AMD Zen 3 was designed with 3D V-Cache in mind

Posted on Tuesday, August 10 2021 @ 21:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Later this year, AMD is expected to reveal its first processors with 3D V-Cache. This is a new cache technology that promises to enhance performance. Specifically, for gaming, AMD promises a performance gain of up to 15 percent.

Interestingly, it seems AMD planned ahead for this for quite some time. TechInsights analyst Yuzo Fukuzaki discovered the existing Zen 3-based processors were designed with 3D V-Cache in mind. An examination of the Ryzen 9 5950X processor revealed this chip has unused connections that will be used for V-Cache:
There’s a row of dots in the image above. AMD uses TSVs — Through Silicon Vias — to connect the L3 cache directly to the CPU. That’s where the TSVs will run in future V-Cache CPUs. AMD didn’t respin Zen 3 to add V-Cache; it designed the chip to be augmented in this fashion before Zen 3 ever shipped. This kind of forward-looking design is what helps a semiconductor firm execute a regular cadence. Intel has historically dominated the chip industry partly because it mastered this concept and branded it as Tick-Tock. AMD isn’t copying Intel’s old strategy of node shrinks and new architectural improvements, but the company is clearly thinking multiple steps ahead.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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