Tuesday, August 24th 2010

AMD's Bobcat Takes Aim at Key Consumer Low-Power Market Segments

AMD's answer to a lot of Intel's processors in the low-power category, be it the Core i3/i5 "Clarkdale", Core CULV, or even the Atom, seems to have finally taken shape with "Bobcat". This processor is a major design overhaul, as it integrates a number of key components, including a GPU. Since the GPU component is so complex and integrated with the rest of the processor at such a level, AMD decided to name the processor an "Accelerated Processing Unit" or APU. Beyond just driving video and 3D graphics, the GPU component of Bobcat is designed to lend a hand to the CPU cores whenever needed.

The GPU doubles up as a raw SIMD engine array that works with applications over OpenCL and ATI Stream technologies to step up performance. The "Bobcat" Fusion APU integrates x86 processor cores with a high-performance switch that doubles up as a memory controller, which connects to a SIMD engine, a UVD display controller, and platform interfaces that include connection to the southbridge chipset and display I/O.

The x86 processor cores are redesigned to cut unnecessary fat (read: caches). It features smaller, but lower latency L1 caches (32 KB L1-I and 32 KB L1-D), advanced branch prediction, full out of the order instruction execution and load/store engines, and a high-performance FPU. The processor supports the AMD64 x86-64 ISA compliant instruction set. As far as SIMD instruction sets go, it seems to have done away with SSE4a and implemented SSSE3 (Supplementary SSE3) ISA instruction set. AMD-V is present to add virtualization support.



As far as energy efficiency goes, the design allows AMD to create cores that draw less than 1W of power. The performance-watt equation is a watershed: AMD expects a chip with 90% of the performance of the current notebook CPUs to have less than half the die area, and a fraction of the power draw. The chip is designed to be deployed in a number of packages to suit various designs.

AMD is targeting the lower-mainstream and entry-level PC segments, netbooks and nettops, and cloud-computing clients with the Bobcat architecture. These chips branded under the "Fusion" brand name will be marketed in 2011.



Hotchips 22 Presentation by AMD on the Bulldozer Architecture
Below are as-is slides from AMD's Hotchips presentation on the Bulldozer architecture.
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33 Comments on AMD's Bobcat Takes Aim at Key Consumer Low-Power Market Segments

#1
naram-sin
But it doesn't have NB on-die? I mean, on CPU? Could this mean that the end product won't be able to share platform with Bulldozer? I' m just asking. If Bobcat is intended only for mobile market, then OK. If not... it makes me kinda sad... it was just great that AMD cared about platform and backward compatibility, and had only one desktop socket... sniff...:(
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#2
RejZoR
Sounds nice. Imagine such APU's inside nettops/netbooks/notebooks. Teh pure secks!
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: naram-sin
But it doesn't have NB on-die? I mean, on CPU?
It does, the NB component is dissolved into the package.
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#4
Kantastic
Performance to power consumption, if what AMD states is true, is phenomenal.
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#5
naram-sin
by: btarunr
It does, the NB component is dissolved into the package.
Huh... obviously, I didn't pay enough attention to previous announcements on this topic. :o Because there is no mention of this in the article. But thanks for the info. I can now sleep easier. :D

by: Kantastic
Performance to power consumption, if what AMD states is true, is phenomenal.
Yeah, if true, then awesome. I guess, with these figures, AMD can't be late on the market. And here I was, being afraid that their ground is slipping beneath them, pulled slowly by latest core architecture...
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#6
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Looks pretty good. I am trying to wrap my head around now SSE4 instruction set. Is that why they have the virtualization component? Other than that, it looks damn good. This should also be in mainstreem/upper level notebooks as well. And sub one watt cores possible? WIN!
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#7
Delta6326
this sounds great for the laptop/netbook's if it's 90% powerful but less than a watt is crazy:eek:
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#8
pantherx12
by: WarEagleAU
Looks pretty good. I am trying to wrap my head around now SSE4 instruction set. Is that why they have the virtualization component? Other than that, it looks damn good. This should also be in mainstreem/upper level notebooks as well. And sub one watt cores possible? WIN!
What they don't state is that the tech is scalable 1w is what they can do, and that will be in things like ATM machines and stupid crap I imagine.

1w is the minimum they can do is all I seem to recall.
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#9
naram-sin
by: pantherx12
What they don't state is that the tech is scalable 1w is what they can do, and that will be in things like ATM machines and stupid crap I imagine.

1w is the minimum they can do is all I seem to recall.
Well, if your right, then what they say is sort of misleading. And if you're right, we'll get some darn fast ATMs with fast 3D graphics... :D
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#10
bear jesus
by: btarunr
the design allows AMD to create cores that draw less than 1W of power.
umm going by that i assume they mean maybe 0.99w? :laugh: but seriously it sounds like bobcat may be quite a nice chip for amd in the portable market as power consumption has always been one of the major negatives about amd latops, notebooks, netbooks etc.
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#11
pantherx12
by: naram-sin
Well, if your right, then what they say is sort of misleading. And if you're right, we'll get some darn fast ATMs with fast 3D graphics... :D
Yes misleading if your reading it with scrutinising the language used.


"the design allows AMD to create cores that draw less than 1W of power."

That's rather open if you think about it, "Allows" and "to create cores" implies that they have the potential to create such a chip, but it doesn't implicit state that the 1w chip will be the one that was 90% of the performance or current procs.

Whilst AMD are less shitty then nvidia/intel from a business stand point they are still a business so function end communicate like one.

Best to take things with a pinch of salt XD
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#12
bear jesus
by: pantherx12
Yes misleading if your reading it with scrutinising the language used.


"the design allows AMD to create cores that draw less than 1W of power."

That's rather open if you think about it, "Allows" and "to create cores" implies that they have the potential to create such a chip, but it doesn't implicit state that the 1w chip will be the one that was 90% of the performance or current procs.

Whilst AMD are less shitty then nvidia/intel from a business stand point they are still a business so function end communicate like one.

Best to take things with a pinch of salt XD
It's that darn marketing speak, as with all companys i find it really annoying but to be honest it is what i expect from all all companys and that just means the reviews are that much more importaint to show the facts from marketing drivel that exsists to make even a turd sound good
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#13
inferKNOX
AMD's two new offerings both sound brilliant.:rockout:
Just hope that RL won't deflate the actual product too much.

AMD's buying ATi was a good move after all; they gave AMD a financial hand up now with the HD5000 series and AMD is on a role and might be returning the favor soon when nVidia retaliates. If this sort of tag teaming keeps up, it's gonna be a tough act to follow for Intel and nVidia who're fighting each other (motherboards, etc) almost as much as they are AMD.
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#14
largon
by: inferKNOX
AMD's buying ATi was a good move after all; they gave AMD a financial hand up now with the HD5000 series (...)
Nah, buying ATi was the worst mistake AMD has ever made. It's even worse than Barcelona.
ATi has been producing loss ever since it was bought, only the last quarter or so ATi has been doing profit. ATi has simply cost AMD several billions they could've used for other things like expanding a fab or R&D. It might even have been better if nV had bought AMD back then...
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#15
zithe
by: naram-sin
Well, if your right, then what they say is sort of misleading. And if you're right, we'll get some darn fast ATMs with fast 3D graphics... :D
The "Bobcat" Fusion APU integrates x86 processor cores with a high-performance switch that doubles up as a memory controller
I think that's it.
Posted on Reply
#16
bear jesus
by: largon
Nah, buying ATi was the worst mistake AMD has ever made. It's even worse than Barcelona.
ATi has been producing loss ever since it was bought, only the last quarter or so ATi has been doing profit. ATi has simply cost AMD several billions they could've used for other things like expanding a fab or R&D. It might even have been better if nV had bought AMD back then...
AMD needed ATI for fusion, once there is more gpu's intergrated into the cpu cores on the same silicone im sure you may rethink your position as fusion products are sure to make a lot of money for amd as they should mainly be mid to low end and thats where a lot of money comes from
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#17
largon
$5.4B for capability to design graphics chips? Silly.
For $5.0B less AMD could've hired a boatload of engineers and given them a 5-year program to make it happen.
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#18
bear jesus
by: largon
$5.4B for capability to design graphics chips? Silly.
For $5.0B less AMD could've hired a boatload of engineers and given them a 5-year program to make it happen.
ok yes admitdly they could have done that or even outsourced the gpu design to ati or nvidia, but im assuming the reason for the buy was more for the long term as in the lifetime of amd and for the ability to promote a full platform (cpu, gpu and chipsets) under their vision branding as well as the fusion products, plus of course instantly buying all the I.P that was owned by ATI to get things going much quicker than if they started from nothing
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#19
suraswami
Damn it! I was hoping Mr.PaNic would post here too!

I want more laugh :laugh::roll::roll::roll:
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#20
bear jesus
by: suraswami
Damn it! I was hoping Mr.PaNic would post here too!

I want more laugh :laugh::roll::roll::roll:
lol do you like feeding trolls? :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#21
erocker
by: suraswami
Damn it! I was hoping Mr.PaNic would post here too!

I want more laugh :laugh::roll::roll::roll:
That member is taking a break for a while. Amusing as it may be, let's try to keep on topic. :toast:
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#22
PauloBral
Cpu + gpu = amd is late!

CPU + GPU...

Think:
Intel has "basic" GPU integrated in their Core 2010 series...

Now think again:
AMD has ATI. -> AMD could make incredible CPUs with powerfull ATI graphics integrated.

Now imagine:
An Six Core AMD CPU integrating an ATI 5000 SERIES (5750 whatever) GPU...

Result:
That would make Intel regret.

Why hasn't AMD moved like this yet?

:ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#23
largon
^What use would a there be for a hexacore (high-end) CPU with a low-end integrated GPU?
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#24
wahdangun
its already planed AMD will paired K10 cpu with HD 5670 capability GPU on die, it will surely rape intel in games (they demoed playing AVP with Dx11)

too bad intel larabe was quite a fail

by: largon
^What use would a there be for a hexacore (high-end) CPU with a low-end integrated GPU?
it will be powerful for HTPC and for laptop
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#25
PauloBral
by: largon
^What use would a there be for a hexacore (high-end) CPU with a low-end integrated GPU?
I meant 5000 series, like 5750 or whatever... Think about the entire thing...
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