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Advanced Micro Devices disclosed details about its forthcoming Bobcat core at its Analyst Day on Thursday. While the chip seems to be very power-efficient, it does not seem to be a performance leader to say at least. Moreover, it will only be available in 2011.

AMD Bobcat x86 core is due to be released in 2011 as part of AMD Brazos platform and AMD Ontario accelerated processing unit (APU, a microprocessor featuring graphics processing unit on the same piece of silicon and/or substrate). According to AMD, Bobcat chips will feature x86-64, virtualization, SSE, SSE2, SSE3 technologies and will be single-threaded with out-of-order execution. The actual Ontario microprocessor will be able to offer 90% of today’s “mainstream performance” in less than half of die area.

“Bobcat is a very low-power x86 processor core first featured in the ‘Ontario’ APU primarily aimed at notebook processing in ultrathin and netbook form factors. ‘Bobcat’ is designed to be an extremely small, highly flexible, single threaded x86 core that easily can be scaled up and combined with other IP in SoC configurations,” an official description of the chip by AMD reads.

The first implementation of Bobcat is a dual-core processor with graphics core code-named Ontario. In fact, it is not completely clear whether Ontario is a system-on-chip (SoC) with graphics engine on the same piece of substrate or a monolith die.

“[Ontario] is a dual-core system-on-chip implementation and APU of the upcoming “Bobcat” core for ultrathin notebooks, netbooks and <20W new market products. Ontario is designed to offer a performance PC experience in a low-power design,” an official claim by AMD says.

Based on the information provided by AMD, the Bobcat seems to be more progressive than today’s Intel Atom. However, without SSE4, SSE5 or AVX the chip is unlikely to offer truly high performance when it is introduced in 2011. Moreover, AMD’s claims regarding “90% of mainstream performance” seem a little strange: it is unclear what exactly AMD considers as “mainstream” today.

Tags: AMD, , 32nm

Discussion

Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 11/15/09 06:42:52 PM
Latest comment: 11/16/09 06:43:53 PM

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1. 
quote: "it is unclear what exactly AMD considers as “mainstream” today."

One thing is clear though...

AMD will definitely have a late release on these chips! Show us a prototype if will! Until then, these are all savvy slides
0 0 [Posted by: dudde  | Date: 11/15/09 06:42:52 PM]
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2. 
Is that an AMD Athlon XP Barton Core in the article icon?
0 0 [Posted by: MonkRX  | Date: 11/15/09 09:00:41 PM]
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3. 
I agree that 90% of mainstream isn't clear, and there could be many interpretations. The most reasonable I can think of is: a Bobcat core will provide 90% of the performance of a current AMD core (Athlon II or Phenom II) at the same clock speed. Possibly a dual core Bobcat will be 90% of the performance of a current dual core Athlon II.

This is not bad, though it's hard to tell what Intel will have by then. And the lack SSE4+ may be mitigated by having a DX11 capable processing unit.
0 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 11/15/09 10:49:36 PM]
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4. 
you can take almost any chip that's out today, and in 2 years, make it use 1 watt of power. then there will be delays, so make that 2.5-3 years.

i cant wait till it's just systems on chips.... maybe system in a cube, with fiber optics and lasers.... or just computerized brains.
0 0 [Posted by: Basard  | Date: 11/16/09 06:43:53 PM]
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