Tag: zen

AMD’s Zen may borrow Skylake features

zen_as_a_frogThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that AMD’s  next-generation high-performance micro-architecture code-named “Zen” might have borrowed a few ideas from Intel.

The first central processing units to use “Zen” for client PCs will be the code-named “Summit Ridge” chip that is expected to feature up to eight cores, a DDR4 memory controller, a PCI Express 3.0 controller and up to 95W thermal design power. The chip will use 14nm FinFET process technology by either  GlobalFoundries or Samsung Electronics.

WccfTech claims AMD will return to its traditional practice of introducing server processors powered by the latest microarchitectures first and then follow with chips for client PCs.

Without providing any details, the report claims that the new architecture features certain technologies found in the upcoming Intel “Skylake” processors. We are not sure how AMD could do this without a major court case, but what it could do is implement x86/x87 extensions, enhancements as well as various new instructions introduced by Intel in its central processing units.

Many official and semi-official revelations indicate that Skylight Intel will support AVX 3.2 (512-bit instructions), SHA extensions (SHA-1 and SHA-256, secure hash algorithms), MPX (memory protection extensions), ADX (multi-precision add-carry instruction extensions) and other innovations.

If AMD does run AVX 3.2, it will have to come up with a new floating-point unit (FPU) to run 512-bit instructions. AMD’s FPU currently features two 128-bit FMAC (fused multiply–add capability) pipelines that can be unified into one large 256-bit-wide unit if one of the integer cores dispatches an AVX instruction.

What this means is that if AMD’s “Zen” supports AVX 3.2, will need an all-new FPU that will be different from Bulldozer and will need a fully-fledged 512-bit FPU. Otherwise, execution of 512-bit AVX 3.2 instructions will be slower than an asthmatic ant with a heavy load of shopping.