AMD 3rd-Gen EPYC CPUs Codenamed ‘Milan’ To Be Based On ‘Completely New’ Zen 3 Architecture And Made On a 7nm Fabrication Process

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AMD has been making some steady strides in the world of processors. After the company managed to rival Intel with its Threadpripper and Ryzen Series CPUs, it is now on to the next generation of EPYC CPUs for servers. Codenamed ‘Milan’, the 3rd Generation AMD EPYC CPUs will be based on a “completely new” Zen 3 architecture, confirmed AMD exec, Forrest Norrod. While there’s still time before these new Zen 3-based CPUs arrive on the shelves, the performance gains expected from the new technology will be substantial, assured Norrod.

AMD 3rd-Gen EPYC CPUs Codenamed ‘Milan’ Based On Zen 3 Microarchitecture:

The current generation of AMD Threadripper and Ryzen Series CPUs are based on the Zen 2 Microarchitecture. Also known as Zen+, the process microarchitecture has allowed AMD to gain a substantial footing in the mainstream and premium processor market that was, until recently, dominated by Intel.

Intel is currently struggling with the 10nm Fabrication process and even thinking of abandoning the same and moving directly onto the 7nm manufacturing process. Meanwhile, AMD has not only optimized the process but even deployed several mainstream processors. The versatility and wide-ranging applicability of the Zen 2 Architecture has allowed AMD to make CPUs for mobile, desktops, workstations, and servers. Still, the most popular and widely known Zen 2-based processors are the Athlon, Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, Ryzen 9, and Ryzen Threadripper processors.

AMD CPUs for servers, based on the Zen 2 architecture are branded EPYC, and it is these processors that will be the first to benefit from the next step in evolution. Interestingly, AMD is so optimistic about Zen 3 microarchitecture that it is not even calling the progress an evolution. Instead, Zen 3 will reportedly be based on a completely new architecture.

The second-gen Epyc server CPUs, codenamed Rome, have been quite popular in the world of supercomputers. They are now an even bigger and intrinsic part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as Microsoft Azure computing instances. Several large OEMs have also deployed Rome-powered servers. Given the fact that these 2nd Gen EPYC processors confidently support the high-speed PCIe 4.0 interface, OEMs find it exceptionally easy to plug in GPUs, FPGAs, network adapters and SSDs and be assured of optimum performance without bottlenecks.

While Zen 2 delivered a bigger IPC gain, the Zen 3 will deliver performance gains “right in line with what you would expect from an entirely new architecture,” claimed Norrod. Incidentally, they will be built on the 7nm fabrication process, just like the Zen 2-based CPUs. However, they should benefit from moderately higher CPU clock speeds.

AMD Adopts Intel’s Tradition About Evolutionary Milestones Of CPUs and Their Fabrication Process:

AMD’s server CPU launches are set to rely on the “Tick Tock” cadence that was once a tradition of Intel CPU launches. A CPU platform that relies on a new manufacturing process node but the same microarchitecture as the last platform is a Tick. On the other hand, a platform that relies on a new microarchitecture but the same manufacturing process node is referred to as Tock.

The currently prevalent, second-gen AMD EPYC server CPUs, codenamed Rome, represents a Tick, owing to its use of a 7nm process that’s much more advanced than the 14nm process used by Naples (first-generation EPYC processors). Meanwhile, the 3rd-Gen EPYC CPUs, codenamed Milan, represents a Tock since it will feature a new microarchitecture but rely on a 7nm process.

In addition to the Zen 3 based 3rd Gen EPYC CPUs, AMD is already perfecting the 4th Gen EPYC platform. Codenamed Genoa, these processors, will be manufactured on the TSMC’s next-gen 5nm process node. Needless to add, these CPUs will represent a Tick. These AMD processors for servers are expected to arrive in 2021.

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