AMD Zen Architecture Overview


AMD Zen Architecture is expected to be released in Q4 of 2016. It will be based on 14 nm FinFET manufacturing process technology.  FinFET is a Field Effect Transistor, where silicon  layer called as “fin” is wrapped around the transistor.

AMD zen planning began in the year 2012 with CPU architect “Jim Keller”. He “incharge of the zen architecture” left in September 2015 after 3 years of tenure. Now zen architecture is getting supervised under the CTO of AMD “Mark Papermaster”. Zen architecture was originally planned for 2017 following after the launched of “k12” core. But now they have mentioned in their 2015 Financial Analyst Day, it is expected to be released in October 2015.

According to AMD, Zen architecture’s main focus on increasing per core performance. FX series was not as successful as their core performance was not up to the mark. They were only good for multi-threading performance. AMD’s past architectures   were using Simultaneous multi-threading. In AMD FX, clustered multi-threading architecture was used. But as performance was not good as comparing the intel processors, they have again switched to Simultaneous multi-threading.

Mostly AMD’s Zen architecture will be based on 14 nm efficient process. AMD FX and AMD APU are going to switch from 32 nm and 28 nm respectively. The “zen” family of processors will feature a new socket “AM4”. It will support for DDR4 memory modules and 95 W power. AMD Desktop APU and AMD FX series (zen) will share AM4 platform. FP4 sockets for laptop APU. AMD APU with AM4 Socket will support DDR3 and DDR4 memory modules.


Next Generation GPU will also be based on FinFET process. It will increase 2 times performance per-Watt Efficiency. It will feature 2nd Generation HBM Technology.

Architectural Overview

Zen Core will have four integer units, two address generation units and four floating point units. Decoder which can decode 4 instruction per clock cycle. It will have all old and new instruction. Need to read more about instruction here

AMD Zen architecture

Some more news on zen architecture will be updated soon.


One Thought to “AMD Zen Architecture Overview”

  1. Thanks for the Info.
    AMD’s FX, clustered multi-threading architecture looked very good on paper and should have performed well. It was also highly cost effective, in terms of adding Modules, to easily increase core count.
    The problem, based on what I’ve read prior to its release was AMD relies too much on automation to design Bulldozer. Where as in the past, there was a lot more human hand intervention involved. Such as the successful Athlon, Athlon XP and Athlon 64 etc.
    Bulldozer would have been great. But that’s all in the past now. Thank goodness Jim Keller, greatest CPU Architect to date was involved with ZEN.
    Your article is well written. You have explained about “FinFET is a Field Effect Transistor,” well. I’ve not seen a better explanation online.

    ZEN will be my next upgrade.

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