AMD has introduced its first hybrid chips featuring a combination of Zen 4 and smaller Zen 4c CPU cores. This marks the first time AMD has mixed two different types of CPU cores on the same chip. The new architecture is similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture and Intel’s use of Performance and Efficiency cores.
The Zen 4c cores take up less space and have some modifications that may result in lower performance in certain situations. The new chips that feature this hybrid architecture include the Ryzen 3 7440U, Ryzen 5 7540U, and the Ryzen Z1. The Zen 4c cores support hyperthreading, but tend to be paired with fewer graphics compute units and may have less L2 cache memory. A more powerful variant of the Ryzen Z1, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme, is used in the ASUS ROG Ally, which doesn’t use a hybrid chip.
Based on the chip model numbers, it is expected that the new Phoenix 2 processors will deliver lower performance compared to their original Phoenix counterparts. A report analyzing the performance of the Ryzen Z1 processor seems to confirm this.