AMD Open to Bringing Even More Cores to Mainstream Ryzen CPUs, but Unsure about SMT4

AMD’s Ryzen 9 3950X processor already flaunts an impressive 16 cores, but the company has no plans to stop there for mainstream users. In an interview with Tom’s Hardware, CTO Mark Papermaster announced his enthusiasm for bringing even cores (32!?) to desktop Ryzen products, which he believes is justifiable due to the increasing applications that can take advantage of multiple cores.

“I don’t see in the mainstream space any imminent barrier, and here’s why: It’s just a catch-up time for software to leverage the multi-core approach,” Papermaster said. “But we’re over that hurdle, now more and more applications can take advantage of multi-core and multi-threading.[…]”

“In the near term, I don’t see a saturation point for cores. You have to be very thoughtful when you add cores because you don’t want to add it before the application can take advantage of it. As long as you keep that balance, I think we’ll continue to see that trend.”

Papermaster also touched upon the potential adoption of SMT4, amid multiple rumors. SMT4 would enable “each core of the processor to run four threads as opposed to the standard dual-thread implementations,” which would result in quite a performance boost under certain conditions. Unfortunately, AMD doesn’t have much to say about it at this time.

“In general, you have to look at simultaneous multi-threading (SMT): There are applications that can benefit from it, and there are applications that can’t. Just look at the PC space today, many people actually don’t enable SMT, many people do. SMT4, clearly there are some workloads that benefit from it, but there are many others that it wouldn’t even be deployed. It’s been around in the industry for a while, so it’s not a new technology concept at all. It’s been deployed in servers; certain server vendors have had this for some time, really it’s just a matter of when certain workloads can take advantage of it.”


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