Today at the annual Hot Chips conference, AMD’s new CTO Mark Papermaster unveiled the first details about the Steamroller x86 CPU core. Steamroller is the third instantiation of AMD’s Bulldozer architecture, first conceived in the mid-2000s and finally brought to market in late 2011. Committed to this architecture for at least one more design after Steamroller, AMD has settled on roughly yearly updates to the architecture. For 2012 we have the introduction of Piledriver, the optimized Bulldozer derivative that formed the CPU foundation for AMD’s Trinity APU. By the end of the year we’ll also see a high-end desktop CPU without processor graphics based on Piledriver. Piledriver saw a switch to hard edge flip flops, which allowed for a considerable decrease in power consumption at...

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