No, we haven’t skipped a generation. The Ryzen 7000 APUs will be the first to use the architecture Zen 4 at the CPU level because, according to numerous leaks, AMD is planning to release a revision of the Zen 3 architecture, tentatively known as Zen 3+, which will be the one that shapes the Ryzen 6000 APUs.
I must say that, when the rumors that pointed to the presentation of Zen 3+ began to appear, I did not finish seeing too much sense, but now, with the marked shortage of semiconductors that we are experiencing internationally, my way of thinking has completely changed. Carrying out a major architectural makeover like Zen 4 without the semiconductor industry recovering would be a poor move on AMD’s part, but at the same time, leaving the industry without a makeover would not be appropriate either.
To get out of that situation, the Sunnyvale giant could turn to the Zen 3+ architecture, a revision of the current Zen 3 that would come manufactured in 6 nm process and that it could count on small improvements at the silicon level that would allow, in theory, a slight jump in terms of CPI (between 2% and 5%). So that we understand each other, could be something similar to Zen +, an architecture that represented a minor evolution compared to Zen, although it allowed AMD to demonstrate that it had found the right way with its MCM design.
It was rumored that, with Zen 4, AMD you could bet on increasing the maximum number of cores and threads in your processors of general consumption, and also in their Ryzen 7000 APUs, but nothing is confirmed yet, so we cannot take it for sure. On the other hand, we must bear in mind that, if finally AMD decides to integrate an RDNA 2 GPU in said APUs, it may not have enough space in the package to integrate a greater number of chiplets, and therefore the total number of cores will not increase. at the CPU level.
Ryzen 7000 APUs: Codename Raphael
All the information that we have been seeing so far constantly repeats that codename. Raphael is how AMD’s Ryzen 7000 APUs are known internally. This generation will be manufactured in process of 5 nm, which represents an important evolution compared to the 7 nm used by Zen 2 and Zen 3.
Thanks to this reduction of the manufacturing node, AMD will have more space at the package level to integrate a more powerful GPU, based on the RDNA 2 architecture and prepared to offer such high performance that we could finally see “comparable” solutions to the APUs that use the next generation consoles. I have quoted because the memory subsystem will continue to act as a very significant limitation, so its performance will never really become identical.
In case anyone has doubts about what I have said above, let me explain. PS5 and Xbox Series X use an APU with next-generation Zen 2 CPU and Radeon GPU that operate under a fully unified memory subsystem, with a 256-bit bandwidth and GDDR6 chips. In a PC, on the other hand, an APU has to deal with a much more limited memory system, where with a dual channel configuration we can access a 128-bit bus and DDR5 modules at frequencies that, on average, are around 3,200 MHz. The bandwidth is much lower, and that limits performance.
The Ryzen 7000 will use DDR5 / LPDDR5 memory, which will allow AMD to partially overcome this important limitation, thanks to the increase in frequencies that these new types of memory will allow, and the use of an integrated RDNA 2 GPU to begin to have something of meaning. In the attached image we can see that, in addition, these new APUs will be compatible with the PCIE Gen5 standard.