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AMD confirms Zen processors launching early 2017

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AMD confirmed on its recent Q3 earnings call that its Zen based CPUs, code-named Summit Ridge, will be releasing in Q1 2017. 

According to Wccftech (opens in new tab), CEO and President of AMD Dr. Lisa Su responded to a question from Chris Hemmelgarn of Barclays on the call. "With Summit Ridge launching in Q1 of 2017, I guess how would you expect the channel to ramp that?" Asked Hemmelgarn. "Do you see it ramping pretty fully in the first couple of quarters of the year, or are you looking for more normal PC seasonality?"

Su replied that AMD expects good initial demand for Summit Ridge, "not quite at the season patterns." Plus she believes the processors will fit into a space where AMD is not currently offering a product. "So  we believe we’ll be competitive certainly with Core I5 as well as Core I7 and we will be launching in those areas."

The Zen desktop CPUs are expected to launch around January's Consumer Electronics Show, alongside the new X370 motherboards. High-end motherboards and Summit Ridge CPUs are expected to be a little later. You'll need a new motherboard for the new line of CPUs, and you'll also need Windows 10 (opens in new tab), a requirement shared by Intel's Kaby Lake. 

AMD has fallen behind Intel in the processor space in recent years, however in testing its Zen architecture has been showing drastic improvement (opens in new tab). So far we know AMD will have an 8-core, 16-thread chip on sale. Testing against an Intel Broadwell-E processor with the same specs, both clocked to 3.0GHz, the AMD product came out slightly on top. Of course, we'll have to see how they perform in the real world before jumping to any conclusions. We should expect the clock speeds to be higher on the hardware when it eventually ships though.

Plus, AMD announced during the earnings call that Zen server processors will be on the way in Q2 2017. The "Naples" CPU has a beastly 32 cores and 64 threads with 512MB cache. Intel's highest core count at the moment is 24.