AMD’s 3D V-cache could be coming not only to CPUs, but GPUs too

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AMD’s 3D V-cache could be coming not only to CPUs, but GPUs too

AMD has already announced that it plans to release a Zen 3 refresh in early 2022 with 3D V-Cache. It’s a process aimed at vertically stacking cache in order to drastically boost the available L3 cache which can deliver a considerable performance increase.  Word comes via Tom’s Hardware that AMD is in the process of trademarking the technology with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office. That alone wouldn’t be particularly newsworthy, but buried in the application are mentions of potential use cases that extend to other products beyond CPUs. Notably, GPUs. 

AMD pulled out a surprise when its RX 6800 series proved to be very competitive against Nvidia’s high end offerings.  It managed to do so with what many considered to be an underwhelming 256-bit bus that delivered relatively limited memory bandwidth. AMDs reasoning for including a 256-bit bus was the inclusion of what it calls Infinity Cache. The 128MB of cache of the Navi 21 GPU is a big reason why AMD’s performance was so competitive despite its bandwidth disadvantage. The cache acts as an on-die store that lessens the need to access the VRAM. If 128MB is beneficial, then assuming AMD can scale its V-Cache technology onto its GPU products, then 256MB or 512MB or more of Infinity Cache could produce some rather dramatic performance gains. 

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