Confirmed: AMD Zen Hasn’t Taped Out Yet, Reveals Chief Financial Officer
In the past few weeks, we have covered various stories around AMD Zen, the company’s next-generation CPU architecture, including the report that Zen has already been taped out. Just last month, it was rumored that test chips of the new CPU core have so far “met all expectation” with no “significant bottlenecks” in the micro-architecture being found.
Well, despite all these claims, the latest update is that Zen hasn’t taped out yet. The information comes directly from AMD Chief Financial Officer Devinder Kumar, who told Seeking Alpha:
Zen was a clean sheet design that started few years ago. We are in the final figure of executing and the milestone that you want hear us talk about is Zen tapping out, which should be over the next several months. And then putting samples in the hands of our customer and then starting portfolio of revenue in 2017.
And by the way, because we have this reuse approach for cores, you will see us with Zen cores in the high-end desktop first and then the server from our overall products standpoint. But the key is tapping out in the next several months, samples and customers for the validation of the product over the 2016 time frame and then the revenue ramp happening in 2016.
Kumar further revealed that it takes around 12-14 months from the time you tape out the products to when you start shipping the products. That means, realistically we are looking at about a couple months to begin taping out, plus another ~14 months, which puts the consumer release of Zen at about April of 2017!
As for the specifications, AMD Zen architecture is built on a 14 nanometer process. It features a unified AM4 socket with its GPU-equipped APU counterparts, as well as includes support for DDR4 memory. Further, the architecture utilizes Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT) technology allowing the CPU to process two threads at once. That results in a performance increase of 40% Instruction Per Clock (IPC) throughput.