With each passing week, it seems like more rumors are coming concerning AMD’s upcoming Zen processors. From previous reports, we had expected AMD to release Zen near the tail end of 2016 but revenue from the new CPUs was not expected till early 2017. According to the latest rumour though, AMD may have Zen out a bit earlier than expected, with an 8-core chip coming out as early as October, meaning there could be significant revenue from Black Friday and the holiday season.
An October launch pretty much falls smack dab in the middle of AMD’s late 2016/Q4 confirmed launch window. With an 8-core chip with potential SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) for 16 threads, AMD is striking with a strong with a very competitive chip. Currently, Intel only has one consumer 8-core in the 5960X which is pretty pricey with a large TDP. An 8-core variant would also entice AMD users to consider an upgrade earlier as it doubles the thread count of current Piledriver CPUs on top of the 40%+ IPC increase.
Launching under the Summit Ridge series, the 8-core also boasts a positively regular TDP at 95W. This considers favorably with what Intel has to offer, especially considering AMD is offering double the core count. This is probably due to toned down clock speeds, improved efficiency and the new 14nmLPP process, providing AMD with a jump of 3 process nodes. Intel, for instance, cut power by about 30%+ when they moved from 32nm to 14nm, at the while increasing performance.
Key to Zen, of course, will be how well it will perform. Based on AMD’s figures and what we have been able to glean from multiple leaks, Zen should hover around Haswell levels of IPC. The bigger question is how AMD prices Zen, though many will undoubtedly jump at the chance to buy a once again, IPC competitive AMD CPU. Hopefully, AMD’s expectations for Zen hold true. I for one, am finally hoping we will see 8C/16T CPUs enter the realm of mainstream hardware.