As the rumors around the new AMD ‘Zen’ CPU and its performance builds up, recent news from the CERN presentation about AMD supposedly planning a 32-core CPU with an eight-channel DDR4 interface has set a new bar for the expectation of a flagship chip from AMD.
CERN engineer ‘Liviu Valsan’ recently gave a presentation on technology and market trends for the data center. At around 2 minutes into the discussion, he brought up AMD’s Zen architecture with a slide that contained some previously undisclosed details. One of the more interesting revelations was that upcoming x86 processors based on Zen will feature up to 32 physical cores.
Numerous speculations were made as some of the information about the new chips were founded from software patch notes and other updates. But AMD planning such a high-end product isn’t really following the speculations which were previously made. With these specifications, this chip easily surpasses current Intel high-end server architectures. The new architecture is rumored to have a 64KB L1 cache (32d, 32i) and a 512KB L2 cache per core. The L3 cache is rumored to be 8MB and split between each group of four cores.
AMD having the advantage of the 14nm technology is fine but even with the current speculations of 32 cores , lower clock speeds wont be surprising. And given how the industry has shifted to per-core pricing for many applications and ecosystems, it may be hard to sell businesses on a giant CPU core. On the other hand, considering this chip a flagship is not wrong as Intel’s 18-core Xeons are 662mm sq, or roughly the size of a high-end GPU on 22nm. Even if AMD decides to stick two 16-core package, it will still be bigger than normal chips.
So, what are your thoughts on a 32-core CPU? Let us know in the comments.