AMD’s Zen CPU: 10 key things you need to know



1. It’s all new. Zen is a totally new “clean-sheet” chip design and appears to be 40 percent faster than AMD’s previous CPUs. It features individual cores with SMT, instead of the shared cores with clustered multithreading of today’s AMD CPUs.

2. It’s not a CPU. Technically Summit Ridge isn’t a CPU, but an SoC, which means there’s no chipset needed for most of the functionality. On at least one Summit Ridge demo board, we spied a chip that appeared to handle the SATA and SATA Express ports. But these are engineering boards, so who knows.

3. It’s an Octa-core. The consumer chip, code-named Summit Ridge, will feature 8 cores with simultaneous multi-threading (similar to Intel’s Hyper-Threading), for a total of 16 threads.

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