Zen 5 Sneak Peek? AMD Driver Update Hints at Next-Gen Processor

Should the plans proceed smoothly, AMD is poised to unveil its next-generation Zen 5 architecture processors in 2024. The innovative Zen 5 series architecture will encompass three designs: Zen 5, Zen 5 V-Cache, and Zen 5c, available in both 4nm and 3nm variants.

In fact, over the past few months, AMD has been diligently updating and supporting Zen 5 in Linux, laying the groundwork for the successful launch of this new generation of processors. It’s essential to establish a comprehensive ecosystem before the product release. AMD engineers are actively developing new Linux drivers, enhancing support for the forthcoming Zen 5 processors.

Phoronix recently uncovered that AMD updated their PMC driver, responsible for CPU power management. The new patch introduces support for the Family 1Ah Model 20h processor. While AMD hasn’t explicitly stated that Family 1Ah is Zen 5, considering the timing of its activation and the fact that Linux kernel patches don’t typically advance many generations at once, it probably pertains to Zen 5.

AMD’s upcoming Zen 5 will feature a range of derivatives, including the EPYC Turin series for data centers, the Granite Ridge for the Ryzen desktop platform, and the Strix Point for the Ryzen 8050 mobile processor. It boasts two types of cores: the Zen 5 core, codenamed Nirvana, and the Zen 5c core, known as Prometheus.

According to previous AMD disclosures, the Zen 5 architecture is a ground-up creation, boasting enhanced performance and efficiency, a redesigned pipeline, and more integrated AI/ML modules, catering to AI PC and AI HPC markets. There’s speculation that AMD might launch this new generation of chips in February 2024, though I personally remain skeptical about this timeline as it seems quite early. Nevertheless, AMD might reveal some new information or even showcase a demo at the upcoming CES 2024.