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Rumor | Upcoming AMD Ryzen with 8 Zen 5 cores and 16 Zen 4D cores to potentially thwart Intel's hybrid advances, Zen 4D to offer massive multi-core gains at Zen 3 IPC levels

AMD could take an enhanced multi-core approach with a Zen 4D and Zen 5 hybrid. (Image Source: AMD)
AMD could take an enhanced multi-core approach with a Zen 4D and Zen 5 hybrid. (Image Source: AMD)
AMD could be looking to introduce a Zen 4D contemporary to Zen 4 Raphael that would focus more on multi-core performance even if it means reduced single-core gains. Zen 4D is slated to launch with Bergamo EPYC parts but are likely to be available on the desktop or even consoles such as the PS5 Pro. In 2023, AMD is expected to launch a hybrid solution with up to eight Zen 5 performance cores and 16 Zen 4D efficiency cores on the AM5 platform.

Intel's just announced Alder Lake hybrid CPUs have shown excellent performance that can finally dethrone AMD Ryzen Zen 3 is most workloads, though not by much. However, AMD isn't napping, and the upcoming Ryzen iterations can potentially tilt the scales significantly in Team Red's favor.

This information comes via known leaker Moore's Law is Dead (MLiD), who seems to be confirming an earlier indication of what was known as Zen 4D or Zen 4 "Dense". Zen 4D will be a contemporary of Zen 4 Raphael, is the upcoming successor to Zen 3. Zen 4 marks the move to Socket AM5 along with offering support for DDR5 and an integrated RDNA 2 GPU.

Zen 4D, as MLiD puts it, is a fork of Zen 4 with significant reductions in clocks, power consumption, and a redesigned cache. The L3 cache is likely to be half of what is being designed for Zen 4. MLiD says Zen 4D trades in single-core performance for "massively increased" multi-core in the same die space as Zen 4.

AMD's Alder Lake moment — Zen 5 + Zen 4D

Zen 4D is likely to first debut on AMD Bergamo slated to launch sometime in Q2 2023. Bergamo is an EPYC part that is expected to feature 128 cores. By maintaining what is essentially the same die size, AMD can increase the core count even if it comes at the expense of single-core performance. While this works for servers, consumer applications will still stand to benefit from single-core gains so AMD could be targeting at least a Zen 3 or Zen 3 with Vcache IPC levels to keep everyone happy.

That AMD is working on its own hybrid CPU design has been speculated for quite some time now. Last year, patent drawings pertaining to how AMD would go about implementing a hybrid architecture came to light. These patents showed a few ways in which AMD would implement its own "big.LITTLE". 

Therefore, AMD is likely to do an Alder Lake and use Zen 4D as efficiency cores alongside Zen 5 performance cores. So, essentially, we stand to get a 3 nm Zen 5 and a 5 nm Zen 4D heterogeneous configuration.

It is also possible that AMD could make a Zen 4D-only chip with say, 2x 16C configuration that primarily excels at multi-threaded workloads with Zen 3 IPC levels. A PlayStation 5 Pro with Zen 4D-only die is likely within the realms of possibility as well.

Zen 5 — 20-40% IPC increase over Zen 4

While we still await Zen 3D with Vcache and Zen 4 shortly after that, it is Zen 5 that is touted to showcase the potential of the AM5 platform. MLiD's sources claim that the transition from Zen 4 to Zen 5 could yield as much as a 20-40% IPC increase over Zen 4 and is being targeted for a Q4 2023 launch — close to a year after Zen 4 releases.

Mainstream Zen 5 is expected to offer eight Zen 5 cores and 16 Zen 4D cores. Though AMD would be joining the heterogeneous architecture party somewhat late, if this is leak is true, it is well-poised to take on Intel Alder Lake successor, Raptor Lake, which we are hearing could offer eight Raptor Cove cores with at least a 10% single-core performance uplift over Golden Cove while doubling the amount of Gracemont cores to 16.

The above information should still be taken with a pinch of the proverbial salt since we are a few years away from Zen 5. That being said, if one were to speculate, AMD's approach of 'reusing' existing IP with known performance metrics could turn out to be a more efficient approach than Intel trying to shoehorn entirely distinct architectures onto a single chip. 

Buy the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X on Amazon

Zen 4D and Zen 5 rumors. (Source: Moore's Law is Dead on YouTube)
Zen 4D and Zen 5 rumors. (Source: Moore's Law is Dead on YouTube)
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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1595 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > Upcoming AMD Ryzen with 8 Zen 5 cores and 16 Zen 4D cores to potentially thwart Intel's hybrid advances, Zen 4D to offer massive multi-core gains at Zen 3 IPC levels
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-11- 6 (Update: 2021-11- 6)