AMD released a ton of products including Zen 2.0 architecture, Ryen 3000 series processors based on the new architecture during Computex. The Ryzen 3000 APUs they published was not based on the new architecture; instead, they were built on the Zen+ architecture of last year. They did not stop at that, at E3 2019 they released new Radeon graphics cards and the flagship Ryzen 3000 series processors.
One may think that AMD has already announced its hardware for the current year. Again, it is not the case. Yesterday, we reported that AMD is making a 64 core/ 128 thread Threadripper with a release date of later this year. Now Wccftech reports the Ryzen APUs AMD plans on introducing 7nm Ryzen APUs based on the new Zen 2.0 and Navi architecture.
Generational leap of Zen 2.0
Before getting ahead with the news at hand let me explain why the difference between architectures and manufacturing process is essential. The Zen+ architecture is based on a 12nm FinFET manufacturing process, while the new Zen 2.0 is based on TSMC’s 7nm process. The manufacturing process is one of the most important comparison metric used to compare CPUs and GPUs. As the manufacturing process develops, the process nodes become smaller and smaller, and companies can cramp more transistors in a smaller area.
Better manufacturing process not only increases the processing capabilities of the processor but also increases the thermal efficiency of the processors. Another metric that is used to gauge the architectural improvement is single and double precision vector floating point data processing. The zen+ architecture used two 128-bit instructions per set to get the required 256-bit single and double precision vector data performance. AMD updated the instruction set to 256-bit for Zen 2.0 architecture. The doubling of datapath and execution units allowed AMD to double the vector throughput of the core virtually.
Coming to the performance difference that AMD showed during its presentation. Other than having better architecture and datapath design, the Zen 2.0 boasts a 13% IPC gain over the Zen+ and 25% IPC gain over the original Zen architecture. These number may seem little, but it is the best architectural leap AMD disclosed since the introduction of the original Zen architecture.
Ryzen 3000 APU series
Ryzen APUs combines AMD’s expertise in CPU and GPU design. When AMD first announced these processors, their price to performance ratio, specifically the GPU performance awed the market. These APUs lack behind their CPU counterparts in terms of architecture. The Ryzen 2000 APUs were based on the original Zen architecture (14nm) while the Ryzen 2000 CPUs were based on the Zen+ architecture (12nm). Same was the case this time around. AMD announced the new and improved Zen 2.0 architecture based on TSMC’s 7nm process.
The Ryzen 3000 APUs, however, is not based on the new architecture; rather, they are based on the precious Zen+ architecture. These processors are not as powerful as the Ryzen CPUs, but they have integrated graphical power thanks to VEGA GPUs. During the presentation, AMD tried its best to hide the lack of CPU performance by displaying benchmarks that rely on the GPU performance. AMD then compared them with Intel’s offering with a lot less graphical horsepower inside. AMD did not update the price of these APUs the Ryzen 3 3200G is priced at $99. The Ryzen 5 3400G saw a little price drop and will only cost around $149.
7nm Ryzen APUs
Wccftech reports that AMD is planning to release another batch of the Ryzen APUs, but this time, these APUs will be based on the current Zen 2.0 CPU architecture and Navi GPU architecture. These APUs will most probably release four months after the RX 5700 launch which turns out to be November. If not we’ll see them during CES next year.
The source calls the lineup “Raven Ridge 7nm Refresh” which means AMD will not alter the raw specifications the upcoming APUs. There will only be the architectural and manufacturing process update. From an economic point of view if AMD is planning to release the 7nm Ryzen APUs, then AMD will be able to enjoy economies of scale as the whole range of AMD’s offering CPUs, GPUs, and APUs for all markets will shift to the 7nm process.
These APUs on the 7nm process node will be the perfect upgrade for the people who still have original Ryzen APUs in their build since it will not only be an architectural upgrade on the CPU front but also on the GPU front. AMD is already boasting the perfect scaling capabilities of the new RDNA architecture.
Lastly, the market structure will be very interesting as we enter the year 2020. Both semiconductor giants Intel and AMD have bigger plans for their future products; they already have shown their architectural improvements. We can only speculate about future products at this time, but the competition will be beneficial for the consumer in general.