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Advanced Micro Devices has been struggling to deliver higher-performance quad-core central processing units for months to address the market of enthusiasts, unfortunately, without much luck. But things may be more complicated than one may imagine and the chipmaker will continue to have hard times with higher-performance chips until the new code-named Bulldozer micro-architecture arrives.

AMD’s Athlon 64 and Opteron processors substantially reshaped the markets of desktop, server and workstation chips thanks to serious performance advantage over competing solutions from Intel, however, the new-generation code-named K10 central processing units (CPUs) can hardly leave Intel’s chips behind in terms of performance, but consume considerably more power. Apparently, AMD has problems with the design of its quad-core AMD Phenom and AMD Opteron processors that cannot be cured easily enough by tweaking the current hardware based on the current micro-architecture.

“If I look at the next-generation architecture of our CPU, then it will definitely not be, how can I say, comparable with the Phenom. It will look completely different. [It will] solve problems that today we think can never be addressed by hardware,” said Giuseppe Amato, technical director of sales and marketing for EMEA region at AMD in an interview with Custom PC web-site.

AMD admitted in the past that it had issues with “wedding” the chip design with process technology, but denied the fact that it had issues with the micro-architecture or its current implementation when it comes to volume production. However, judging by the fact that the company still cannot deliver quad-core microprocessors clocked at 2.60GHz or higher, it has issues with volume manufacturing of higher-end K10 generation chips. If Mr. Amato’s comments touch upon the problems of higher-end chips’ volume ramp, then it will be pretty hard for AMD to compete against Intel for higher-end CPU market.

Bulldozer is the next-generation micro-architecture and processor design developed from the ground up by AMD. It is expected that the next-generation micro-processors will offer considerably higher performance than current-generation chips. AMD Bulldozer CPUs will feature SSE5 instruction set. The first Bulldozer processors are projected to emerge on the market in very late 2009 at the earliest or early 2011 at the latest.

Discussion

Comments currently: 25
Discussion started: 04/30/08 07:28:07 AM
Latest comment: 05/05/08 06:15:11 AM
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1. 
Hahahaha... We've been waiting years for K10 to show up. Now AMD says wait for K11? And once that fails, K12.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/30/08 07:28:07 AM]
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At least AMD designs 80x86 processors with fewer bugs compared to Intel. Also AMD is honest of their recent bug problem. Also AMD warns users that some motherboard manufactures may screw the end user on some chipset models from AMD. Third AMD provides an option to the end-users that uses ATI graphics to use either their close-source drivers or the open-source drivers.

I rather let AMD take their time and develop a processor with fewer bugs than a processor that instantly comes up that has a lot of bugs. Intel processors do have a lot of bugs in their processors. With so many revisions of Intel processors, it is hard to keep up.

It is normal that a processor manufacture taking years to make a processor. What is not normal is a processor manufacture designing around an 18 month clock.

Take your time AMD. That is how you beat Pentium 4 processors with the K8 core.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/02/08 06:45:38 PM]
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2. 
I think that's a misused quote...

It sounds like the guy is saying that the new chip will be so powerful that computational limitations that one never used to think could be solved through hardware, will be able to be solved. I don't think he's saying that K10's problems will only be solved with K11.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/30/08 07:52:50 AM]
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3. 
Doom and Gloom. AMD didn't say it would fix the problems with K10, they said it would solve problems that NO hardware would be able to solve.

Also, the problem is NOT the ramp of higher frequencies per se it's the fact that a 200W chip won't go over so well.

That's why Intel didn't pump up clock speeds until Penryn. At 3.4GHz, even G0 steeping would go too high in TDP.

I expect to see the current Opteron TDP to transfer to Phenom in the next quarter. That should make for a 95W 2.8GHz chip which is right in line with 90nm TDP for dual core.

And according to Intel's own tests, the 2360SE can beat the QX9650 at MOST if not all HPC apps, such as LS-DYN, so I think they can "leave Intel's chips behind." Especially on the server.

For the desktop, 100fps is 100fps no matter whether another chip gets 150fps. It's like two guys in Ferraris and Porsches in a 55MPH speed limit arguing about whose car is faster.

AMD is a Ferrari, Intel is a Porsche and the GPU is the speed limit.

Get a clue.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/30/08 09:28:48 AM]
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You got it opposite... Currently AMD is a mini cooper turbo and Intel is a Bugatti Veryon. Most Intel chips are so conservatively clocked, like partially pressing the Bugatti's gas pedal. Thats why Intel chips are such great overclockers. AMD mini coopers turbo charged engine is almost at its max, even if you push it it wouldn't go very far and might ending up with a burnt engine. According to MOST test, Intel 45nm beats poor Phenoms and Opterons in TDP, even in servers.

ALL of Opteron's lead is going to end with the coming of Nehalem. Didn't you hear about Cray's recent alliance with Intel? They know Nehalem is gonna be a killer processor.

Get a clue.


0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 04/30/08 10:06:14 AM]
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SO I guess you didn't see the tests of Penryn vs. Barcelona Intel posted on their site. Opteron is KING in HPC. Period. Dual core Opterons are still in the race against quad core Xeons in TPC-H. Once the quad core Opteron scores are posted we can see what kind of hill Nehalem has to clmb, and that's not including the 15% improvement of Shanghai in addition to four FULL HT3 links for inter-processor communication.

All I can say is ouch. I'll bet that's why HP got their 8 socket best out now, in prep for Shanghai, which should allow one hop 32way SMP.

It's people like you that are going to cost Microsoft hundreds of millions of dollars in the Vista capable lawsuit. No ATi or nVidia users are complaining.


Baaaaah, Sheep.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/01/08 07:31:49 AM]
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4. 
I wonder what AMD will have until end of 2009. It needs to have something serious between now and then. Maybe an upgrade of the Barcelona integer units. That is the weak spot.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/01/08 07:59:09 AM]
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one thing is for sure.. they will have Phenominally crappy chips up until 2010... if ever they survive
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/01/08 02:24:28 PM]
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*if* they don't someone will step in and purchase whats left of them don't worry =)

Samsung,Nvidia, IBM,Sun,Ti,Sony lol someone will atleast im sure of that (:
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/02/08 02:43:06 AM]
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That can not happen because of the 80x86 license like contract with Intel protects AMD to be buy out.
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/02/08 06:24:49 PM]
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5. 
i plead to Intel. please do something before the AMD Bulldozer comes in to destroy all that you have built. I dont think that i can face those days again when the AMD K8 annihilated all of the competition !!! DO SOMETHING !!!
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/05/08 04:25:51 AM]
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