Last Monday AMD posted a video featuring key people associated with the company’s successful Ryzen processor family, to walk down memory lane and stare into the future, on its official YouTube channel. Mike Clark Chief Design Engineering at AMD, stated that he is “already working on Zen 5.” Going by AMD’s naming convention, the number next to “Zen” denotes major micro-architecture generation since “Zen” and any “+” following the number denotes refinement to a newer silicon fabrication node. “Zen+,” for example, is a refinement of “Zen 1” or simply “Zen” to the newer 12 nm process, and allows AMD engineers to make minor improvements without any major design changes.
On the other hand, with “Zen 2” AMD gets the opportunity to bring major design changes (think “more than 4 cores per CCX”), or even improvements within the core itself. “Zen 5” is hence the fifth major micro-architecture chance since “Zen,” although it would be premature to call it “6th generation Ryzen,” as there could be several “+” stages between “Zen +” and “Zen 5.” To ensure people don’t dismiss Clark’s words for a slip of the tongue, AMD even annotated “Yes, he said Zen 5, and in the Endnote that has a lot of CYA statements, confirmed that “Zen 5” is a legit internal code-name for a micro-architecture AMD is working on. So we should see better Zen based CPUs in near future.