Nothing stops the Zen train
According to Rick Bergman, AMD’s executive vice president of Computing and Graphics, AMD will launch Zen 3 processors for the client market this year. Bergman made the important announcement in the closing lines of a corporate blog post he penned today.
AMD has already stated that Zen 3 processors are on track for release in 2020, but the company hadn’t specified if the chips would be for the data center or the consumer market. We already knew that the Zen 3-based EPYC Milan data center chips are due this year, but Bergman’s announcement marks the company’s first official acknowledgment that Zen 3 chips for the consumer market will also land this year.
AMD’s last few big releases may have been a bit of a disappointment for enthusiasts because both Threadripper Pro and the Ryzen 4000 series of desktop APUs have been targeted specifically for the OEM and system integrator markets, meaning that they won’t come to the retail market. In the closing lines of his blog post, Bergman tells us that might change soon:
“So, what’s next for AMD in the PC space? Well, I cannot share too much, but I can say our high-performance journey continues with our first “Zen 3” Client processor on-track to launch later this year. I will wrap by saying you haven’t seen the best of us yet…”
Bergman does narrow things down to the client (consumer) market but doesn’t specify exactly where the 7nm Zen 3 client chips will debut. The Zen 3 chips could land on the desktop PC platform in the form of the long-awaited Ryzen 4000 ‘Vermeer’ processors, or they could come to laptops as a fast follower to the company’s Ryzen Mobile chips. AMD’s latest mobile processors are just now taking hold in the market and have finally gained some traction, but a quick follow-up would cement AMD’s position as a serious contender in the mobile segment that comprises 60% of the consumer x86 market. Intel has its promising Tiger Lake mobile chips launching this year, too, so it would be a good time for a new line of Zen 3 mobile chips to counter Intel’s 10nm assault.
However, launching a new Ryen 4000 (codenamed 'Vermeer") desktop PC chip could cement AMD’s ever-growing success there, too, and render the Ryzen XT models as a mere stop-gap between big product launches. We’re left to speculate for now, but it’s clear that AMD has more in store for us as we enter the latter half of the year.