New information for AMD’s upcoming CPU architecture has been leaked ahead of the company’s annual Financial Analyst Day. The leak image appears to be an official slide details the block diagram for the next generation architecture. If this slide is legitimate, this will offer the first glimpse into the innards of AMDs first major desktop architecture change since Bulldozer was introduced in 2011.
On the left side, the diagram shows a complete Excavator module, looking very much the same from a high level as the Bulldozer before it. You can see the two integer clusters and the single shared floating point cluster. One such cluster makes up two cores and it’s due to the shared nature as well as the small integer clusters that AMD single thread performance has been suffering. AMD gambled on increased parallelism to counter the weaker integer units and GPU compute to address floating point performance. However, computing parallelism has been elusive as many tasks are sequential in nature and GPU computing is still only for some specific workloads. The failure of the gambit has seen AMD processor performance stagnate over the past few years.
This new Zen core appears to a complete change in AMD’s strategy. On the right side, we can see what appears to be one Zen core. In a move that hearkens back to the old K8/10 and Intel’s Core architecture, this single core is given much more resources to play with. With a total of 6 integer pipelines and 2 -256bit AVX floating point units (with potential to combine for 512bit instructions), the core has much more resources to play with, something that should lead to a significant improvement in IPC and single threaded performance. This is the same number of interger and floating point units found in K10, though obviously with improvements.
Many commentators had previously suggested that AMD should have evolved K10 with is much better IPC rather than pursue Bulldozer. While working off K10 would have ben complicated, taking design cues from K10 as Zen likely did, was probably the best way forward to improving performance. This information builds on previous information pointing to DRR4, HBM and quad channel support coming in 2016. Intel will be launching their own mainstream DDR4 Skylake processor later this year. Perhaps, Intel will finally have some high-end competition in 2016, though then again, we will have to wait and see.
Image courtesy of wccftech