Jim Keller Shares Zen 5 Performance Projections

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Jim Keller, chief executive officer of Tenstorrent, shared the company’s performance forecasts for CPUs based on its own Ascalon processor core compared to competitors, including AMD’s Zen 5, Amazon’s Graviton 3, and Nvidia’s Grace. Tenstorrent’s Ascalon is projected to provide market-leading integer performance-per-watt, but what attracted a lot of attention is that Tenstorrent expects AMD’s Zen 5 to be the performance champion in raw integer throughput. In fact, Keller predicts that AMD’s Zen 5 will be 30% faster than the current-gen Zen 4 in integer workloads. 

Jim Keller shared the company’s performance projections for Tenstorrent’s in-house-designed 8-wide out-of-order execution Ascalon RISC-V core against potential competitors in the SPEC CPU 2017 INT Rate benchmark that measures integer performance. The company expects its Ascalon 1.9 SPEC2K17INT/GHz to hit 7.03 points and its Ascalon 2.2 SPEC2K17INT/GHz to hit 8.14 points. 

Tenstorrent’s performance expectations for its own CPUs were revealed at the Nerds Talking to Nerds About RISC-V event in India, as you can see in the slide below. 

(Image credit: Tenstorrent)

The predictions put Tenstorrent’s upcoming CPU core comfortably ahead of Intel’s Sapphire Rapids (7.45 points), Nvidia’s Grace (7.44 points), and AMD’s Zen 4 (6.80 points). Yet, AMD’s Zen 5 is projected to hit 8.84 points, making it the absolute integer performance champion in 2024 – 2025. 

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