AMD Unveils Zen 2 EPYC 7nm CPU with 25% Performance Gain

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 8, 2018

It's next-generation Epyc chips combine up to eight 7nm CPU "chiplets" with a central 14nm I/O die supporting 8-channel DDR4 memory and PCIe 4.0. Both, regardless of model, connect to the host on a PCI Express 4.0 (PCIe 4.0) bus, while an onboard Infinity Fabric link allows for up to four GPUs to be connected together in a 'hive ring configuration' with 200GB/s of peer-to-peer bandwidth.

For now, AMD is only sharing details about Zen 2 on the server side.

The new Rome 7nm EPYC chip has 64 cores and 128 threads, twice the EPYC Naples CPU in 32 cores and 64 threads. The EPYC Rome chip will feature eight CPU chiplets giving out 64 x86 cores.

AMD wasn't explicit about the clock speeds Zen 2 could facilitate but it looks likely Ryzen 3 chips will have more gigahertz to play with than their predecessors, as well as other enhancements to boost their appeal over Intel's Core processor series.

According to AMD, the dedicated I/O die offers improved latency and power consumption for the new Epyc Rome processors. Since Zen 4 microarchitecture is still in design phase, chances are that processors on its base will be made using a more advanced node, so think 5 nm, but keep in mind that any guesses today are speculations at best.

One of AMD's mainstay features is socket compatibility for those that have already adopted previous generation processors.

What's not known is how much of the Rome DNA will make it into the consumer Ryzen 2 due early next year. Futhermore, this has also waylaid Intel's plans for significant performance improvements. The chips will be manufactured by TSMC on its leading 7nm node, which the company says will give it a significant advantage over Intel, which is now struggling with its own 10nm process. "As important, on higher-threaded applications, I am expecting improved scaling with more cores". If the claims hold up, the second-generation processor has a shot at being the highest performing datacenter CPU in 2019.

While Rome is sampling with customers now, AMD has not yet proffered a timescale for consumer-centric Zen 2 implementations. We know Lisa Su is scheduled to deliver a keynote at CES in January. Rome CPUs already have hardware security patches for Spectre.

During its Next Horizon event, AMD has also taken the opportunity to release initial information regarding its upcoming datacenter-centric Epyc processors codenamed "Rome".

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