Amd launches the world’s first 5nm processor for personal computers

NEW DELHI: Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Monday announced its first PC processor built on a 5nm manufacturing process. Announced at Computex 2022 in Taiwan, the company’s Ryzen 7000 processors are an upgrade to AMD’s current Ryzen 5000 chips.

The new chips have been in production for a while, powered by the company’s new Zen 4 architecture, but will require users to purchase a new motherboard to use them.

The Ryzen 7000 chips have a new socket design, which is a pin assembly that connects the processor to the motherboard. The new motherboards, called AM5, also bring improvements of their own. They will provide higher bandwidth and will provide up to 14 USB ports.

Perhaps the biggest improvement on the new 16/32-core Ryzen 7000 chip is the clock speed. AMD says the chips will go past the 5GHz turbo speed and showed demos where they hit frequencies up to 5.5GHz. That’s probably why the company claims 15% faster “single thread performance”.

Today’s microprocessors are capable of running multi-threaded operations, where the chips can run two or more instructions at the same time, supported by the operating system. However, single-threaded performance is still crucial for running many apps and playing games. For example, higher single-threaded performance allows games and applications to launch faster when they start up.

That said, all this performance comes at the cost of power consumption, or at least so it seems right now. According to AMD, the AM5 motherboard will give the Ryzen 7000 up to 170W of power, which is significantly higher than the 142W chips running on the Zen3 architecture that were used. They will also support DDR5 memory, which means PCs can have a higher amount of RAM.

To be sure, the 5.5GHz turbo speed in AMD’s demo is on par with Intel’s Core i9-12900KS processor, which is the company’s fastest chip on the market. Last year, Intel said it would start producing 5nm chips from 2024, giving AMD a head start for the company. Intel will call its 5nm manufacturing process Intel 20A.

A December 2021 report by Mercury Research on CPU market share shows that AMD ends 2021 with a 25.6% share of the global market for x86-based chips (the architecture created by Intel, used by most PC chips) – the highest market share it has ever achieved. The last time the company had this much market share was in 2006, when it held 25.3% of the market.

Part of AMD’s success is attributed to their Zen3 architecture which improved the performance of the chips, and the company developed new production nodes faster than Intel. A two-year start could help AMD increase its share of the market.

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