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
largon
Hexacore laptop? Err.... ok... And the use for that would be?
Laptops have little use for multicores beyond what's necessary, as in dual. DTR laptops are such a niche.

And why would you want a CPU with a die nearly the size of a Fermi? Istanbul is 346mm² and Redwood/"RV840" is 104mm². It would be abso-bloody-lutely expensive to make and not appeal large crowds.
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#2
wahdangun
largon said:
Hexacore laptop? Err.... ok... And the use for that would be?
Laptops have little use for multicores beyond what's necessary, as in dual. DTR laptops are such a niche.

And why would you want a CPU with a die nearly the size of a Fermi? Istanbul is 346mm² and Redwood/"RV840" is 104mm². It would be abso-bloody-lutely expensive to make and not appeal large crowds.
so tell that to people that buy corei7 laptop, with even SLi'ed mobile fermi GPU(its a niche but intel still make corei7 for laptop), and btw the fusion part was dual core not hexacore (but it will be interesting to have such powerful cpu on laptop)

and btw the fusion CPU will be build on 32 nm so it will surely not BIG as FERMI, and why the hell AMD want to build monster like fermi for laptop and low power CPU ?
Posted on Reply
#3
bear jesus
wahdangun said:
so tell that to people that buy corei7 laptop, with even SLi'ed mobile fermi GPU(its a niche but intel still make corei7 for laptop), and btw the fusion part was dual core not hexacore (but it will be interesting to have such powerful cpu on laptop
what some thing like this "Eurocom D900F Panther. features Intel's six core i7-980X Extreme Edition, Nvidia Quadro FX OpenGL graphics, up to 24 GB of DDR3 and up to 2.6 TB of storage"

but can hardly call something that weighs 12lbs a laptop
Posted on Reply
#4
pr0n Inspector
Now create a million SKUs so people can get ideal combinations of CPU and GPU power for their needs :rolleyes: Oh wait...
Posted on Reply
#5
Super XP
naram-sin said:
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...:(
The NB is part of the chip, not the module. You can have as many as 2, 4, 6 & 8+ modules on a single chip. Though it does look like they may have more than one NB if they have mroe than 2 modules I think.
Posted on Reply
#7
W1zzard
i added the full slide deck from Hot Chips Conference to the first post
Posted on Reply
#8
bear jesus
W1zzard said:
i added the full slide deck from Hot Chips Conference to the first post
Thanks some interesting information there, im really looking forward to seeing how much amd can improve in the mobile segment but of corse for now only time will tell
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