NUVIA Phoenix

By: Chester (, August 14, 2020 10:12 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
> Do you believe that AMD can ship a substantial boost over Zen 3 by end of 2021?
> Not to knock AMD, but that seems, uh, ambitious. Even when Intel was
> firing on all cylinders, the best they could do was Tick Tock.
> I'd expect Zen 3 (7nm, IPC boost) to have minor tweaks for 5nm, the easy stuff (eg larger LLC) but no serious
> IPC boost. MAYBE they can pick up a few percent in frequency, but more likely, I'd expect, is they take the process
> win as lower power/able to sustain today's maximum frequency longer/over more cores simultaneously.

And with 5nm comes more transistor budget for bigger buffers, more execution resources, and wider stages. I think it can be a substantial boost over Zen 3. Zen 2 was a substantial boost over Zen 1 after all.

> Sure, I see Apple as being able to do this and not AMD. Am I being hypocritical? No, I'm looking
> at the track record in both spaces. Like I said, even Intel at its best couldn't do what you're
> suggesting --

AMD has a much longer history of designing CPUs than Apple, and much more eperience targeting high performance segments as well. They have one-upped Intel before, and are doing so now. I wouldn't underestimate them.

> something about the combination of x86 and/or reaching for frequency (lotsa
> custom circuits, trying to tweak *any* feature impacts clock)

That's a very cynical view. Yes, AMD and Intel hit clock speeds higher than ARM chips, but they're still striking a balance. Sometimes it's done well (chips today), and sometimes it's done badly (P4, bulldozer).

You seem to assume companies other than Apple are prone to making extreme, black-and-white design choices. That's not what happens at all.

> and/or trying to target a single
> design from server to mobile seems to make that sort of pace impossible.

Again both AMD and Intel have made big gains. Sure, percentage wise they gain less than ARM, but that's because ARM's starting from behind (and benefit from seeing what worked for AMD/Intel). RISC-V starts from even further behind and thus sees even bigger percentage gains.

But I do agree that trying to target a single design for everything from server to mobile creates compromises. That's likely holding AMD/Intel back.
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