AMD have had a great 12 months, with the ATI division delivering the highest level of sales on the market. They also have a nice chunk of change in their coffers after a $1.25BN settlement handout by Intel.
Yesterday at the Hot Chips conference held at Stanford University the company released new details on the range of new architectures that AMD is sure will invigorate their CPU division. These are codenamed Bobcat, Bulldozer and Llano – lets have a look at each and break down what they are bringing to the table.
Bobcat has been discussed for 3 years now and the architecture covers lightweight 1-10 watt TDP processors for the mobile marketplace, ideal for use in Netbooks and similar devices. This could very well be AMD's first genuine challenger to Intel's ATOM. We don't class current CPU's such as the Athlon 64 L110 CPU as a competitor to the ATOM as it consumes 13 watts of power when compared to the ATOM's 2.5W drain.
Bobcat is going to be taking around 1 watt per core, a fantastic power level if they can deliver to market. Even more impressively Bobcat is an ‘out of order' CPU which should give it a performance edge against Atom. 64kb of L1 cache and 512k of L2 cache is onboard.
AMD don't plan on selling this as a stand alone processor instead relying on manufacturers to include it within specific laptops and low power drain systems. Ontario will be the first Fusion CPU to feature 2 Bobcat cores paired up with an AMD GPU. This is going to be produced on 40nm at TSMC's chip fabrication plant. They are calling this an Accelerated Processor Unit (APU).
Llano is a system on a chip design which features a refined K10 based core design – for all intents and purposes a heavily tweaked Phenom II hybrid. AMD's slides indicate that a new socket will be set up for this called AM3r2. Packing four of those K10 cores with a 5000 series GPU and DDR3 memory, it looks to be a potent combination. This has been pushed back to Jan/Feb 2011 due to yield issues.
Last but certainly not least is Bulldozer – targeted at the performance sector. Bulldozer is a modular design when compared to the Core i7, they are now aiming for a two integer core design capable of delivering two threads with a common floating point (FPU) between the cores. This won't clearly deliver the same levels of performance of a full 2 core design with a FPU dedicated to each however it is only 12 percent larger than a single core design at the node size. AMD are claiming that while the size is 12 percent larger the performance factor will be significantly higher.
Additionally they are delivering a deeper pipeline with more aggressive prefecting and idle cores can be fully disabled to save power. These will be launched at the AM3 socket market in 1 to 4 module packages, giving a total of 2 to 8 threads/integer cores. There is also a 16 core G34 socket version codenamed Interlagos and a C32 cocket 9 core model codenamed Valencia launching for server systems. These CPU's will be based on a 32 nm process by Global Factories. Each Integer core only has 16kb of cache but the large L2 cache is said to offset performance related penalties.
Bulldozer is aimed for release in Q2/Q3 2011 in server packages and slightly later for the desktop audience.
KitGuru says: Are you excited to hear about this new range or are you more focused on Intel's upcoming releases?