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Advanced Micro Devices said that there was no core wars incoming. Efficiency will be more important than core count in the coming years, according to the new chief technology officer of the server unit of AMD.

"There will come an end to the core-count wars. I won't put an exact date on it, but I don't myself expect to see 128 cores on a full-sized server die by the end of this decade. It is not unrealistic from a technology road map, but from a deployment road map, the power constraints that people expect [servers] to live in wouldn't be feasible for chips with that many cores," said Donald Newell, AMD's chief technology officer for servers, according to IDG News-Service.

It is possible to integrate 50 or more x86-compatible cores into single chip akin to Intel Corp's SCC. Unfortunately, simplistic cores cannot solve all today's tasks, as a result, it makes sense to use both simple stream cores as well as complex x86 processing engines. Once software makers learn how to most efficiently use heterogeneous multi-core chips, the market will face a major change.

"There is nothing to prevent us to put specific features on die that enable more efficient processing. So you should expect to see heterogenous architectures to emerge where we identify functions that are broadly useful but don't necessarily map into an instruction that you'd want to add directly into the x86 architecture," said Mr. Newell.

Tags: AMD, Bulldozer, , , Intel


Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 10/17/10 09:09:42 PM
Latest comment: 10/19/10 03:48:56 AM
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New CTO ( nice last name he has - Ne[w]well), new wave.
0 0 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 10/17/10 09:09:42 PM]

If no more core-wars are coming, then why is AMD using X6 (6-core processors) to compete with AMD 4-core i5/i7s?

If no more core-wars are coming and efficiency is key, then why is Bulldozer only expected to be 15-20% faster per clock than Phenom II? They will still be behind Intel Sandy Bridge then.

He also forgot that in some markets such as server markets, there will be continued demand for more cores.

And he probably forgot that Intel is going to launch a 6- and 8-core Socket 2011 processors in Q3/4 of 2011 as well.

Sounds to me like it will be a long time before the requirement for more cores will diminish.
0 2 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 10/18/10 10:04:11 AM]
- collapse thread

Each new production node ( 32nm, 28nm, 22nm ...) only allows a around a 30% decrease in transistor size and thus if they are going to stay within the same power envelope you can only increase core count by around 30% each new node.

Between 2010-2020 there will be approximately 4 new nodes so 1.3^4 = 2.851 x the current amount of cores ( 12 ) = around 34 cores by 2010.

The only way to get more then this is to use smaller cores that have less function ( like cell, bulldozer, intel's scc) or increase the power envelope for the chip. Using smaller cores generally is really bad for performance on certain tasks and especially now where code is optimized for 2-4 full cores. Increasing the power envelope is beyond 150w per socket is dangerous because of cooling requirements and power requirements per socket.

Mostly because of the lag between writing software that can be ran on many crappy small cores vs a few good cores, the core increase will not become exponential. This is why cell never caught on because by the time developers could use the drastic changes in the core it was already under preforming more traditional cpu designs.
0 0 [Posted by: cashkennedy  | Date: 10/18/10 11:37:14 AM]

From what I have read on another web site, Sandy Bridge will be optimized for single threads applications, while Bulldozer has been designed with server applications (parallel multi-thread) as a priority.

For desktop enthusiasts it is probable that Sandy Bridge will perform better than Bulldozer.

As a saving grace, Bulldozer will not come with a mandatory built-in GPU and will thus sell for less than Sandy Bridge.
0 0 [Posted by: BernardP  | Date: 10/18/10 11:26:33 AM]
- collapse thread

What website, source please?
0 0 [Posted by: dizzystuff  | Date: 10/18/10 03:53:41 PM]

He is saying is that you will not get 100 core die chips because it requires simplifying the cores which harms efficiency. Not that core counts will not increase.

instead core count will increase in a more gradual pace, benefiting from the extra efficiency of core count without sacrificing the efficiency of each individual core.

too many cores and you lose efficiency, too few and you lose efficiency. Expect more cores but not an explosion of core counts.
0 0 [Posted by: taltamir  | Date: 10/18/10 08:44:17 PM]

BS walks where every new economist have their own vision.

Although multithreading is not perfectly optimized for too many cores i believe that by the end of decade that should more rapidly change than number of cores.

He probably want to induce that they wont "simply multiply cores" on silicon by every next smaller production process, thou they could if wish so. But who knows maybe he'll get sacked in 18 month and new oec change his story.

They could, if Bulldozer proves it self to be future-proof concept, simply multiply design with smaller tweaks, as 4threads per module in @20-16nm. So modules after all might not be considered as full cores even in AMD only in their marketing branch. They could probably produce with not too much fuss even smaller BD chip @22nm with more than 8 modules mostly ba copy paste and arrange for 22nm node. At least that's suppose where their gate-first initiative should lead. Better shrinkage with every node improvement.

0 0 [Posted by: OmegaHuman  | Date: 10/19/10 12:27:22 AM]

Probably no core war ,I suggest Intel that buy Nvidia or improve their GPU because more and more application become GPGPU directed.
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 10/19/10 03:48:56 AM]


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