AMD unveils the architecture Zen 4C – server processors with 128 cores

It is not many years ago that AMD was fully calculated in servers and had a market share below 0.1 percent. Since the introduction of the architecture Zen and the processor family Epyc, that thing has slowly changed and in 2021, AMD is expected to pass a market share of 10 percent.

During the Accelerated Data Center events, AMD’s CEO Lisa Su presents two innovations in server processors, one more expected than the other. The first goes by the code name “Genoa” and is based on the architecture Zen 4 with manufacturing on TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology. The processors in the Genoa family get up to 96 cores and 192 wires, support for DDR5, PCI Express 5.0, Compute Express Link (CXL) and extended security features.

AMD optimized the new “Zen 4c” core for cloud-native computing, tuning the core design for density and increased power efficiency to enable higher core count processors with breakthrough performance per-socket. “Bergamo” comes with all the same software and security features and is socket compatible with “Genoa.”

Unlike Genoa, the second novelty will not be the next natural step in the Epyc saga. It is about “Bergamo” which uses a cloud-optimized variant of Zen 4 called Zen 4C. The sibling architecture is fully software compatible, ie has the same instructions, and does not yet have known cloud-specific optimizations. The processor family gets the same functions as Genoa and they both become socket compatible.

An optimization for Zen 4C can be seen, however, in the number of cores, which extends to as many as 128 pieces and completely sonic, the number of threads will be 256 pieces. By all accounts, AMD has not achieved this through major architectural interventions, instead the company has collaborated with TSMC on the manufacturing side of high-density libraries.

In the development of architectures and associated circuits, engineers have to make many trade-offs, where two of a myriad of different parameters are the choice of transistors and density. Different transistors come with different characteristics, where one prioritizes energy efficiency before performance (clock frequency) and vice versa for another. The choice of transistor is in turn a parameter that is important for density.

Performance-focused transistors need lower density to keep heat generation in check, while more energy-efficient ones can be used for more transistor-tight circuit designs. With Zen 4C, AMD thus takes the more energy-efficient and transistor-tight path, which makes it possible to add another 32 cores. Here, AMD specifically mentions that they have optimized for the density of the cache.

In concrete terms, this means that Bergamo with its 128 cores Zen 4C will deliver the highest possible performance, energy efficiency and number of wires per base. The sibling model Genoa with its 96 cores Zen 4 becomes a more balanced design where each individual core can reach higher clock frequencies than Zen 4C at Bergamo.

AMD Genoa is targeting Enterprise, High Performance Computing (HPC) and the cloud, while Bergamo is more explicitly aimed at the latter segment. The Genoa processor family is out with customers for evaluation and will be launched sometime in 2022, most likely by the end of the year. Bergamo will not be released until the first half of 2023.

Read more about the architecture Zen 4:

Source: SweClockers by

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