More details about AMD Zen CPU core revealed at ISSCC

Published: 9th Feb 2017, 07:43 GMT   Comments

A few days ago a comparison chart between Zen and Skylake architectures (that originated at IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference) was posted online and quickly became popular. Today, thanks to Japanese website called PCWatch, we finally have more slides and more details to share about Ryzen, straight from ISSCC conference.

At ISSCC AMD revealed that Zen is manufactured by GlobalFoundaries in 14nm FinFET processor. AMD claims that Zen will be able to compete with Skylake generation of Intel CPUs in terms of single-threaded performance and power efficiency.

One of the interesting components of Zen is digital LDO (Low drop-out) voltage regulator, which controls the voltage per core. AMD revealed that each core has 7 mm2 area, while a block of 4 cores has 44 mm2.

PCWatch (machine translation):

AMD compared Zen with Intel’s 14 nm generation CPU. Zen is also a 14 nm process, but the process feature size is very different from Intel 14 nm. Intel is as small as 89% for CPP (Contacted Poly Pitch) with gate spacing and 81% for 1 x Metal Pitch showing wire spacing. In other words, the Intel process is more dense. Even for SRAM cell size, Intel is as small as 72%. Nonetheless, the cluster size of 4 CPU cores and 8 MB L3 cache is as small as 44 square mm for Intel’s 49 square mm. There are reasons such as small floating point arithmetic unit, but it is also suggested that AMD has lower design complexity.

At ISSCC AMD has also released first die shot of quad-core Zen CPU, so have a look at those slides:

The following chart was made by PCWatch editor:

And here is a comparison between Zen, Steamroller, Bulldozer and other AMD architectures (click to see in detail):

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