Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

AMD has shared plans for the development of micro-Zen

AMD has shared plans for the development of micro-Zen

More information on the announcements made during the event are available on the AMD Next Horizon page. 'Combining world-class performance and a flexible architecture with a robust software platform and the industry's leading-edge ROCm open software ecosystem, the new AMD Radeon Instinct accelerators provide the critical components needed to solve the most hard cloud computing challenges today and into the future.

Rome CPUs will have up to 64 cores using a new modular "chiplet" style of architecture rather than the core complexes used by first-gen Zen CPUs. When it comes to floating point per socket performance, it's a enormous 4x leap over the previous generation EPYC processor.

Performance wise, EPYC Rome will bring 2x the performance per socket and 4x floating point per socket improvements, compared to the previous generation. According to AMD, the performance uplift is 25% over their current 12nm Zen+ offering. Papermaster summed it up thusly: "We're in the business of high performance". In a floating-point-intensive ray tracing demonstration of a single 64-core Rome CPU prototype running alongside a dual-socket Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M server, the new AMD chip was seen to beat its competitor.

Zen 2 is sampling now and early benchmark tests are said to be good.


With these "ROME" EPYC CPUs, the new architecture design also features improved branch prediction, instruction prefetch and re-optimized micro-op instruction cache, which has also been increased in size. They are the first graphics chips for datacenters that are manufactured using the semiconductor industry's new process for packing more circuits on a chip, called 7 nanometer scale, which should make them more efficient and faster. The processor will be having multiple CPU chiplets produced using TSMC's 7 nm manufacturing process and an I/O die produced using the 14 nm fabrication process. For example, the I/O and Infinity Fabric chiplets in Rome are implemented on a 14nm process, since unlike the execution units, they don't need the same level of transistor density. A Zen 4 processor is also in the works, although no timeline was given for its debut.

Today AMD is holding its Next Horizon event, where it has revealed details of some of the upcoming parts the company will be producing for the datacenter, including the Zen 2-based Rome CPU.

7nm Rome CPUs are now sampling to AMD's customers and clients.

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