AMD has so many different great things going on at once, with the upcoming Zen-based Snowy Owl due for consumers early next year on the Zen architecture, but the upcoming Naples CPU is shaping up well and reportedly due for a launch in Q2 2017 for the enterprise market.
The upcoming 32-core processor is based on Zen CPU cores, with 32 of them pumping away, capable of executing two threads simultaneously - so we're talking about a 64-thread CPU for the enterprise market, based on Zen CPU cores. Beasty. Leaked benchmarks of AMD's upcoming monster CPU have arrived, with an engineering sample of Naples teasing some impressive performance.
AMD's upcoming Naples engineering CPU had a base clock of 1.4GHz, boosting up to 2.9GHz, while it features an absolute titanic amount of L3 cache. AMD is throwing 512MB of L3 cache, something that is a first for the CPU industry. But does this translate into monster performance? Well, benchmarks from a few weeks ago have been improved, with the Naples CPU performing 13% better in just a few weeks.
AMD is rounding out 2016 with some big teases of its next-gen APU architectures, with Zen ready to launch in 2017, we've been hearing rumbles about the next step in their APU dominance: Gray Hawk. Gray Hawk is expected to hit the 7nm node using the Zen+ architecture, and will be released on the AM4+ socket in 2019 - but we're now hearing about the APUs that will be released between now and then.
AMD will reportedly launch Snowy Owl early next year, with the APU being aimed at the server market, based on Zen CPU cores and on the AM4 socket. After that, Horned Owl will be released into the mainstream consumer market on the same 14nm FinFET node, but on the FP5 BGA / AM4 packaging, and will arrive in 2H 2017. Banded Kestrel (seriously, these are awesome codenames, AMD) will succeed Horned Owl, and will be released in the first half of 2018 for the mainstream consumer market, using the same Zen cores as Horned Owl and Snowy Owl.
Horned Owl and Banded Kestrel are part of the mainstream APU roadmap, being manufactured by GlobalFoundries and Samsung on the 14nm FinFET process, with the Horned Owl APU succeeding Raven Ridge. Banded Kestrel is a lower tier platform that will have half the specifications and power that Horned Owl will have, but both platforms will be aiming at the embedded market on the FP5 BGA socket.
AMD has been all over the next-gen CPU game, which seems to be looking to really take off with Zen launching in 2017, but the processors that will follow in the years after will be beyond impressive.
We're now hearing about CPUs that will arrive all the way out in 2019, with a 4-core/8-thread CPU on the 7nm FinFET process using Zen+ cores would use just 10W. The graphics side of these new codenamed Gray Hawk processors will be courtesy of the next-gen Navi GPU architecture due out in 2019, which was reportedly delayed from 2018 just recently.
Gray Hawk will be released after Raven Ridge, with Raven Ridge made on the 14nm process and due sometime in mid-2017. The new Gray Hawk architecture will be used in desktops, notebooks, arcade gaming systems, embedded devices, automation, retail signage to medical imaging and industrial control systems.
AMD is looking to have a gigantic year in 2019, with the release of 'Starship', which is a beast of a 48-core/96-thread CPU.
Intel's new Kaby Lake architecture is so close I can smell it, with the upcoming Core i7-7700K processor already up for pre-order on an Estonian online retailer website for what equates to $402.
The specs listed on the website state the Core i7-7700K is a quad-core processor with 8 threads at 4.2GHz, but it'll hit 4.5GHz under Turbo Boost, a higher frequency than previously reported. Intel's upcoming Core i7-7700K should rock 8MB of L3 cache, and a 95W TDP, while slotting into the LGA1151 socket.
Kaby Lake will work on some current Z170-based motherboards, while newer Z270-based boards should be launching in the near future. The new Kaby Lake architecture is made on Intel's latest 14nm+ node, which provides up to 12% more performance over the older Skylake architecture made on 14nm.
Intel will have a bunch of Kaby Lake-based CPUs, including: Core i7-7700, Core i7-7700T, Core i5-7600K, Core i5-7600, Core i5-7600T, Core i5-7500, Core i5-7500T, Core i5-7400, and the Core i5-7400T.
AMD's upcoming Zen CPUs and new AM4 socket are closer and closer to being revealed, and now we have leaked shots of the PGA (Pin Grid Array) design which looks to have 1331 pins - just 6 short of that awesome 1337 number, AMD.
The current AM3+ socket from AMD is running out of steam, with the upcoming AM4 socket delivering native PCIe 3.0 support as well as native USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 functionality. AM4 will support dual-channel DDR4 RAM with up to 4 x DDR4 DIMMs at 3200MHz. The new socket will support up to 24 PCIe lanes, depending on the chipset - bringing AMD to an equal playing field against Intel's mainstream LGA 1151 socket.
AM4, just like previous sockets from AMD, is a PGA socket with zero insertion force. The same locking mechanism is in play, with the same 40x40mm space used on AM4, just like AM3+ before it. AMD has changed the pin count up on the AM4 however, with 1331 pins over the 942 of AM3+ and even more than Intel's current LGA 1151 socket - a first for AMD.
AMD will be launching its next-gen Zen architecture in February 2017, alongside a new high-end X370 series chipset. The news is coming from Benchlife, teasing the Bristol Ridge series of APUs based on the Excavator CPU architecture, and GCN 3.0-based graphics architecture.
The upcoming AM4 socket will be split into three different chipsets, with the high-end X370 leading the way, and behind it we have the B350 and A320 chipsets. The Zen FX-based CPUs will be part of the upcoming Summit Ridge family of processors, including PCIe 3.0 support, dual channel DDR4 memory controllers, lots of L3 cache, updated storage features including USB 3.1 and NVMe, and more. We can also expect to see CPUs arrive with between 4/8 cores with 8/16 threads, and consuming between 65-95W of power.
Motherboard makers are already reportedly building their inventories of X370-based motherboards, with companies preparing to unveil some of their AM4 motherboards in October. AMD will most likely show off their Zen CPUs and new X370 chipset during CES 2017 in January.
Intel had previously pegged its upcoming shift to the 7nm node for 2020, but according to the latest rumors it has been delayed through to 2020.
The company has been looking for a processor designer to work in their new Microarchitecture Research Lab that's based in Bangalore, India. The new processor designer would join a team of engineers to "spearhead the research and advanced development" of both processor cores and graphics processors that will be deployed in the "2020 and beyond timeframe" using Intel's "futuristic" 7nm manufacturing tech.
Intel has recently updated the job advertisement, changing the date of its 7nm node from 2020 to 2022, with the job noting: "The India Lab specifically, in collaboration with MRL-US and Intel product architecture teams worldwide, will spearhead the research and advanced development of Microprocessor Cores in the 2022 and beyond timeframe. By conceiving of and prototyping radical approaches, the Lab will aim to deliver much greater CPU power and area efficiency while still delivering industry-leading performance. The microarchitecture and design of these advanced CPUs will be aggressively co-optimized with Intel's sub-10nm technology nodes deep into the next decade".
AMD's upcoming Zen architecture continues to build hype, with the new Zen-based Naples processor having benchmarks leaked onto the web over the weekend.
The Geekbench database had a new addition with the codename for the platform teased as 2S1451A4VIHE4_29/14_N, which looks to be a dual-socket platform that can take two of AMD's next-gen Naples CPUs. Each CPU has 32 cores and 64 threads, meaning we will see 128-threaded systems in 2017 from AMD, running at 1.44GHz base, and 2.9GHz boost (at least for now, these clocks could improve with time).
Each CPU complex has 4 cores with 8MB of L3 cache, which means the 32-core variant will feature up to 64MB of L3 cache, which means Intel might have something to worry about in 2017. The motherboard used was codenamed "AMD Corporation Diesel", which was powered by a huge 128GB of DDR4 memory, leaving the Geekbench results at 1141 points for single-threaded operation, and 15,620 for multi-threaded performance.
AMD will have their 32-core/64-thread Naples CPU out in Q2 2017, ready for the workstation market with dual-socket goodness.
AMD has been making strides in its CPU division, but the next big leap looks like it'll come from something called 'Starship'. What is Starship? According to our friends at Fudzilla, Starship rocks 48 physical CPU cores, and 96 threads in total - yeah, it's a beast.
Starship is a concept project right now, with AMD looking to land the CPU sometime in 2018 or beyond. AMD will tap the 7nm process, skipping the 10nm node for Starship, using GlobalFoundries as their semiconductor manufacturer.
Fudzilla reports - and yes we know, this report is from June - that AMD's next-gen Starship will arrive in TDPs of 35W and 180W, so we're sure the 180W part will be the 96-threaded beast.
Why it matters: AMD is getting into the headlines for all the right reasons, and a 96-threaded server CPU is something I want to see. Now I want to get my hands-on some server-grade hardware to prepare to salivate all over Starship and its 96-threaded CPU goodness.
Back in January Microsoft wrote up a controversial edict that tried to shorten Skylake's lifecycle on legacy Windows OS and lock newer CPU hardware--including Kaby Lake and Zen--exclusively to Windows 10. After tons of pressure from the PC crowd, Redmond relented on Skylake...but what about Kaby Lake and Zen? Both processors are on the horizon, and PC enthusiasts need to know if their OS will be compatible.
Microsoft has now confirmed to PC World that its decision concerning Kaby Lake and Zen is final: Windows 10 only. "As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support," a Microsoft spokeswoman told PC World, reiterating the initial proclamation. "This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon."