Published in PC Hardware

AMD getting ready for Medusa

by on04 July 2024

Late 2025

AMD has released Zen 5 and is not starting to talk about Zen 6, which is reportedly code-named Medusa.

According to some new leaks, Medusa is slated for a late 2025 release, and AMD's rapid-fire launch cadence is reportedly designed to keep AMD at the top of the AI spec charts.

According to sources who spoke with YouTuber

(MLID), several AMD employees have heard of an architecture called Medusa, but opinions vary as to what it will be.

According to one source, it is a family of products encompassing desktop, mobile, and a mobile halo product. AMD's desktop products are codenamed "ridge," with its mobile parts labelled "point," and "halo" for extreme mobile. For Zen 5, we have Granite Ridge and Strix Point. The Strix Halo has not tipped up yet.

AMD's roadmap shows it plans on using both TSMC 4nm and 3nm chips in its lineup, but it's only revealed the 4nm chips thus far.

 TSMC's 3 nm process appears to be the lynchpin of Strix Halo and Zen 6 Medusa. The recently announced Zen 5 chips use TSMC's N4 process, which is a surprise as it was expected to move to 3nm for this architecture as it used 5nm for Zen 4.

MLID says moving to 3nm was the original plan, as Strix Point and Strix Halo were initially designed with a 3nm chiplet architecture. Problems with the chiplets and delays by TSMC caused that plan to be shelved, so Strix Point is now a 4nm monolithic die.

However, Strix Halo may arrive later this year with a 3nm chiplet design to kick sand in the face of Intel's Lunar Lake, at least in the neural processing unit (NPU) department.

AMD has already stated Zen 5 will use both 4nm and 3nm chips, so there's more to come on the 3nm front from AMD for this generation.

MLID says AMD is adamant about keeping with Intel regarding NPU performance, which has been the guiding force behind its semi-strange launch schedule. It launched Zen 4 8000 series chips for desktop and mobile with only an upgraded NPU probably to stay ahead of Intel's Meteor Lake chips in the burgeoning AI arms race.

The NPU in Meteor Lake is capable of 11 TOPS, while the XDNA NPU in Zen 4 8000 series offers 16 TOPS. That number will jump to 48 TOPS for Lunar Lake and 50 TOPS for Zen 5 Strix Point.

This leak claims AMD wants to move to a 3nm I/O die for Medusa slash Zen 6, which is a big change since Zen 4 and Zen 5 use TSMC 6nm for this chip.

The leaker also says Zen 5 Strix Point was supposed to arrive in Q1 this year but has been delayed two. Strix Point Halo has been delayed almost a year, but it should be capable of pounding Intel into dust when it comes.

We still don't know what AMD has planned for its Halo mobile product or the rest of the Zen 5 Strix Point lineup. It's only announced two CPUs so far, so it has many more chips to talk about. Intel's Lunar Lake is still months away. Though it was unveiled in May, it will not launch until September.

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