AMD has revealed a few more details about its next generation Zen CPU architecture. According to the company, the Zen core is more compact than its Intel equivalent thanks to an improvement in switching capacitance.
AMD improves upon Zen core than its previous designs, Lower costs?
In a whitepaper presented at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), AMD states its upcoming Zen x86 core fits into a 10 per cent smaller die area than Intel’s current second-gen 14nm core. The Zen die size measures 44mm2 compared to 49mm2 of the Intel Skylake.
According to EETimes, analysts and even Intel engineers in the session said the Zen core is clearly competitive though many confidential variables will come into play when determining whether the die shrinkage translates into lower costs for AMD.
Even if does, more important is the fact that Zen based SKUs offer better perform, if AMD wants to ever capitalize on the smaller size of chips.
As per the report, AMD managed to improve upon its Zen core by reducing switching capacitance by 15 per cent compared to its existing chips. It involved various techniques, for example, Zen marked the company’s first use of a metal-insulator-metal capacitor design. This helped AMD achieve lower operating voltages as well as greater per-core voltage and frequency control.
We can see in the image above that the die area of Zen is more compact than an equivalent Intel solution, with only 12 metal layers as well as overall lower L2 and L3 cache footprints.