image: AMD

The industry’s average annual growth rate for IPC stands at a slow 7%. AMD wants to break that trend.

In an interview with AnandTech, CTO Mark Papermaster noted that one of the primary goals with Zen is to bring higher and higher single threaded performance with each subsequent generation.

That would imply a substantial gain in IPC every 12 to 18 months. (According to AnandTech’s editors, that works out to a +10.7% improvement.)

The assertion seems plausible enough, being that Zen 2 managed a 15% IPC increase over the previous generation.

Papermaster hinted that Zen 3’s uplift would be derived potentially in large part by the improved cache design.

IC: Everyone’s favorite topic when discussing new hardware is about increases in IPC. For Zen 2, we saw a very good 15% increase in IPC over the previous generation. Recently we heard about Forrest Norrod (SVP of Datacenter) talk about Zen 3, in that we should expect to see a very typical increase in IPC again, making another step-function improvement over Zen 2. Do you expect AMD to continue with these sorts of improvements?

MP: So with our roadmap, and as you know I won’t go into specifics about IPC gains for future generations, but we are driving a model of high-performance compute, and there will be performance gains with each new generation. It’s all about picking the right set of IPC improvements, and the right process nodes and design rules for our core designs. There’s always a balance when we design our cores, so match power with efficiency, and at AMD we still expect to exceed the industry standard. We’ve stated before that the industry has been on a slow 7% annual growth rate in single threaded performance, and our goal is to beat that with every generation of our products. We’ve executed better than the industry with our recent products and we exceeded industry expectations.

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