How did AMD make its Zen processors faster?

AMD might be ahead of Intel for the first time in more than a decade

·1 min read

Welcome to the latest episode of Upscaled, our explainer show where we look at the components and parts that make our favorite tech better. In this episode we're checking out AMD's new Zen 2 processors. These chips are crazy fast, and pack up to 16 cores into a consumer design, all while being remarkably power efficient.

So how did AMD do it? Processor clock speeds have barely increased in years, but chips keep getting faster. What tricks are engineers using to keep the improvements coming? One of AMD's areas of focus was instructions-per clock, or IPC, a measure of how quickly the CPU can execute basic functions, and an area where AMD has historically lagged behind the competition.

So if clock speed doesn't necessarily indicate a chip's speed, what is it measuring? And how does IPC fit into the picture? We dig into modern processor design, which is all about keeping data moving, and having the information the CPU will use ready before it's needed.

Upscaled is available in 4K on YouTube