While we’re all eagerly awaiting the arrival of ‘Zen 2’, AMD’s chief processor architect, Mike Clarke, has said work is already underway on the ‘Zen 5’ CPU microarchitecture. AMD’s Ryzen 2000 series CPUs are due to launch very soon; on April 19th, but AMD’s engineers are also busy looking a lot further afield, at the next-next-gen of cutting-edge CPU hardware.
Clark Broke the news in an official AMD panel to discuss the launch of the first-generation Ryzen CPUs one year ago. Some big names from AMD were present, including John Taylor (chief marketing officer), Suzanne Plummer (CVP Radeon Technologies Group), Mike Clark (Sr. fellow design engineering), James Prior (product manager) and Christina Iron (director of global campaigns).
While the prospect of Zen 5 sounds like but a distant twinkle in Clarke’s eyes, the new CPUs probably aren’t far off. AMD will be skipping Zen 4 due to the number’s connection to death in Chinese culture, meaning Zen 5 will actually be the fourth generation of Zen processors. I don’t know how superstition plays a part in business decisions in 2018, but that is allegedly AMD’s thinking.
Regardless, the upcoming Ryzen 2000 will be a revision of the current Zen architecture, while Zen 2 is due to arrive in 2019 and utilise the 7nm fabrication process, down from 14nm for Zen 1st gen. It’ll be AMD’s first ever 7nm chip and it should provide a hugely significant generational leap in performance.
Following this, Zen 3 is due to hit in 2020. According to AMD’s roadmaps, this will have a similar relationship to Zen 2 as the Ryzen 2000 CPUs have with Ryzen 1000. It’ll be using the 7nm+ node with performance optimisations and improved power efficiency. And then, after all this, it’s time for Zen 5, which looks likely to be either a process shrink or an altogether different fabrication process. Work is already underway but these processors probably aren’t going to see the light of day until at least 2021, but more likely to end up a 2022 release.