AMD is on a roll. The US chip manufacturer has emerged as Intel’s main rival in the CPU market, following a string of high-profile releases. The latest of these was the Ryzen 5000 Series, the first generation of processors to be based on AMD’s new Zen 3 architecture. The company says it improves “every aspect of the CPU”, yielding big performance and power efficiency gains.

As is the case with many component manufacturers, we already have a good idea of AMD’s future plans. The Zen 3-based Ryzen 6000 Series is expected later this year, before Zen 4 architecture makes its debut in 2022. It might seem strange to already be looking ahead to Zen 5, but we have a few key rumours on what to expect. Here’s everything you need to know at this early stage.

AMD Zen 5 release date

AMD is yet to confirm the existence of Zen 5 architecture, let alone when it might arrive. Therefore, our best guess surrounding release date comes from the previous release dates of Zen architecture:

  • Zen - March 2017
  • Zen 2 - August 2019
  • Zen 3 - November 2020

AMD confirmed at the Zen 3 reveal in October 2020 that Zen 4 is ‘on track’ and in ‘development’. Nothing more has been announced, although sometime in 2022 seems most likely. That would put Zen 5 back to 2023 at the earliest, although tech site KitGuru suggests we’ll be waiting until 2024.

Which AMD processors will use Zen 5 architecture?

Going by the rough schedule above, we’d expect the Ryzen 8000 Series to be the first to use Zen 5. That’s what the same KitGuru article says, suggesting it will be the first to use a new 3nm process. Zen 5 architecture will also enable it to have a hybrid design of performance and power efficiency cores, similar to Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake and Raptor Lake.

Zen 5 is likely to debut in desktop chips first, before coming to laptops a few months later. That’s how AMD tends to go about launching new hardware. With so long before its potential release, it’s hard to predict what motherboard or other hardware requirements desktop PCs will need.

AMD Zen 5 spec rumours

It might not be expected for another three years, but we already have a fairly good idea what Zen 5 will bring to the table.

MoePC describes Zen 5 as the “next huge microarchitecture revamp for AMD”, suggesting the company uses odd numbers for more significant releases. Codenamed ‘Strix Point’, it says Zen 5 will be the first AMD CPU to use a 3nm process. More specifically, this will use TSMC’s N3, although the article suggests Apple will be first in line.

The article also goes into more detail on the hybrid ‘big.LITTLE’ design, which will consist of eight performance cores and four power efficiency cores.

It goes on to say that the listed specs are subject to change, but this gives us our best indication yet of the key Zen 5 specs and features. We'll update this article as soon as we know more about the Zen 5 architecture.

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