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AMD reveals details on upcoming Zen 3 "Milan" and Zen 4 "Genoa" EPYC server CPU architectures

Image via AMD
Image via AMD
AMD recently unveiled a roadmap for its EPYC line of server-grade CPUs. The Zen 3 ("Milan") and Zen 4 ("Genoa") EPYC CPUs look like they will continue to pressure Intel's enterprise business. While Milan looks more like a refinement of the current Rome EPYC CPUs, Genoa may bring support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0.

AMD is hitting hard in the server space. The release of its Zen 2-based EPYC server CPUs (codenamed Rome) was a major blow to Intel’s enterprise business as Team Red’s chips have proven themselves to be competitive (or better) alternatives to Intel’s incumbent ICs. It doesn’t look like AMD is slowing down, either. Zen 3 and Zen 4 server CPUs are on their way over the next few years; the new silicon looks like it will continue to pressure and steal market share from Intel.

AMD showed off its EPYC roadmap at the HPC-AI Advisory Council UK conference this past weekend and revealed a few details about the Zen 3 (“Milan”) and Zen 4 (“Genoa”) EPYC CPUs. Milan is set to release sometime in 2020 and seems more like a refinement of Rome than anything else. Although it retains many of the same features of Rome, Milan will be built on AMD’s new 7nm+ node process, which should increase performance with some slight improvements to energy efficiency. Milan will keep the same 64 core maximum as Rome and will be compatible with the SP3 socket. Somewhat disappointing is confirmation that Milan CPUs will have only two threads per core, counter to earlier rumors of SMT4 (four threads per core) showing up as early as Milan.

Perhaps most interestingly is a tweak to the cache arrangement. Rome splits the CPU’s chiplets into two groups of four cores (called a Compute Complex, or CCX) and gives each group a shared 16 MB of L3 cache, Milan will keep the eight cores of each chiplet grouped together. The eight cores will share 32 MB or more of L3 cache.

Moving down the road, Zen 4 EPYC CPUs, dubbed “Genoa,” should drop in 2021. Genoa will use a new SP5 socket and brings with it support for a bevy of new features. Chief among these is possible support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0. AMD is still in the “definition” phase for Genoa, so not a lot has been pinned down. Rumors that Genoa will be built on a 5nm or 6nm process are flying, but this is wild speculation at this point.

EPYC has been a game-changer in the enterprise market. Intel has long stood in dominance over all other companies, but AMD came out swinging with Zen. It looks like AMD will be going for a knockout over the next two years, but Intel is sure to defend and counter with something spectacular. The server CPU industry hasn’t been this exciting for a while.

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Image via AMD
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > AMD reveals details on upcoming Zen 3 "Milan" and Zen 4 "Genoa" EPYC server CPU architectures
Sam Medley, 2019-10- 8 (Update: 2019-10- 8)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.