Intel may get some serious competition from AMD, which gave both good and bad news to gaming and high-performance computing enthusiasts recently. The bad news was that the first Zen chips, which people were expecting to see later this year, will not come out until next year. The good news is that its long-awaited Zen CPU architecture delivered a “landmark increase” in processor performance in tests, reports CIO Today.

Intel
Intel by Roebot, Flickr

New Zen CPU is far better than previous generation

During a special event in San Francisco, the semiconductor company disclosed some new details about the arrival of Zen. Intel was holding its annual developer forum not far from AMD’s special event. The upcoming Zen CPU could pose a new serious threat to Intel’s chips, the report notes.

AMD’s Zen will lay the foundation for a new series of products the American tech company plans to roll out, said President and Chief Executive Lisa Su during the AMD event. The Zen architecture has been shown to give a 40% clock improvement over the previous generation of CPU, said Senior Vice President and CTO Mark Papermaster.

Zen’s “clean-sheet” design features several changes over AMD’s previous CPUs, including simultaneous multithreading (SMT) and a new cache hierarchy. Zen will make its first appearance in core-based computing products for high-performance PCs. The processor maker said the CPU architecture will show up in enterprise mobile PCs, Relevant Products/Services-class servers, and embedded apps later, the report states.

In addition, the tech company recently demonstrated “Naples,” a 32-core, 64-thread processor based on Zen, in a dual-processor server with the Windows Server OS.

Intel agrees to a full support package for ARM

Meanwhile Intel is preparing to battle on another front. The chip giant recently agreed to support ARM intellectual property on the upcoming 10nm FinFET manufacturing process. This deal means that ARM’s Artisan physical libraries POP optimization of the cores will now be available to third parties on Intel’s 10nm FinFET process.

By this, the world’s largest chip maker made a statement that it is serious about competing with the likes of Globalfoundries, Samsung and TSMC. The chip maker has apparently accepted that even though the companies used the Atom system-on-chips to please Intel, their commercial architectural choice was always ARM. Thus, Intel’s foundry was left with two options: risk losing customers or get with the program, says EET Asia.

LG Electronics and Spreadtrum are already using Intel’s foundry.

Photo by Manuel Conde