AMD has confirmed its new AM5 platform will support both PCIe 5.0 as well as DDR5 memory, and that it will land on our desktops in 2022. AMD released its first Ryzen processor five years ago and is celebrating the fact by getting Robert Hallock and John Taylor to sit down and have a chat about the architecture which transformed AMD's place in the CPU market.
It's not as dry as it might sound, because AMD has used this opportunity to confirm a few things: Its 3D V-Cache chips are still on the way early next year, and that its next-generation AM5 platform will support the latest I/O and memory technologies.
After a quick trip down memory lane where Robert Hallock recalls the first time he got his hands on the first Ryzen CPU, he goes on to state, "In 2022 Ryzen will have a new platform and some key ingredients are DDR5, PCI Express Gen 5, and cooler compatibility with existing AM4 coolers."
AMD has spoken about DDR5 support for Zen 4 in slides for a while now but hadn't said whether its next-gen platform would support PCIe 5.0. Confirming that now makes sense, if only because Intel's 12th-gen Alder Lake platform will ship with support for both DDR5 and PCIe 5.0.
To be fair, it would have been surprising for AMD to let its I/O lead slip for a whole generation, given it has supported PCIe 4.0 since Zen 2 launched in 2019, while Intel only brought in support for the standard just this year. PCIe 4.0 may not have done much for graphics cards, but its impact on storage, with PCIe 4.0 SSDs, has been profound and PCIe 5.0 doubles the available bandwidth. That's never a bad thing.
The last point that Hallock makes is also worth mentioning, as cooler compatibility is important for anyone looking to upgrade to Zen 4 as a PC platform when it's launched. You're going to need a new motherboard and new DDR5 RAM, so being able to carry over your CPU cooler means you should be able to save a little bit of cash and not have to wait for a company to release adapters.
We don't have an exact date for when these chips are going to land, although given the 3D V-Cache chips are going to be released at the start of the year, we can probably expect Zen 4 and AM5 to drop between July and November in 2022.