After AMD beat rivals Intel and Nvidia to become the first with 7 nm and PCIe 4.0, AMD can be proud of many successes. With affordable prices, top performance, and advanced design, there's a lot to love about AMD's Ryzen processor family.
The company has planned a lot for its processors and graphics cards over the next few years in order to extend its performance lead over the competition. If more information about AMD's plans is found, people may be tempted to further delay a potential PC upgrade to wait for Team Red's next big event. This is evidence of the strength of the company's technical roadmap.
2020: Ryzen 4000
Laptops released with AMD's Ryzen 4000 mobile processors were rightly a great success for AMD. These affordable portable devices offer powerful performance, long battery life, and even the ability to process data and play Full HD games – all in a lightweight design. AMD and its partners are so optimistic about the success of this silicon – based on AMD's Zen 2 architecture – that up to 135 designs will come onto the market.
With the success of Ryzen 4000 on mobile devices, our expectations are high for the debut of the AMD silicon family on the desktop, where it is expected to land before the end of the year. Rumor has it that AMD could push the Ryzen 4000 desktop launch to early 2021 after the company launched new XT series processors to extend the life of its Ryzen 3000 family. However, the company has suppressed these rumors and insisted that there is no delay for Ryzen 4000.
On the desktop side, AMD will offer two different architectures for its Ryzen 4000 desktops this year. The first will be the Renoir APU, which will contain Zen 2 cores. PC enthusiasts should look forward to the launch of the Vermeer version of the Ryzen 4000 desktop processors, which will have updated Zen 3 cores.
Vermeer's Zen 3 will feature an improved 7nm process node, likely to be manufactured by partner TSMC, offering improved instructions per cycle (IPC) performance, faster clock speeds, and better efficiency. Early benchmarks indicate that the Zen 3 architecture could increase IPC by up to 17% and improve floating point performance by 50%. Vermeer will take on the 10th generation Comet Lake-S from Intel and the upcoming 11th generation Rocket Lake-S.
If performance is your top priority, you'll be pleased to know that AMD is expected to launch its Threadripper 4000 processor, code-named Genesis Peak SP3r3, later this year. Threadripper 4000 will likely be based on an improved 7nm + process, making its design similar to the Ryzen 4000 Vermeer release.
On the graphics page, AMD announced that its RDNA 2 architecture – also known as Navi 2x – will be on the market by the end of the year and will include a range of products from desktops to consoles, such as Microsoft's Xbox Series X. RNDA 2 offers 50% increase in performance and brings ray tracing to AMD graphics cards for the first time.
2021: Ryzen 5000
For processors, 2021 for AMD can be a slow year on the desktop CPU side. A leaked roadmap table by Twitter user @Komachi_Ensaka revealed that AMD may not have planned a desktop processor for 2021. While AMD enthusiasts may be disappointed with this rumor, it may not be that bad. After AMD has existed in the shadow of its competitor for years, the strength of its existing Ryzen 4000 CPU line may feel safe enough to keep up with Intel's roadmap. After all, Intel is still struggling with 10nm production yields and will not have a 7nm processor until 2021 to catch up with AMD.
Instead, it appears that AMD will focus its efforts on its APU family with the introduction of Cezanne. Cezanne will replace the Ryzen 4000 Renoir and appear on desktop and mobile as part of AMD's Ryzen 5000 APU series. The Cezanne desktop variant is expected to continue to use the AM4 socket, which will simplify upgrades from older processors, while the mobile APU will use the FP6-BGA similar to Renoir.
In addition to the existing Vega 20 graphics architecture, Cezanne will use a new version of AMD's Zen 3 processor cores. Zen 3 is expected to significantly improve the IPC and reduce core latency. Cezanne could make its debut in January 2021, at the same time as CES 2021.
AMD is expected to launch a budget-friendly mobile APU in 2021 that will enable the company to continue to invest in Zen 2 architecture. It is unclear whether Van Gogh will be branded under the Ryzen 4000 or the new Ryzen 5000 series, but AMD will likely choose to coincide with the Cezanne announcement.
Interestingly, early reports suggest that Van Gogh will use older Zen 2 cores, but will bundle them with newer integrated navigation graphics. The switch from Vega to Navi suggests that Van Gogh will be shipping with a newer RDNA 2 graphics architecture. In addition, laptop owners who need more GPU performance and prefer an all-AMD solution can look for models that combine Cezanne with up to a discrete Navi 23 GPU. Van Gogh will be a competitor to Intel's 11th generation Tiger Lake platform, which will feature the company's enhanced Xe graphics architecture.
With AMD's promising ray tracing support for its RDNA 2 architecture, an APU that couples discrete Navi 23 graphics is an excellent rival to Nvidia's RTX solutions. RDV 2 graphics cards from Nvidia are expected to support high-bandwidth memory (HBM).
In addition to the mobile Cezanne APU, according to Wccftech, AMD could also launch new mainstream CPUs of the H series and the U series with low power consumption for laptops with the new Zen 3 cores.
According to HotHardware, AMD's RDNA 3 architecture is expected to be introduced sometime in 2021. References to Radeon Navi 3 – or RDNA 3 – were recently found in Apple's beta version of MacOS Big Sur, suggesting that RDNA 3 could be shipped on Macs after fall 2020.
As with RDNA 2, AMD is likely to focus on performance improvements for its next-generation graphics. AMD announced that RDNA 3 will be based on an expanded node, but the company has released no details. RDNA 2 is based on a 7 nm process.
AMD not only brings RDNA to laptops, desktops and consoles, it also works with Samsung to bring its graphics architecture to smartphones. A leaked GFXBench benchmark showed that Samsung's mobile Exynos processor with integrated RDNA graphics outperformed a similar mobile ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with integrated Adreno 650 graphics. It is unclear when such an Exynos processor with integrated RDNA graphics would come on the market, but according to Tom's hardware, the earliest date will be 2021.
2022: Ryzen 6000
AMD has confirmed that Zen 4 development has already started on this year's Financial Analyst Day and the chipset will be based on a 5 nm node. The architecture is expected to significantly increase performance and reduce power consumption. These functions make the Zen 4 design attractive for laptops, foldable devices and new and emerging form factors. PCGamer anticipates that reducing the node size could result in an increase in transistor density of up to 87%.
As in previous Zen-based versions, AMD is likely to present its Zen 4 architecture on its server chips. This means that you can find AMD's first 5nm architecture first in the EPYC Genoa range. The 5 nm architecture will later appear in AMD's consumer silicon. If so, we expect AMD Intel to offer serious competition.
To ramp up to 5 nm, Hardware Times reported that AMD placed an order for additional capacity at its partner TSMC's foundry. In a previous report, the China Times stated that TSMC is making good progress with its 5nm process and that production yields have already reached 50%. According to a report by PCGamesN, TSMC's 5 nm node could give AMD's processor an 80% higher transistor density and a 45% reduction in chips, resulting in a 15% increase in performance compared to the 7 nm architecture of Ryzen 3000 leads.
Zen 4 could also use new, faster memory, which means a jump into DDR5 RAM. If so, Zen 4 may speculate from TechRadar that it may require a new motherboard design and a transition from the AM4 socket.
Given the anticipated launch of Zen 4 in late 2021 or early 2022, we expect new Ryzen 5000 CPUs based on Zen 4 cores to be officially announced at this time. In addition to a mainstream processor, code-named Warhol, that will replace Vermeer, AMD is also expected to introduce a Ryzen 5000 Threadripper processor, according to Wccftech.
On the APU side, AMD is expected to work on a Ryzen 6000 product codenamed Rembrandt, which will succeed Cezanne in 2021. This desktop APU is said to have a 6 nm node with Zen 3 Plus cores. The Zen 3 Plus architecture is expected to offer even better energy efficiency and performance improvement over the standard Zen 3 platform.