AMD comes clean on Zen core details, high-bandwidth memory for Radeon

amds next graphics chip architecture could be called polaris amd
When a rumored AMD roadmap for 2015 and 2016 chipsets leaked last week, we knew it would probably be confirmed or denied at AMD’s Financial Analyst Day, and now we know the truth, as well a bit more detail about what’s coming in the next year. AMD announced the new “Zen” cores for its flagship processors, right on schedule with the roadmap, and discussed future improvements to their line of GPUs.


The x86 “Zen” cores replace the previous generation Excavator cores found in existing processors, and take advantage of energy-efficient FinFET silicon design. The cores are based on a completely new architecture, with a special high bandwidth, low latency cache system for speedier response. These cores are also equipped with greater simultaneous multi-threading support – they’re really trying to compete in performance with the fastest chips on the market. The “Zen” cores will start showing up in APUs and CPUs for both mobile and desktop applications starting in 2016.


AMD also teased attendees with confirmation of High Bandwidth Memory for the newest addition to the Radeon line of video cards. This is the first announced adoption of the technology in the GPU industry, and its starting to look pretty impressive. By using 3D DRAM thememory in upcoming Radeons will have almost three times the performance to watt ratio of the current GDDR5 setup. This falls into line with AMD’s move towards more energy efficient technologies as a way to improve performance and keep operating costs low for consumers.


The brand didn’t give firm release dates for the “Zen” core chips, or new Radeon cards, but a few new features were flashed on screen to show what was coming in the next year. New desktop GPUs with DirectX 12 and FreeSync support should be on the market this quarter, and a new mobile GPU, the M300 Series, was announced as immediately available. The rest of the details will have to wait until some upcoming industry events in the next few weeks.


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