Zen 4 architecture, planned for the next processors AMD, should mark a big step forward compared to Zen 3.
The problems encountered by Intel on the switch to 10 nm perfectly illustrated the importance of the fineness of the engraving of the latest components and the difficulty of finding companies able to follow the colossal investments in this area.
AMD is not the first on the TSMC 5 nm …
As explained by AnandTech, when the Zen 2 architecture was launched, AMD was in a way the leader on the issue. Not that he made his own processors, but he was among the first to use the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) 7nm process.
As the world’s leading independent foundry, TSMC is a leader on technological issues, but 7nm is no longer its main focus today. However, this is the process used on Zen 3 cores, and AMD seems to be lagging behind.
Indeed, several companies have already placed themselves on TSMC’s 5nm and even 4nm processes. Even more strongly, discussions are well underway around 3 nm. Thus, smartphone manufacturers (Apple, Huawei) are in pole position on 5 nm while Mediatek has already announced the production of its Dimensity 9000 in 4 nm by TSMC.
… but he will use an optimized version
However, in its official communication, AMD does not seem to have to go so fast with Zen 4, and if you look at the announcements of other companies, it is even “behind” by a generation of processes, if not two with the release during the year 2022 of a Zen 4, “only” in 5 nm.
AMD CEO Lisa Su answered questions from AnandTech by insisting first on the fact that his company ” continues to innovate in all areas “Before indicating that his” 5nm technology is highly optimized for high-performance computing and is not necessarily the same as other 5nm technologies available “.
Lisa Su implies here that optimizations related to the design of the brand’s CPUs are at work: AMD may not have the same 5 nm as others. She also specifies that beyond the only fineness of engraving, the organization of the chip is perhaps even of equal importance, evoking ” Zen 4 and 5 nm with 2D chiplets and 3D chiplets “.
Finally, as does TechPowerUp, it should be noted that the needs and objectives of an SoC manufacturer for smartphones and those of CPU or GPU are not necessarily the same: the fineness of engraving is undoubtedly even more critical for the former than for the latter .
On the same subject :
AMD’s Ryzen 9 6980HX in photos: Zen hits 5 GHz for the first time
Sources: AnandTech, TechPowerUp