AMD’s Zen architecture is expected to last four years

AMD's Zen architecture is expected to last four years

AMD’s Zen architecture is expected to last four years

 
When a company designs a CPU architecture it is expected to be used for several years, with Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture lasting from 2011 to this day and AMD’s Bulldozer architecture lasting from 2011 until 2017. 
 
It is unsurprising that AMD has plans for Zen beyond 2017, with the company aiming to offer significant changes to the architecture with every generation. Traditionally Intel worked on a Tick-Tock model, with a Tick representing a manufacturing node switch and Tock representing a major architectural change. Now Intel has moved to a three-year Process, Architecture, Optimisation model, though AMD’s Mark Papermaster states that AMD is going to do better saying, “We’re not going tick-tock,” “Zen is going to be tock, tock, tock”. 
 
This means that while AMD’s Zen architecture is a huge improvement over AMD’#s older Bulldozer design, the company clearly sees areas where they can improve and already have plans for their future ZEN architecture and beyond. 

  

AMD's Zen architecture is expected to last four years

 

Right now it is unknown exactly what these new CPU generations will offer to improve over Zen, though it will certainly be interesting to see what AMD will attempt moving forward. 

On the GPU side, you can read our Vega GPU architectural analysis here, though reading that does make us wonder what AMD has planned on the APU side. Does AMD plan on using their new High Bandwidth memory controller on the CPU side in the future? Could CPUs benefit from HBM as a high-level cache before DRAM? 

  

You can join the discussion on AMD’s future plans for their Zen architecture on the OC3D Forums.