We’re heading down the hearsay rabbit hole with this one, but reports have emerged that AMD is on track for a considerable improvement to IPC on its upcoming next-gen Zen 2 CPU architecture.
IPC, or instructions per cycle, is, appropriately enough, the measure of the average number of instructions executed per clock cycle. The IPC value multiplied by the clock speed provides a great indicator of CPU performance, and the ideal is to have high IPC along with high-frequency clock speeds.
For a long while, Intel has been dominant at IPC, delivering more with less versus Intel in terms of like-for-like clock speeds. However, the gap narrowed by 5% with Zen+ this year, while 1st-gen Zen massively outstripped Escavator on this front. And now, fresh reports have emerged that Zen+ to Zen 2 will be a 13% boost to IPC for scientific tasks.
“Zen+ -> Zen2: +13% IPC (Average) in scientific tasks. Not bad. P.S. No gaming data, atm,” wrote Bits and Chips.
Taking them at their word, this would represent an excellent advancement from AMD on paper. We already know of course that Zen 2 processors will be moving to the 7nm fabrication process, down from 12nm for Zen+. This will improve power efficiency, price to performance, and potentially increase clock speeds. Throw the 13% IPC improvements into the mix and AMD could be onto a big winner here, particularly considering Intel’s current struggles.
AMD's 7nm Zen 2 chips are still well on track to launch in 2019. We're expecting an unveiling of sorts at CES 2019 in January, so keep your eyes peeled.