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AMD Goes Full 7nm with EPYC Rome Processor

Today AMD unveiled its upcoming 7nm compute and graphics product portfolio designed to extend the capabilities of the modern datacenter. During the event, AMD shared new specifics on its upcoming “Zen 2” processor core architecture, detailed its revolutionary chiplet-based x86 CPU design, launched the 7nm AMD Radeon Instinct MI60 graphics accelerator and provided the first public demonstration of its next-generation 7nm EPYC server processor codenamed “Rome.”

The multi-year investments we have made in our datacenter hardware and software roadmaps are driving growing adoption of our CPUs and GPUs across cloud, enterprise and HPC customers,” said Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD. “We are well positioned to accelerate our momentum as we introduce the industry’s broadest, most powerful portfolio of datacenter CPUs and GPUs featuring industry-leading 7nm process technology over the coming quarters.”

AMD Compute Architecture Updates

AMD for the first time detailed its upcoming “Zen 2” high-performance x86 CPU processor core that is the result of a revolutionary modular design methodology. This modular system design uses an enhanced version of AMD Infinity Fabric interconnect to link separate pieces of silicon (“chiplets”) within a single processor package. The multi-chip processor uses 7nm process technology for the “Zen 2” CPU cores that benefit from the advanced process technology, while leveraging a mature 14nm process technology for the input/output portion of the chip. The result is much higher performance – more CPU cores at the same power, and more cost-effective manufacture than traditional monolithic chip designs.

Combining this breakthrough design methodology with the benefits of TSMC’s leading-edge 7nm process technology, “Zen 2” delivers significant performance, power consumption and density generational improvements that can help reduce datacenter operating costs, carbon footprint and cooling requirements. Other key generational advances over the award-winning “Zen” core include:

  • An improved execution pipeline, feeding its compute engines more efficiently. Front-end advances – improved branch predictor, better instruction pre-fetching, re-optimized instruction cache and larger op cache.
  • Floating point enhancements – doubled floating point width to 256-bit and load/store bandwidth, increased dispatch/retire bandwidth and maintained high throughput for all modes.
  • Advanced security features – Hardware-enhanced Spectre mitigations, taking software migration and hardening it into the design, and increased flexibility of memory encryption.
  • Multiple 7nm-based AMD products are now in development, including next-generation AMD EPYC CPUs and AMD Radeon Instinct GPUs, both of which AMD detailed and demonstrated at the event. Additionally, the company shared that its follow-on 7nm+-based “Zen 3” and “Zen 4” x86 core architectures are on-track.

AMD EPYC Server CPU Updates

AMD also disclosed new details and delivered performance previews of its next-generation EPYC processors codenamed “Rome”:

  • Processor enhancements including up to 64 “Zen 2” cores, increased instructions-per-cycle1 and leadership compute, I/O and memory bandwidth2.
  • Platform enhancements including the industry’s first PCIe 4.0-capable x86 server processor with double the bandwidth per channel3 to dramatically improve datacenter accelerator performance.
  • Double the compute performance per socket4 and four times the floating point performance per socket5 compared to current AMD EPYC processors.
  • Socket compatibility with today’s AMD EPYC server platforms. AMD demonstrated the performance and platform advantages of its next-generation EPYC processor with two demos during the event:
  • A pre-production single-socket next-generation AMD EPYC processor outperforming a commercially available top-of-the-line Intel dual processor Xeon server running the computationally-intensive, industry standard “C-Ray” benchmark6.
  • The industry’s first x86 PCIe 4.0-capable platform demo, featuring a Radeon Instinct MI60 processor to accelerate image recognition. “Rome” is sampling with customers now and is expected to be the world’s first high-performance x86 7nm CPU.

AMD Datacenter Graphics Updates AMD launched the world’s first 7nm GPUs and the industry’s only hardware-virtualized GPUs – the AMD Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI50 – which are scheduled to ship to customers this quarter. These new graphics cards are based on the high-performance, flexible “Vega” architecture and are specifically designed for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), delivering higher levels of floating-point performance7, greater efficiencies8 and new features for datacenter deployments. A live demonstration during the event showed the flagship AMD Radeon Instinct MI60 running real-time training, inference and image classification.

In addition to new hardware announcements AMD also announced ROCm 2.0, a new version of its open software platform for accelerated computing that includes new math libraries, broader software framework support, and optimized deep learning operations. ROCm 2.0 has also been upstreamed for Linux kernel distributions, extending ROCm access to millions of Linux developers and users. Designed for scale, ROCm allows customers to deploy high-performance, energy-efficient heterogeneous computing systems in an open environment.

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