• What
    is this?
    You've landed on the AMD Portal on AnandTech. This section is sponsored by AMD. It features a collection of all of our independent AMD content, as well as Tweets & News from AMD directly. AMD will also be running a couple of huge giveaways here so check back for those.
    PRESENTED BY

Three years ago AMD told me about two architectures that would be the future of the company: Bobcat and Bulldozer. Here are some excerpts from an article I wrote after that meeting with AMD.

“Due out in the first half of 2009, AMD's Bulldozer core is the true revolutionary successor to the K8 architecture. While Barcelona and Shanghai are both evolutionary improvements to the current core, Bulldozer is the first ground-up redesign since the K7.”

“If Bulldozer is the architecture that will compete with Nehalem, Bobcat is what will compete with Silverthorne. Bobcat is yet another ground up design from AMD, also due out in the 2009 timeframe, but it will address a more power constrained portion of the market. Systems that require a 1 - 10W TDP will use Bobcat, while Bulldozer is limited to the 10 - 100W range (obviously with some overlap between the two). “

Well, 2009 didn’t happen. Nor will 2010. Bobcat is the closest with production in Q4 2010 and system availability in Q1 2011. Bulldozer is strictly 2011. The long road to a major redesign isn’t unusual and although we’re no where near the point of measuring performance of these parts, we’re getting closer.

AMD has Bobcat and Bulldozer silicon back in its labs and things apparently look good. Later today at Hot Chips 22, AMD will present further details on both of its next generation architectures. What we have here now is a sneak peak of what AMD is going to unveil at the conference later today.

The Three Chip Roadmap

While AMD is committed to a two architecture roadmap going forward (Bobcat and Bulldozer) we’ll see three fairly different chips addressing the various market segments in 2011.

Bobcat will do low end/low power (think netbooks and nettops), Llano will do mainstream notebooks (e.g. MacBook, HP Envy equivalent) and Bulldozer will be used for high end desktops and servers. Llano actually uses a Phenom II derived core so it’s technically a third architecture but I’d expect its market to eventually be split between Bobcat and Bulldozer based designs.

I’m going to start with Bobcat first as it’s the closest to production.

It’s an Out of Order Atom
POST A COMMENT

76 Comments

View All Comments

  • mino - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    From the HW design POW, those pipes are "MMX/3Dnow" class stuff.
    They run SSE3, but they are still MMX-class.

    There is a reason Bulldozer has "FMAC" written there ...
    Reply
  • Kiijibari - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    ... it is stupid to name a circuit after a deprecated ISA extension and not after its function.
    If its doing stuff like 3dnow and mmx then call it Shuffel / permutation pipeline but not MMX ...

    The FMAC is the best example .. why is it written FMAC in that case and not SSE5/AVX/XOP ?
    Reply
  • KonradK - Thursday, August 26, 2010 - link

    Depracated does not mean prohibited. Also there are existing MMX programs and other than Windows 64bit operating systems and compilers other than MSVSC.

    MMX and x87 is prohibited in 64bit kernel code.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff545910%2...
    Reply
  • iwod - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    From the design of Bulldozer's FPU it is cleared that AMD want Multi Threaded FPU to run on OpenCL. While the dual Integer looks interesting now. It is up against the SandyBridge, the architecture that is suppose to leap again like Pentium 4 to C2D. And if Bulldozer comes any later, it will be up against the die shrink of SandyBridge, Ivy Bridge. Things dont look so good in here.

    It is mainstream / low end that looks very interesting. I am currently using a Pentium M 1.8Ghz Dothan with 2GB DDR Ram. With a Radeon 1600 Graphics. I dont get hardware acceleration from GPU, 720P is just barely playable with some very fast software decoder. It is fast enough to watch some 460p youtube and most of my day web serving.

    Now if Bobcat have similar or higher IPC then Dothan. A Quad Core Bobcat with Radeon 5000 64 SP will still be within reasonable die size on 40nm, It will be cheap when it drops to 32nm or lower. Most of us dont need SUPER FAST computer. And Bobcat with Radeon 5 Series or Higher Plus a Fast SSD are all we need.
    Reply
  • aegisofrime - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    I don't recall Sandy Bridge being a revolutionary leap. Everyone has been saying that it's more of evolutionary, the main difference being the addition of AVX.

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that AMD announces later today what socket Bulldozer will be on... I desperately need more video encoding performance. I have a AM2+ motherboard and that bloody 1055T is singing it's siren song to me every night. If Bulldozer is on AM3 I can get an AM3 board and the 1055T and do a quick upgrade to Bulldozer.

    Come on AMD. Your customers need more information to make an informed decision!
    Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Buldozer gen1 == primarily servers
    => 16/12-core (MCM) Socket G34 (current platfrom)
    => 8/6/4-core Socket G32 (current platfrom)

    Bulldozer Desktop (hopefully before X-mas 2011)
    => 8?/6/4-core Socket AM3R2(or AM3+, whatever they call it)
    Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Huh? You want more video encoding perfomance and you think about upgrading CPU? What kind of idiocy is that? Use 480GTX with Badaboom and your video encoding speed won't be matched by CPUs of year 2020 or maybe even 2030 :P Reply
  • aegisofrime - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Don't talk if you don't know what you are talking about. No GPU encoder out there is able to match x264 quality or SPEED wise. And the huge flaw in your statement is that Badaboom doesn't even support Fermi GPUs right now.

    Have you done any serious video encoding before, or are you just trolling as usual?
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Indeed. I would try out CUDA encoders every once in a while in hopes that I could at least get the quality of x264 at MINIMUM quality but they can't even match that.

    Since x264 at minimum quality encodes slightly quicker (on my quad core) a CUDA encoder does (on my GTX260) and still yields better quality, I really appreciate faster CPU's.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link


    Hate to say it but unless GPU acceleration is available, the i7 is a far better
    choice for video encoding. I still use a 6000+ for most tasks, but numerous
    article reviews made it quite clear that AMD was not the best choice for
    video encoding, so I went with an i7 860 4GHz. Pricing was surprisingly good,
    speed is excellent.

    Ian.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now