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New AMD Zen X86 APU boasts up to 16 cores

by on31 March 2015


Greenland graphics HBM for Godaveri successor

We got an update on AMD's 2016 processor plans and the new APU with up to 16 Zen x86 cores and integrated Greenland HMB graphics is something that you may find interesting.

The new APU is expected to launch sometime in 2016, replacing the Godaveri platform that we all got to know as the Carrizo APU. Carrizo notebook APUs should launch at Computex, or early June 2015. The new Zen-core powered APU doesn't have a solid codename just yet, at least not the one that our sources are comfortable revealing. 

The new APU platform has everything AMD fans could wish for - four channel DDR4 support, PCIe3, up to 16 Zen cores and Greenland GPU, paired with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). The ability to add up to 16 Zen CPU cores suggests that AMD plans to use this chip for the compute market too, as the marriage of 16 Zen processors and HBM powered Greenland graphics can probably score some amazing compute performance numbers. Yes, we think such an architecture is a perfect match for the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA). In case you are not familiar with this term, HSA is a type of computer processor architecture that integrates CPU and GPU on the same bus, with shared memory and tasks

16 Zen Cores with Greenland HBM GPU

There is a good chance that Greenland is based on the Fiji architecture and it will be intresting to see if AMD plans to use HBM1 or HBM2 memory for its latest 2016 APU. Our sources are uncertain about this. Each of the Zen cores will have dedicated L2 and share L3 cache with three other cores, suggesing a four-core module design. The CPU cores will "talk" to HBM graphics cores via a special communication channel called Coherent Fabric. The Coherent Fabric channle eliminates PCIe latency and we will try to find out more about this technology.

In case the Zen-based APU with HBM powered Greenland GPU can launch in 2016, this means AMD might still be in the x86 desktop game with some really innovative products. The huge number of cores and the module configuration raise a number of questions, but information is still limited. In any case, it appears that next generation AMD APUs will start off with four Zen cores (one module) and scale up to 16 cores, or four modules. This makes us wonder how big Zen actually is and whether or not it will replace all AMD cores, from tablets to desktop and server parts.

If you're interested in what the future holds for AMD, be sure to check out the company's 5-year plan. [It worked for Stalin. sub.ed.]

Last modified on 31 March 2015
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