AMD Reveals Roadmap for Zen 4 Desktop and Laptop Processors, ‘Dragon Range’ Mobile Lineup Coming in 2023
AMD is on track to launch its next-generation of Ryzen processors in the second half of this year. Zen 4, the new architecture AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 CPUs will be based on, is supposedly the biggest generational leap in performance since the literal inception of Ryzen. This is made possible thanks to a brand new socket, only the second Ryzen platform since its introduction back in 2017, and new packaging technologies enabling greater IPC uplifts.
Technically, AMD has already announced Zen 4. At CES 2022, the company made the next-gen series official by announcing its existence along with revealing the Socket AM5 platform. However, a formal introduction is still in order and we could be getting that as soon as Computex 2022 in May, if leaks are to be believed. That being said, to keep our appetite in check between now and then, AMD has given us a major, new update on Zen 4 today.
In a press release published yesterday, the company announced its roadmap for Zen 4. There is one main picture that includes all of the information and it reveals a lot that we didn’t already know from leaks. Zen 4 processors for desktop are scheduled for a 2022 release, but all Zen 4 mobile chips will come out next year, in 2023. More importantly, AMD has segmented the high-end mobile processors into a new category called “Dragon Range“.
Zen 4 “Raphael” for desktop
This is the Zen 4 lineup that we’re all primarily excited about. The mainstream consumer desktop CPUs, codenamed “Raphael” and releasing under the Ryzen 7000 label, are the only Zen 4 processors coming out this year. All designs in this range will feature 65W+ TDPs and, thanks to the new AM5 socket, will include support for PCIe Gen5 as well as DDR5 memory.
AMD is expected to follow a similar release model with Zen 4 as to Ryzen 5000. That means we’ll get at least 4 “X” SKUs as part of the initial launch, then AMD will slowly release more and more SKUs as time goes on. While it’s not confirmed as of yet, Zen 4 desktop CPUs will include integrated graphics, a first for mainstream Ryzen releases. Moreover, AMD’s new 3D V-Cache stacking technology is rumored to not be a part of the 2022 SKUs.
The company apparently has only one production line for the 3D packaging tech, so it would need to first hit its production target with the Ryzen 5800X3D before transferring over to Zen 4 CPUs. Apart from that, AMD has not confirmed any further information and the roadmap doesn’t tell us anything else either. However, we do know that Raphael, and every other Zen 4 CPU for that matter, is manufactured using TSMC‘s 5nm process node.
Zen 4 “Phoenix” for notebooks
Next up, we have one of the two Zen 4 mobile lineup coming out next year. AMD’s Zen 4 laptop CPUs aimed at thin and light notebooks with 35-45W TDPs will also feature PCIe Gen5 support but ditches DDR5 memory support in favor of LPDDR5. Moreover, this range of low-end Zen 4 mobile chips is codenamed “Phoenix” and it will most likely top out at 8 cores and 16 threads. This could be branded as the Ryzen 7000U series if AMD wishes to succeed the current-gen Ryzen 6000U lineup.
Zen 4 “Dragon Range” for enthusiast gaming laptops
Last but certainly not least, we have possibly the most exciting Zen 4 lineup in the form of a new product segment dedicated to high-end gaming laptops. AMD is calling this new subcategory the “Dragon Range” and it represents the company’s best of the best for extreme mobile performance. Specifics weren’t revealed but AMD is saying that Dragon Range will feature the highest core count and cache seen in a mobile CPU ever.
From that bold statement, we can derive that the top-end Dragon Range SKU can potentially rock 16-cores and as far as the cache goes, this could be the first mobile implementation of AMD’s 3D V-Cache allowing the CPU to have extraordinary amounts of cache. The company also promises the fastest creator and productivity performance in any mobile processor, suggesting both the gaming and professional applications are covered.
Lastly, Dragon Range is based on Raphael silicon which means it shares the same design that Zen 4 desktop CPUs will sport. Not only will that result in unprecedented performance, but it could also mean that we’ll see integrated graphics throughout the Dragon Range lineup since Raphael is said to feature iGPUs. If this turns out to be true, AMD would be taking a path identical to Intel’s in which the Blue Team has borrowed desktop Alder Lake silicon and brought it down to the Alder Lake-HX mobile lineup.
AMD Zen 4 is coming
With so much information, both from unofficial and official channels alike, Zen 4 can’t be here sooner. The upcoming lineup is expected to shake things up big time not only for AMD but for the CPU market as a whole. Intel successfully pivoted from being meme’d on to harboring arguably the best desktop processors out right now with Alder Lake, whereas AMD has started to get a little too comfortable sitting at the throne.
Now that the crown is almost shared between the two companies, competition to win the consumer’s pocket is heating up. The imminent war between Intel Core 13th Gen and Ryzen 7000 will see the semiconductor giants at their most competitive in years. While Intel has already gone through the innovation phase and would simply build upon the monumental success of Alder Lake with this year’s release, AMD has a lot riding on Zen 4 and, so far, it looks like the wait will be worth it.