AMD introduces Zen 4c and Phoenix 2: “big.LITTLE” Hybrid Processors


November 5, 2023

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Summary: AMD has released its new hybrid core "big.LITTLE" processors, the Ryzen 7040 "Phoenix" lineup, which offer improved performance and efficiency for different power levels, allowing users to choose the right processor based on their specific needs.

  • Improved performance compared to predecessors
  • Optimized libraries for low-clock compute workloads
  • Superior performance at 15W and lower power levels


AMD has made a significant breakthrough in the world of processors with the launch of its new hybrid core “big.LITTLE” processors. These processors, known as Zen 4c and Phoenix 2, are specifically designed for the notebook segment. What sets them apart is their unique combination of low-power “E” cores and reduced L3 cache, which allows for more cores to be squeezed into the chips.
The Ryzen 7040 “Phoenix” lineup includes two heterogeneous CPUs: the Ryzen 5 7545U and the Ryzen 3 7440U. The former features two Zen 4 and four Zen 4c cores, while the latter replaces the existing 7440U with a single Zen 4 and three Zen 4c cores. These new processors offer improved performance compared to their predecessors, thanks to their optimized libraries for low-clock compute workloads.
One notable difference between AMD’s hybrid designs and Intel’s is the scheduling system. AMD has opted for a straightforward approach, where the Windows scheduler treats the Zen 4 and Zen 4c cores as lower-clocked cores of the same cluster. This means that high-performance workloads will ignore the Zen 4c cores, utilizing them only for less sensitive tasks. While this scheduling system may be simpler, it does have its limitations, such as not being used for background “efficiency” tasks by default.
According to AMD’s internal testing, the Zen 4c cores are best suited for low-power, multi-threaded workloads. These compact cores offer superior performance at 15W and lower power levels. On the other hand, the larger Zen 4 cores excel at power levels of 25W and above. This separateion allows users to choose the right processor based on their specific needs.
AMD has already started shipping notebooks equipped with the Phoenix 2 processors, and it won’t be long before they hit the retail market. Unfortunately, there is no visual way to differentiate these notebooks from the outside. To confirm if a machine is powered by the Zen 4c and Phoenix 2 processors, users will need to turn on the device and check the SoC name.
In conclusion, AMD’s Zen 4c and Phoenix 2 processors represent a significant advancement in the world of hybrid core processors. With their unique combination of low-power cores and reduced L3 cache, these processors offer improved performance and efficiency for different power levels. While they may not be visually distinguishable from the outside, their impact on notebook performance is undeniable. As AMD continues to innovate in the processor market, we can expect even more technologies in the future.

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Background Information


About AMD: AMD, a large player in the semiconductor industry is known for its powerful processors and graphic solutions, AMD has consistently pushed the boundaries of performance, efficiency, and user experience. With a customer-centric approach, the company has cultivated a reputation for delivering high-performance solutions that cater to the needs of gamers, professionals, and general users. AMD's Ryzen series of processors have redefined the landscape of desktop and laptop computing, offering impressive multi-core performance and competitive pricing that has challenged the dominance of its competitors. Complementing its processor expertise, AMD's Radeon graphics cards have also earned accolades for their efficiency and exceptional graphical capabilities, making them a favored choice among gamers and content creators. The company's commitment to innovation and technology continues to shape the client computing landscape, providing users with powerful tools to fuel their digital endeavors.

AMD Website: https://www.amd.com/
AMD LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/amd/

About Intel: Intel Corporation, a global technology leader, is for its semiconductor innovations that power computing and communication devices worldwide. As a pioneer in microprocessor technology, Intel has left an indelible mark on the evolution of computing with its processors that drive everything from PCs to data centers and beyond. With a history of advancements, Intel's relentless pursuit of innovation continues to shape the digital landscape, offering solutions that empower businesses and individuals to achieve new levels of productivity and connectivity.

Intel Website: https://www.intel.com/
Intel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/intel-corporation/

Technology Explained


L3 cache: L3 cache is a type of computer memory that is used to store frequently used data and instructions. It is located between the processor and main memory, and is used to reduce the amount of time it takes for the processor to access data from main memory. This helps to improve the overall performance of the computer. In the computer industry, L3 cache is used in many applications, such as gaming, video editing, and web browsing. It can also be used to improve the performance of servers and other high-performance computing tasks. By providing faster access to data, L3 cache can help to reduce the amount of time it takes for a computer to complete a task.


SoC: A System-on-Chip (SoC) is a highly integrated semiconductor device that encapsulates various electronic components, including processors, memory, input/output interfaces, and often specialized hardware components, all on a single chip. SoCs are designed to provide a complete computing system or subsystem within a single chip package, offering enhanced performance, power efficiency, and compactness. They are commonly used in a wide range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to embedded systems and IoT devices, streamlining hardware complexity and facilitating efficient integration of multiple functions onto a single chip.



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