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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
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  • Zoomer - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    Basically you'll need 2x the power for much less than 2x performance increase. Modern branch predictors can have very good hit rates ~90%+. It simply made more sense to use the second int unit for another thread.

    However, if you need the absolutely best single threaded int performance at all costs, imho, what you suggest wouldn't be bad. In fact,
    Reply
  • Edison5do - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Finally besides the price competition, we will be able to see some tech competition, we have to raise our praise for AMD not to reject the ATI btand because New and HiTech CPU´s, should be paired with HiQuality, nice priced, Radeon GPU´s.

    I really dont think People are ready to see "AMD" Brand as a Head-toHead Competitor to "INTEL" Brand, by this i mean that they should rely on ATI for being well accepted by the public for more time before they even star thinking about that.
    Reply
  • angrysand - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    they may have had the on die memory controller, but Atom basically created the netbook market. AMD is just improving on what Intel help create (and that remains to be seen).

    I had to see AMD go because I like having resonable performance for reasonable price. But they had better get their act together and put out faster CPU's.
    Reply
  • ABR - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    Atom did not create the netbook market, some convergence of wireless data and increasing use of the web by non-computer folk did. The first "netbook" products were the Crusoe-based mini-notebooks starting in 2001. Unfortunately for Transmeta, interest in the high-portability / long battery life model was low, only a couple of models even came out, and they ended up having to compete with Intel for scraps of the low-end laptop market. They lost, and Intel only finally caught up with their technology later with the Atom, when, coincidentally or not, the market was finally ready. Reply
  • Nehemoth - Tuesday, August 24, 2010 - link

    Why Bodcat will be manufactured in the 40nm process instead of 32nm is cause the GPU?.

    Why will be manufactured on TSMC instead of GlobalFoundries?.

    I supposed that this could be a problem with GF not being ready in 32nm but can we see a switch from TSMC to GlobalFoundries after Bulldozer begin to be manufacture?.
    Reply
  • iwod - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    TSMC has much higher 40nm capacity then GF's 32nm. Bobcat is going to be a low end product which will hopefully generate high volume of sales. TSMC in this case will be a much better fit then GF. Reply
  • moozoo - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    I wonder how hard it would be to make a version has two Floating point cores and one integer core.

    Will AMD have a product to match Intel MIC's (Larrabee) .
    (http://www.anandtech.com/show/3749/intel-mic-22nm-...
    Reply
  • YuryMalich - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    Hi,
    There is a mistake on page 5 on this picture http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/cpu/amd/hotchi...
    There were drawn two 128-bit FMAC units on Phenom II Microarchitecture.
    But K10 processor doesn't have FMAC units at all! It has 1 FMUL and one FADD and one FMISC(FLOAD) units.
    The FMAC (multiple-add) units are new in Bulldozer microarchitecture.
    Reply
  • Jack Sparow - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    "Ivo August 25, 2010
    How many threads everyone processor (“Interlagos”, “Valencia” and “Zambezi”) can do simultaneously per core compare with Phenom II processor?

    Reply
    John Fruehe August 25, 2010
    One thread per core."

    This quote is from AMD blogs home. :)
    Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - link

    I think I touched on this before once on a THQ news article - John Fruehe is being confusing. The correct definition of a complete Bulldozer core is a module, which is a monolithic dual-integer core package also consisting of other shared resources - the top image on page 4 of this article is a great guide. So, a four module (or quad core as we currently term them) Bulldozer will handle eight threads concurrently as those four cores possess eight integer cores.

    As such, I don't see non-SMT Bulldozer cores ever coming out.
    Reply

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