A while ago it was reported that TSMC - the manufacturing company that works with AMD to help create their processors - had jumpstarted their production of the 5nm process nodes. What was most significant about this information was that they had apparently approached AMD to consult them on switching to the N5P process, rather than the original 7nm process initially planned.
Sadly, it looks like the rumor was just that, a rumor, as AMD have just released their latest set of roadmaps for investors confirming that they will indeed still be using the 7nm manufacturing process for both the Zen 3 (Ryzen 4000 series) CPUs and RDNA 2 based GPUs. Though they are still reserving the 5nm process for Zen 4’s eventual release sometime around late 2021/2022.
If AMD was indeed planning on using the 5nm process instead, then we almost certainly would have found out here in these slides. The above image pretty much confirms that AMD will be sticking with 7nm for now (Zen 3).
Though there were some more slides to come out of the investors PDF, including a detailed look at the performance improvements for the upcoming RDNA 2 based graphics cards like the Big Navi:
As you can see, AMD confirms that there will be a consistent 50% increase in performance per watt compared to the previous-gen RDNA architecture. In addition users can expect to see improvements in the instructions per cycle (IPC), logic enhancement like reduced complexity and switching power, as well as physical optimizations like increased clock speeds.
Finally, we got to see the GPU architecture roadmap for AMD as well, which shows the benefits of the upcoming RDNA 2 architecture like the aforementioned performance per watt improvements, as well as ray tracing and variable rate shading capabilities and more.
But what’s interesting here is that AMD are teasing the RDNA 3 architecture for 2021/2022 as well, and even teases the fact that it will be an “advanced node.” Maybe we’ll see something like a 4nm process instead for RDNA 3? Who knows, but it’s interesting that they didn’t even put 5nm for now considering there’s a small notice at the bottom-right that says “roadmaps subject to change.”
All in all, AMD is looking to be a serious competitor for both Nvidia and Intel with their GPUs and CPUs (respectively) for the next-gen hardware. With these kinds of performance gains in both categories, hopefully that will mean better performance and access to higher-end technology - like ray tracing and variable rate shading - on a budget. Even with the RTX 3080 rumors and some RTX 30 series possible specs leaked already.
With any luck, we'll get to see either of them soon enough as AMD plans to reveal and release their RDNA 2 based GPUs before next-gen consoles come out.
What do you think? Are you excited for AMD’s next generation of processors and graphics cards? Which one are you more interested in and why? What do you think that advanced node size could be? Let us know!