Next year will be a big one for the AMD EPYC line. The next-generation AMD EPYC 7004 “Genoa” part we have discussed a few times on STH. This is the Zen 4 based server CPU that will come out in 2022. AMD also has a cloud-native CPU design based on a cloud-focused variant of its Zen 4 line, the Zen 4c that it calls the AMD Bergamo.
AMD Genoa and AMD Bergamo
Starting with Genoa, AMD says that 5nm will give it 2x the efficiency and >25% the performance of its 7nm chips. It is using that to add more cores and additional features. Some of the big AMD Genoa disclosures here are that the chip will hit 96 Zen 4 cores, up from 64 today. 50% more cores and silicon improvement sounds like a path to big gains. One also can see that we are getting DDR5 and PCIe Gen5 as expected with Genoa. AMD is also confirming CXL 1.1 support along with new security features. Expect Genoa will need a new socket.
AMD Bergamo is going to be the cloud variant. On a call before the event, Mark Papermaster and Forrest Norrod said that these are different chips that leverage the same ISA, but that there are cache tweaks here to get to 128 cores. The idea behind Bergamo is that cloud computing workloads are different than the traditional workloads and so AMD can optimize for more cores per socket instead of optimizing for HPC performance (as an example.)
AMD also is looking at the Zen 4c to provide better power efficiency per core. If we look to Arm vendors, the Zen 4c is seemingly aligning AMD’s offerings more towards a customized cloud CPU product like the Ampere Altra (Max) instead of a traditional large core CPU.
Overall, this is a great direction for AMD to expand market share.
Intel has stepped up its pressure with Sapphire Rapids. Now AMD is answering with more disclosures about Genoa and Bergamo. Something that was not in the slides, but hinted at strongly in our pre-briefing call is that AMD Milan-X is not a one-off product in terms of adding more cache to a CPU. With Intel offering a HBM variant of Sapphire Rapids, it sounds like AMD is planning to have high-cache Zen 4 generation server parts as well.
For those wondering how much more complex Bergamo is versus Milan, here is a screenshot I grabbed as the chip’s lid was being filled in. Lisa Su is in front of the chip, but one can see that there is a lot going on in that package.
AMD told us Genoa is still a 2022 product, while Bergamo we would likely start seeing hit systems in early 2023. 2022 is going to be exciting in servers!