AMD chief technology officer Mark Papermaster confirmed at CES 2017 that the firm's new Zen architecture has a projected lifespan of four years. Poking fun at Intel, Papermaster claimed AMD isn't going to follow a "tick-tock" model but that Zen will be going "tock, tock, tock".
When asked how long Zen would last, compared to Intel’s two-year tick-tock cadence, Papermaster confirmed the four-year lifespan and tapped the table in front of him: “We’re not going tick-tock,” he said. “Zen is going to be tock, tock, tock.”
Intel’s tick-tock cadence has typically meant that it develops a new microarchitecture every two years, with Kaby Lake the exception. Though AMD has never taken the time to formalize it, a three- to four-year lifespan for its own CPU architectures is about average. For example, the K8 series architecture debuted with the Opteron and Athlon 64 in 2003; with 2007’s mobile Sempron, the K8 trickled out. The K10 series lasted from about 2007 through 2010.
Based on some AMD slides from 2015 and August 2016 we know that the next step on AMD's long-term roadmap is Zen+, but so far we know precious little about this architecture.
is promising it that Ryzen will be a "hard" launch and not a paperlaunch. Papermaster said the launch of Ryzen will come with immediate retail availability and that customers will not have to wait weeks or months for the products to actually arrive. Unfortunately, the exact launch date of Ryzen remains a mystery, we do not know a more specific date than "Q1 2017".