AMD ZEN 3 CPU Added To Official Linux Kernel With ‘Family 19H’ Indicating Launch Of Next-Gen Processors With Higher IPC Gains?

AMD’s ZEN 3 Architecture, the next-gen evolution of the company’s powerful CPUs, is now officially a part of the Linux Family. Spotted inside the Linux Kernel are direct references to the AMD’s Zen 3 CPU microcode. Given the recent developments about the as-yet-unannounced AMD Architecture that succeeds ZEN 2, it is quite likely the company could release the new CPUs based on ZEN 3 in the coming months. And, if the leaked benchmarks and test scores are to be believed, AMD has truly pushed its processors and managed to achieve a substantial leap in processor power with lesser power draw.

After giving a tough competition to Intel last year, AMD appears to be readying a new lineup of CPUs that are based on the company’s latest Architecture, the ZEN 3. Based on the 7nm Fabrication Node, the Zen 3 is the 3rd iteration of the ZEN microarchitecture, which is built using the EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) lithography process.

AMD ZEN 3 CPU Architecture Microcode Now Part Of Linux Kernel Indicating Company A Lot Closer To Actual Launch Of Next-Gen CPUs from The Ryzen And EPYC Families:

The latest addition to the Linux Kernel is a strong indicator that AMD has finalized most of the aspects of its latest lineup of Ryzen as well as EPYC CPUs. The latest microcode addition to Linux contains EDAC (Error Detection and Correction) support. Officially, the Linux Kernel now includes support for AMD’s ‘Family 19h’ which refers to the ZEN 3 Architecture. The previous generation of architecture, the ZEN 2, was referred to as ‘Family 17h’.

AMD has indicated that the existing Family 17h functions can be used for Family 19h, while also allowing the latter to automatically load the module. The addition is quite interesting because AMD hasn’t confirmed anything officially about the ZEN 3 Architecture. In fact, AMD didn’t even mention any details about the ZEN 3 Architecture at the CES 2020. The recently concluded event was the last where CPU enthusiasts expected AMD to make a major announcement about ZEN 3.

Despite the lack of official confirmation, AMD’s CEO, Dr. Lisa Su has been dropping quite a few hints about ZEN 3. She even noted that the next-gen architecture is “doing really well”, and they are excited about it. Although CES 2020 has come and gone, there’s the upcoming GDC in March, and  Computex and E3 in June. If these don’t contain any announcement about ZEN 3, then the last bet is the E3 Conference.

AMD ZEN 3 Promises To Offer Higher IPC Gains With Lowered Power Consumption?

Based on the new 7nm+ process developed by TSMC, which utilizes EUV technology, the AMD ZEN 3 processors will have higher efficiency and deliver more compute output with similar or less energy consumption, indicated AMD.

Unlike ZEN2, the ZEN 3 will be based on a completely new architecture. Additionally, the 7nm+ process node reportedly allows an increase of 20 percent in overall transistor density while increasing power efficiency by 10 percent. Simply put, there could easily be a density boost of up to 20 percent in the ZEN 3 architecture while having 10 percent better power efficiency.  Some rumors even stretch the IPC Gains to 17 percent and a 50 percent increase in Floating Point Operations.

The new AMD CPUs should be able to achieve these numbers owing to a major cache redesign. Interestingly, Intel too has adopted a similar approach for its Willow Cove cores that are to form the base of the 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.