Now that AMD Zen 2 processors have hit both the mainstream market and enterprise with Ryzen 3rd Generation and 2nd-generation Epyc processors, respectively, it's time once more to look to the future. And, it looks like AMD has finished the design phase for its Zen 3 CPU architecture.
This news comes out of its reveal event for 2nd-generation Epyc processors, where AMD showed a slide indicating that the Zen 3 architecture design is complete, and even labeled the more-distant Zen 4 architecture as “in design”. This doesn't mean that AMD Ryzen 4th Generation processors are right around the corner, but it does mean that AMD isn't taking their recent victories as permission to slow down.
AMD Zen 3 will likely be based on a 7nm+ process, much like AMD Zen+ after it followed the original Zen architecture with a 12nm+ manufacturing process. That means we can expect higher clock speeds paired with lower power consumption. AMD would achieve this by moving to a 7nm EUV (extreme ultraviolet) node, rather than the 7nm DUV (deep ultraviolet) node that Zen 2 CPUs are based on. This technology should make manufacturing chips more efficient and less prone to errors.
As for what Zen 4 will be able to do, however, we don't have a great idea of what it'll be able to do. We've seen some speculation out there, via TechPowerUp, that the AMD Zen 4 will be based on a 6nm EUV node and may be available as soon as 2021.
We don't know whether this move to a 6nm manufacturing process would be able to see AMD bumping core counts even higher than the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 3950X, but it will be interesting to see if we can see Threadripper 2990WX-level performance on mainstream desktop chips in the next couple of years.
At the end of the day, we still don't know what AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3rd Generation is going to be able to do, and that should give us a better idea of what to expect from AMD Zen 3 and Zen 4.
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