Threadripper was not part of AMD's original plans for Zen

Threadripper may not have existed without the enthusiasm of AMD's employees

Threadripper was not part of AMD's original plans for Zen

Threadripper was not part of AMD's original plans for Zen

The release of AMD's Ryzen series CPUs has prompted the biggest shake up that the PC industry has seen for quite some time, allowing buyers to purchase PCs with higher core counts and prices that were previously possible from both AMD and Intel. 
With Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 AMD is offering strong 4-16 thread products at bargain prices, with their Threadripper series CPUs offering up to 16 full cores and 32 threads for less than £1000. Before then Intel offered their 10-core, 20-thread i7 6950X for prices that exceeded £1500, with Ryzen prompting Intel to then offer their current generation 10-core i9 7900X for $999 and then offer 12-18 core Skylake-X CPUs as part of their high-end lineup.  
In the eyes of many, AMD's Threadripper series of CPUs offer the most innovation that the desktop market has seen in quite some time, making 16-core CPUs somewhat affordable and offers users an unparalleled amount of PCIe connectivity. It is therefore very surprising that Threadripper itself was not part of AMD's original plans for Zen, coming as a result of an unofficial project from passionate AMD employees, who were said to have worked on the project for around a year bringing the idea to management. 
Below is a quote from Sarah Youngbauer, a member of AMD's communications team when speaking with Forbes writer Anthony Leather.  


There’s a unique story surrounding Threadripper, but one that gives testament to the spirit that’s emerging in the company as we go through this transition since 2014 when we announced our Zen architecture. It’s not really a story of roadmaps and long-term planning or huge R&D budgets - it’s a lot more personal than that and stemmed from a skunkworks project and a small group of AMD employees who had a vision of a processor they’d really want in terms of a high-performance PC.

They worked on it in their spare time and it was really a passion project for about a year before they sought the green light from management, which is quite unusual – it was something they really cared about. The result, several years later was Ryzen Threadripper, which is the world’s most powerful desktop processor. Without this group of people Threadripper may not have happened.


Threadripper was not part of AMD's original plans for Zen  

Some signs of Threadripper's origins can still be seen today, from its use of the TR4/SP3v2 socket (a modified SP3 socket) to the fact that its basic design looks almost identical to AMD's EPYC series of server CPUs. 

With Threadripper AMD has been able to capture part of the HEDT (High-End Desktop) market, offering consumers an unprecedented amount of value and Intel a huge incentive to shake up their own lineup with 12+ core X299 CPUs. 

Threadripper is a showcase of AMD's passion for the CPU market, giving us hope that the company will continue to innovate moving forward as they develop new and improved products. 


You can join the discussion on Threadripper's Origin on the OC3D Forums


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