CPU becomes APU
The Bulldozer core will be implemented across the range: Server, Desktop, Notebook, launching as server first, followed by desktop and notebook.
Eight-core mono-die part, member of long-delayed Sandtiger family.
Server-wise, AMD plans to introduce three parts: single die quad-core & octal-core for the launch, with dual-die hex-core [16 Cores] to follow later. Quad-core and Octal-core are succeeding Sao Paolo [Istanbul on Socket G34], while Magny-Cours [12-core dual-die on Socket G34] will be succeeded by Montreal, a 16-core dual-die part. Note: we heard about the "Montreal" codename back in 2006, so it might have changed by now. All of these parts sit on the Maranello platform, which will be introduced early next year.
Montreal is a successor of Magny-Cours - brings 16 physical cores on a single G34 socket. Release date unknown.
When it comes to the world of desktops, Bulldozer arrives as two parts: Orochi and Llano. Orochi is the first M-SPACE design to feature both as Opteron and Phenom, featuring four Bulldozer cores and 8MB of cache. Naturally, AMD "forgot" to calculate L1 cache in [128KB per core on Agena/Deneb CPUs]. With Orochi being based on a new architecture, it is too early to say what the amount of L1 cache is.
Llano is the new key processor for AMD's commercial desktop and notebook efforts. Dubbed Accelerated Processing Unit [APU], this combination of quad-core processor and ATI's DX11 core [both manufactured in 32nm - CPU die is SOI, GPU die is bulk].
When looking at Ontario's specs, it is clear that this Falcon's dead-ringer [Kuma+ATI core] is all that Falcon was supposed to be: dual-core CPU packed with DirectX 11 based core using BGA packaging, targeting ultra-portable and netbook markets.
Meet the APU: Can a new core achieve fusion with DirectX 11 part?
As you can guess, we saw a lot of these roadmaps over the course of last couple of years. This roadmap was released back in November, as a part of AMD's Analyst Day, and given that the first quarter 2009 is out, we wonder when AMD launch three of four products mentioned on its 2009 plan. But Orochi/Llama and Ontario look well positioned for todays' computing needs. What will happen in 2011, remains to be seen. In 2011.
Going through numerous e-mails and presentations about Bulldozer made us think that AMD really had a winner in its hands: if the company didn't under-estimate Intel and seriously messed up their product development [yes, we know about political directions in 90/65nm times], we would be writing an architectural preview of a product that was set to launch on Computex of this year, and Falcon CPU+GPU would probably made a killing at this year's Back-to-School. But what is done is done, and we won't see Bulldozer-based parts until 2011.
If we look at thr specs, it is beyond any doubt that this architecture is another "hammer", but is a hammer for Intel's line-up of today. Intel will launch 32nm Westmere in 2010, and have roughly 11 month advantage over AMD in terms of manufacturing process. To make the matters worse, Sandy Bridge is Intel's [allegedly] new architecture en route 2011, and there is a big question looming above heads at AMD: what will the state of the market be once that Bulldozer finally launches?
2011 is not too late for a Fusion "APU", though. Even though Intel will launch its 32nm Arandale processor in Q1'10, performance and compatibility of integrated graphics is a far cry from usability standpoint. Intel's integrated graphics currently does little more than output picture on the display, and DX11-compliant, OpenCL-compliant, decent low-res gaming performer will cause serious headaches for Intel. Once Intel integrates those features into Larrabee and Sandy Bridge, then we will be able to speak about problems for AMD.
For us, it looks like AMD is on a path of innovation. But when will AMD stop being "late to the party"?
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