Friday, December 2nd 2011

AMD Realizes That Bulldozer Has 800 Million LESS Transistors Than It Thought!

AMD's new flagship Bulldozer "FX" series of processors have turned out to be mediocre performers in almost every review and benchmark going, sometimes even getting bested by the existing Phenom II and certainly no match for their Intel competition. To add to this tale of fail, it now turns out that AMD didn't even know how many transistors they have! Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech received an email from AMD's PR department and this is the revelation he had to share with us:
This is a bit unusual. I got an email from AMD PR this week asking me to correct the Bulldozer transistor count in our Sandy Bridge E review. The incorrect number, provided to me (and other reviewers) by AMD PR around 3 months ago was 2 billion transistors. The actual transistor count for Bulldozer is apparently 1.2 billion transistors. I don't have an explanation as to why the original number was wrong, just that the new number has been triple checked by my contact and is indeed right. The total die area for a 4-module/8-core Bulldozer remains correct at 315 mm².

Yes, something as basic as how many transistors are in their flagship product wasn't known about until months after the launch! This kind of info would be common knowledge within the company by the time the first tape-out is ready during the design and testing phase, so surely this cannot be and there must be some other explanation? If this is an attempt to make the processor look better by showing it "doing more with less", then this PR stunt has backfired spectacularly and it would have been better to have left the "error" as it was. Paradoxically, FX processors are a sales success and are flying off the shelves as we just reported, here.Source: AnandTech
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142 Comments on AMD Realizes That Bulldozer Has 800 Million LESS Transistors Than It Thought!

#1
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Thanks to HalfAHertz for this super tip! :toast:
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#2
BlackOmega
Perhaps this is why they're switching to TSMC.
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#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder


Maybe those 800 Million transistors were where the performance was at...
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#4
Zubasa
The fail is strong in this one....
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#6
Zubasa
by: qubit
Yeah, they dropped the performance down the back of the sofa. :laugh:
More like down the shitter and flushed away.
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#7
utengineer
If I bought this processor thinking it had 2 billion transitors due to marketing material, can I sue AMD for the missing 800 million? "Dear AMD, please exchange my processor for an Intel, Thanks!"
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#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Also, does anyone think this might have something to do with the rumor that AMD has stopped hand designing their chips, and have started letting computers design the processor for them?

I do. If you hand craft something, you know what is in it. If you let a computer do it, then only the computer knows what is in it, and you either have to guess or hope that the computer is accurate when telling you the number you need to know.
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
I knew something didn't add up when I saw Zambezi's "2 billion" transistor count for the first time. Even 16 MB of total SRAM couldn't have pushed transistor counts up that much over Istanbul/Thuban's 900-odd million transistor count.
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#11
TRWOV
by: qubit
If this is an attempt to make the processor look better by showing it "doing more with less", then this PR stunt has backfired spectacularly and it would have been better to have left the "error" as it was.
I don't think so. I really don't pay attention to those numbers but if you go by Intel's numbers, you can see that SB-E clocks at 2.27B transistors and the die size is 435mm2. How could AMD pack a comparable 2B in a 315mm2 die?
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#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I wonder who originally reported it had 2 billion in the first place. Rumor mill?
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#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: fordgt90concept
i wonder who originally reported it had 2 billion in the first place. Rumor mill?
AMD's PR.
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#15
AphexDreamer
So is this a valid excuse to sue? Class action maybe?

It is still more than previous generations correct? Not sure what Phenom II's count is.
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#16
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: AphexDreamer
So is this a valid excuse to sue? Class action maybe?

It is still more than previous generations correct? Not sure what Phenom II's count is.
AMD dosn't sell processors on transistor counts, people don't buy it on that basis, either.
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
But it is false advertising--they lied about their product to make it look favorable to the competition.


Edit: Ha, my post count says BOOB! XD


Edit: Not anymore. :(
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#18
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: FordGT90Concept
But it is false advertising--they lied about their product to make it look favorable to the competition.
They never advertised transistor count. Only when curious people may have asked transistor count, they gave a number. Your AMD FX PIB package or AMD FX product page doesn't give you a transistor count so you could base your buying decision on that.
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#19
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: btarunr
They never advertised transistor count. Only when curious people may have asked transistor count, they gave a number. Your AMD FX PIB package or AMD FX product page doesn't give you a transistor count so you could base your buying decision on that.
Still that was shiesty on AMD's part
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#20
TheLaughingMan
Its called a typo. This is why AMD fired the entire PR department. They were incompetent. Thou I am surprised how long it too for someone else in the company to read one of the reviews that included the transistor count and realize the info. sent out in the PR pack was wrong.
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#21
AsRock
TPU addict
by: newtekie1
Also, does anyone think this might have something to do with the rumor that AMD has stopped hand designing their chips, and have started letting computers design the processor for them?

I do. If you hand craft something, you know what is in it. If you let a computer do it, then only the computer knows what is in it, and you either have to guess or hope that the computer is accurate when telling you the number you need to know.
I was thinking the same thing..
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#22
Delta6326
Holy crap Batman! How do you miss 800 Million Transistors? You would think they inspect them some how.:shadedshu
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#23
1c3d0g
Number of transistors ≠ performance. It's what you do with those transistors that counts.
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#24
Hayder_Master
LOL, i think the other 1.2 bil died now when they read this.
:D
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#25
seronx
The 800 Million Transistors were abducted by pesky aliens
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