AMD Zen 4 is the long-rumored successor to AMD’s successful Zen 3 architecture, which underpins AMD’s incredibly powerful Ryzen 5000 series of processors.
Because AMD and manufacturing partner TSMC was able to switch to a 7-nanometer technology for Zen, AMD’s latest generation of Ryzen CPUs have proven powerful and efficient enough to compete with Intel’s 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs. This allows them to jam more cores onto each wafer, giving AMD CPUs an advantage over many Intel CPUs, which are still using a 10 nm technology.
AMD has given no indication of how it wants to price its Zen 4 chips, which is unsurprising. The question of how much they’ll cost is the most difficult to answer because it is greatly dependent on when the firm distributes them and the health of the global semiconductor industry at the time.
According to prior AMD product announcements, the low-end Zen 4 chips, e.g., Ryzen 3 quad-core processors, are priced between US$130 and US$170 in the United States. Given that AMD’s high-end Ryzen 9 5950X CPU is now available for $800, more powerful variants may easily cost you hundreds of dollars.
Release date rumors
AMD has yet to declare an official delivery date for its Zen 4 processors, but based on the company’s track record and recent leaks, we may make an educated guess. AMD has introduced new Zen architectures on a fairly annual schedule, often every 14 months or so, and since Zen 3 was announced in November 2020, it’s plausible to expect Zen 4 chips in the first quarter of 2022.
Of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic and current chip shortage have put a kink in most tech businesses’ plans, so it’s logical to anticipate AMD to stray from its usual product delivery schedule.
AMD Zen 4 specs and leaked benchmarks
So far, AMD has been tight-lipped on Zen 4 technical specifications, although a few tidbits have leaked from reliable sources.
First, the next generation of AMD Zen chips will almost certainly be manufactured using the 5nm process. Chips and cheese issued a report in early 2021 alleging that AMD partner TSMC was moving to 5nm for Zen 4 and early engineering samples of Zen 4 server chip have been evaluated as 29 percent quicker than a comparable Zen 3 server chip with the same core configuration and clock speeds.
If this holds true for AMD’s desktop chips, Zen 4 CPUs should be substantially beefier than AMD’s current crop of Zen 3-powered Ryzen 5000 CPUs, in part because Zen 3 uses 7-nanometer chips, which can’t fit as many cores onto a single chip as a 5nm Zen 4 CPU.
The switch to 5nm will be a huge victory for AMD, which has made great strides on its 7nm Zen 3 Ryzen 5000 processor. They are generally considered to be faster than the 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake processors, which are still manufactured using 10nm technology.
In addition, we expect AMD chips to benefit from the new TSMC chiplet technology touted by AMD during its Computex 2021 keynote as a way to pack even more computing power into its chips. Simply put, adopting this new chiplet design allows AMD to vertically stack additional components (such as memory and logic units) onto each chip, giving AMD more power without increasing chip size.
Thanks to the extraordinary performance and efficiency of its recent Ryzen chip launches, AMD has become considerably more prominent in the desktop and laptop CPU industries over the last year or two.
Because AMD’s 7nm Zen 3 design is responsible for much of its success, the potential of future AMD chips based on the 5nm Zen 4 architecture should cause Intel some concern. While Intel may have a chance to reclaim market share with its future 12th and 13th Gen CPUs if AMD doesn’t ship its Zen 4 chips until the end of 2022, the possible power and efficiency benefits we could see in Zen 4 Ryzen CPUs could solidify AMD’s position as the market’s top dog.
Whatever happens between these two titans, 2022 promises to be an intriguing year for PC performance fans.