. AMD will marry more of these octa-core chipsets for server processors that it will sell to data center customers later this year.
“With a desktop, you go from eight cores to 16 cores,” Papermaster said. “Think of a server that goes all the way up to 64 cores and many more than that in the server we’re announcing this fall.”
Mobile versions of Zen 4-based processors are slated to hit laptops in 2023. AMD also plans a compact variation of Zen 4C for data center cloud computing work that it will offer. up to 128 processing cores in the first quarter of 2023. It sacrifices some clock speed for the ability to run many independent jobs in parallel.
Zen 4-based machines also benefit from other speed increases:
- Faster interfaces to the rest of the computer, including support for DDR5 memory and PCI Express 5.0 links to devices such as storage and graphics cards
- The new AM5 socket for plugging into circuit boards, which the company will support until at least 2025 to make upgrades easier for PC manufacturers and customers.
- The ability to process AVX-512 instructions, which should speed up some programs such as image editors that employ artificial intelligence methods.
A third dimension in chiplet packaging
AMD mainly relies on a relatively simple parallel packaging approach for its core chips. But it added a more sophisticated third dimension to its packaging options, stacking high-speed cache memory on top of the processing cores. It started this approach, called 3D V-Cache, with a rare high-end option for previous Zen 3 processors. 3D V-Cache models are also on the way for the Zen 4 generation, though Papermaster didn’t say when they’ll arrive.
Packaging flexibility has been crucial for AMD. For example, TSMC builds the Zen 4 processing chiplets on its latest 5nm fabrication process, but uses the older, cheaper 6nm process for chiplet handling input and output functions.
The approach means AMD can spend money more judiciously, since using the newer process increases the cost of a chip’s basic circuit element, the transistor.
“The cost per transistor is increasing and will continue to increase with each generation,” Papermaster said. “That’s why chiplets have been so important.”
AMD will also use chiplets built on TSMC’s 5nm technology for its next-generation RDNA3 graphics, the basis for its upcoming Radeon graphics processors, CEO Lisa Su said during AMD Ryzen 7000 Launch Event Monday. Showing off a prototype, he said RDNA3 offers 50% more power efficiency, an important consideration for gamers trying to run software without overheating their PCs. The Ryzen 7000 processors have more basic RDNA2 graphics built in, useful for booting up machines and other basic tasks, but are expected to be supplemented by more powerful standalone graphics chips.
Don’t count out Intel
AMD has succeeded in part through its chiplet strategy, but has also benefited from Intel’s struggles to advance manufacturing for the better part of a decade. That advantage might not last much longer.
Intel expects its own manufacturing technology to match its rivals by 2024 and surpass them by 2025, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger. And it has been working on its own packaging technologies for years. Where AMD’s 3D V-Cache is an expensive rarity, Intel will stack chip elements into its mainstream Meteor Lake 2023 PC processor using a technology called Foveros.
“Intel has more diverse and technically advanced options” when it comes to chip packaging, Kevin Krewell, analyst at Tirias Research said.
Another Intel advantage is the combination of performance cores and efficiency cores, an approach created in the smartphone market that better balances speed and battery life. That’s on Intel’s current processor, Alder Lake.
Intel declined to comment.
Could Intel build AMD chips?
If Intel succeeds in its current ambitions, it could one day be building AMD chipsets. That’s because Gelsinger launched a new foundry business that, like TSMC and Samsung, makes chips for others.
AMD once built its own processors, but spun them off as the business now called GlobalFoundries. Papermaster declined to comment directly on what it would take to sign on with Intel Foundry Services, but said it requires reliable foundry partners with proven ability and a good working partnership.
“We would love to see more diversity in the foundry ecosystem,” said Papermaster.