AMD speaks RDNA2, RDNA3, Zen3 and Zen4, announces new roadmaps

Published: Mar 5th 2020, 21:37 GMT   Comments

At Financial Analyst Day AMD CEO and President Dr. Lisa Su today revealed new architectural roadmaps for computing and graphics markets.

AMD announces 2020-2022 roadmaps

AMD promises Zen 4 architecture by 2022. Dr. Lisa Su also revealed that Zen 4 will utilize the 5nm fabrication node. Meanwhile, Zen 3 is on track for late 2020.

On the graphics side, AMD will launch 7nm RDNA 2 architecture (a technology behind Big Navi). AMD will also launch RDNA 3 architecture on a new node, but the fabrication process has not yet been confirmed. This shows a commitment to RDNA architecture, just as AMD committed to GCN for years. The RDNA will be utilized by Radeon RX, Radeon Instinct and by future consoles.

AMD press release:

  • AMD plans to introduce the first processors based on its next-generation “Zen 3” core in late 2020. The “Zen 4” core is currently in design and is targeted to use advanced 5nm process technology.
  • AMD unveiled plans to expand its chiplet and die stacking leadership, including new “X3D” packaging that combines chiplets and hybrid 2.5D and 3D die stacking to deliver more than a 10x increase in bandwidth density.
  • AMD announced its upcoming 3rd Generation AMD Infinity Architecture with optimized CPU and GPU memory coherency that can enable significant performance improvements and simplify the software programming required for accelerated computing solutions by allowing the CPU and GPU to seamlessly and coherently share the same memory.
  • AMD is building on its strong product security portfolio with expanded features. AMD announced it joined the Confidential Computing Consortium, a group of leading hardware and software companies working to close gaps to protect data through its entire lifecycle.

AMD RDNA 2 to improve power efficiency

The RDNA 2 will provide a 50% power efficiency improvement over RDNA 1, according to AMD. This is the same efficiency uplift we had from GCN architecture (Polaris/Vega). It is a big claim for AMD, as RDNA 2 will still feature 7nm architecture. This may not, however, directly translate into 50% gaming performance. Such claims are usually hard to confirm till actual products are available for reviews.

AMD RDNA to provide hardware acceleration for ray tracing

AMD has finally confirmed that their upcoming RDNA 2 gaming architecture will provide hardware-accelerated ray tracing. This basically means the same support for DirectX ray tracing as Xbox Series X.

AMD Radeon RX Big Navi?

The first picture of the future Radeon RX graphics card has been revealed? The slide shared with the graphics card design below, promises top to bottom graphics solutions. Sadly no other details were revealed about this specific design, however, it is quite clear that the card might be a highly anticipated “Big Navi”. It is not the same design as Radeon RX 5600 XT.

The original picture is very low resolution, so we have enhanced the quality with AI super-resolution tools:

AMD CDNA – Compute DNA Architecture

AMD also confirmed that starting from 2020 two architectures will be used for GPUs. The compute-oriented GPUs will utilize CDNA architecture, while pure gaming-oriented GPUs will feature RDNA. This is basically the same approach as NVIDIA’s where Volta and Turing were designed for two different markets.

A rumored AMD Arcturus GPU for the upcoming Radeon Instinct MI100 could be the first CDNA-based GPU accelerator.


  • The AMD Radeon™ DNA (AMD RDNA) architecture was designed for gaming and is currently powering the award-winning AMD Radeon™ RX 5000 series GPUs. The next-generation AMD RDNA 2 architecture is planned to deliver a 50% performance-per-watt improvement over the first-generation AMD RDNA architecture. It will support hardware-accelerated ray tracing, variable rate shading (VRS) and other advanced features. The first AMD RDNA 2-based products are expected to launch in late 2020.
  • AMD unveiled its new AMD Compute DNA (AMD CDNA) architecture, designed to accelerate data center compute workloads. The first-generation AMD CDNA architecture, planned to launch later this year, includes 2nd Generation AMD Infinity Architecture to enhance GPU to GPU connectivity and is optimized for machine learning and high-performance computing applications. The follow-up AMD CDNA 2 architecture will support 3rd Generation AMD Infinity Architecture to enable next generation exascale-class supercomputers.

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