Zen's future focuses on architecture, not process tech, says AMD's Lisa Su

'We are not relying on process technology as the main driver' - Says AMD's CEO

Zen's future focuses on architecture, not process tech, says AMD's Lisa Su

Zen's future focuses on architecture, not process tech, says AMD's Lisa Su

The success of AMD's Zen 2 architecture relied on three factors, process tech, improved core design and AMD's innovative chiplet approach to chip manufacturing. 

A lot of focus has been placed on AMD's use of TSMC's 7nm process tech, which is said to offer AMD both power efficiency increases, boosted clock speeds and increased transistor density. All of these are good things, but that isn't all of what AMD's Zen 2 processors offer over older designs. 

During the company's Q3 2019 Earnings Call, which has been transcripted over at Seeking Alpha, AMD's CEO, Lisa Su, has stated that Zen's future will not rely on continued process technology improvements as their primary performance driver. From Zen 2 onwards, AMD's focus will be on its core architecture. 

Lisa Su also said that AMD will transition to 5nm at an appropriate time, and believes that AMD's architecture will be the company's "highest leverage" when it comes to future products. Basically, AMD plans to continue pushing new architecture changes regardless of process tech. Contrast this to Intel, who have released different guises of their Skylake Architecture since 2016. When Intel couldn't move away from 14nm, architectural enhancements seemingly came to an end. AMD doesn't plan to make the same mistake. 

Below is a comment from Lisa Su regarding the future of Zen. This was an answer to a question from Timothy Arcuri regarding the balance between process tech and architecture in AMD's Zen roadmap.  


    So, Timothy, the way I would answer that question is, we’ve made a set of choices, and the set of choices include process technology, they include architecture, our chiplet architecture, they include sort of our overall system architecture. And I think we’ve made it set of good choices.

Going forward, we are not relying on process technology as the main driver. We think process technology is necessary. It’s necessary to be sort of at the leading edge of process technology. And so, today, 7-nanometer is a great node, and we’re getting a lot of benefit from it. We will transition to the 5-nanometer node at the appropriate time and get great benefit from that as well. But we’re doing a lot in architecture. And I would say, that the architecture is where we believe the highest leverage is for our product portfolio going forward.

Zen's future focuses on architecture, not process tech, says AMD's Lisa Su  

We have already discussed the architectural changes that AMD has planned with its Zen 3 architecture, as was revealed by AMD's Martin Hilgeman at the HPC AI Advisory Council's 2019 UK Conference this September. Our thoughts on AMD's changes are available to read here

You can join the discussion on AMD's plans to focus on architecture, not process tech on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

31-10-2019, 12:23:50

Intel has also stated in the past that it has learned its lesson and will uncouple architecture from process node in the future. Intel had a well defined tick-tock roadmap, and 10nm not arriving pretty much killed the new designs.Quote

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