Highlights from AMD Earnings Call: Hardened "Zen2" and 7 nm "Vega" by 2019

Following its Q4 and 2017 Annual financial results reveal, AMD CEO Lisa Su, in the company's post-results earnings conference call, made some notable disclosures and guidance. The most interesting - and which shouldn't come as a surprise - is that AMD expects revenues to grow by a staggering 30 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q1-2018, riding on the blockchain (crypto-currency mining) wave. The company's graphics processors offer high efficiency at mining popular crypto-currencies, such as Ethereum, Z-cash, and Bitcoin.

Moving on, Su commented on how her company is coping with the "Meltdown" and "Spectre" CPU vulnerabilities, and reaffirmed that AMD's x86 architectures are slightly safer by design against some of the vulnerabilities; that while the upcoming "Zen+" CPU micro-architecture, which is essentially an optical-shrink of "Zen" to the 12 nanometer process will ship with microcode-level patches against the vulnerabilities, its successor, the "Zen2" micro-architecture, which will be built on the 7 nm process, will feature architecture-level hardening against the vulnerabilities. "Zen 2" tapes out towards the end of 2018, and could see production and marketing in 2019. The other big reveal is the taping out of an optically-shrunk "Vega" architecture implementation on the 7 nm process, taping out within 2018. This isn't "Navi," but possibly a bigger "Vega" chip that leverages 7 nm to have acceptable power/thermals. AMD could tap into the machine-learning market with this silicon first.