AMD may be working on Phoenix APUs with a hybrid architecture. This is according to company documents. The chips would have performance cores and cores focused on efficiency. Intel already uses a similar structure in its processors.
References to an AMD APU with performance and efficiency cores can be found in AMD’s Processor Programming Reference for upcoming Phoenix APUs, noted Twitter user InstLatX64. This document mentions a series of AMD Family 19h Model 70h CPUs. These would support two different types of cores: Performance and Efficiency. The two types of cores each get a different feature set. The document “defines differences between architectural features per core, which may lead to different performance, boost clocks, and power characteristics.”
With the arrival of a possible hybrid architecture, AMD competitor Intel would follow. Intel introduced its Alder Lake processors in 2021, which also feature performance and efficiency cores. Intel’s more efficient E-cores take up less chip space and have a lower power consumption than the more powerful P-cores. Intel’s efficiency cores also lack support for hyperthreading.
How AMD’s more efficient cores perform is unknown. AMD previously showed Zen 4c cores, a variant of Zen 4 with a higher core density and lower power consumption. However, Zen 4c would mainly be intended for use in cloud applications. AMD would deliver EPYC CPUs with up to 128 Zen 4c cores. AMD supplies up to 96 ‘regular’ Zen 4 cores, which it incorporates into its current server processors. AMD did not report at the time of introduction whether it will also make processors that combine Zen 4 and Zen 4c on a single chip.
AMD previously shared details about its Phoenix APUs. These will be based on the Zen 4 architecture and are intended for laptops. AMD provides the chips with an integrated RDNA 3 GPU and its own AI Engine. The chip designer did not talk about efficiency cores at the introduction. Variants with such E-cores may follow at a later date. VideoCardz talks about the possible arrival of Phoenix 2 chips with two performance cores and four efficiency cores. When such processors should appear is not known.