AMD Bulldozer is still a bit of a mystery, we have the specifications and preliminary clock frequencies, but no reliable benchmarks. AMD talked about Bulldozer at Hot Chips 2010, but no real secrets were revealed about the architecture behind Bulldozer, but it will return this year to show it.

Bulldozer will be the first architecture built from the bottom and up since 1999 and is supposed to be with the company for many years to come. The architecture was first planned to be released in Q2 for retail and Q3 for servers, but was delayed for unknown reasons. There was instead talk of a launch in the next 60 to 90 days.

Bulldozer must be released by the end of August if AMD is not break its promise

There have been a lot of rumors about a launch later on, as late as late September or even October. During the conference call after the latest fiscal report AMD said that Bulldozer would be shipping to partners in August. The information has not been confirmed, but it will at least discuss the architecture at Hot Chips on August 19th.


Block diagram of Bulldozer with 8 cores, cache, memory controller and northbridge

The new architecture will be built with energy efficiency as the main priority, something AMD has lost to Intel since the launch of Sandy Bridge. Besides that it has optimized to make room for more cores on the same die, which resulted in a module based architecture, CMT (Cluster Multi-threading). The idea is two combine two cores to have them share resources, or let one access all of them when the second is not needed or unused.

What we know is that is saving a huge amount of space on the total circuit space, and in theory it brings less energy consumption, better performance, when fewer cores are used and slightly worse performance when all threads are used. AMD has been talking about a compromise where one ”Bulldozer core” has 90% of the performance of what the architecture would do if it would not be part of a module.

Exactly what AMD is going to discuss at Hot Chips we don’t know, but the program says ; ”Perf Power-Efficient Bulldozer-Core x86-64 Server, WS & Desktop Procs”. All presentations at Hot Chips are put on the website so we can at least hope for more details on Bulldozer on August 19th.

Source: Hot Chips

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