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Advanced Micro Devices will start production of its code-named Zambezi central processing unit (CPU) based on the highly-anticipated Bulldozer micro-architecture in April, 2011. Initially AMD plans to release 8-core microprocessors for desktops, but later in the second quarter of next year the firm intends to launch six-core and quad-core chips based on Bulldozer micro-architecture.

The first engineering samples of Zambezi chips that will be available for AMD's partners for testing will be released already in December, 2010, about a month from now, sources familiar with AMD plans told X-bit labs. Production candidates should be ready by February and the initial production of the company's first desktop microprocessors powered by the long-awaited Bulldozer micro-architecture is scheduled to start in April next year. Probably, the launch of the chip will occur around the same timeframe.

The first Zambezi microprocessors to be launched are expected to be eight-core products with 95W and 125W thermal design power as well as 8MB L3 cache. Later in the second quarter of 2011 AMD, according to sources with knowledge of the company's roadmap, will release six-core chips with 8MB L3 cache and four-core products with 4MB cache. All of the processors will feature TurboCore 2.0 technology, dual-channel DDR3 memory controller with up to 1866MHz memory support and will be compatible with AM3+ mainboards.

Eight-core Zambezi/Orochi features four dual-core Bulldozer modules, each of which is believed to have 2MB of shared level-two cache, that will share 8MB L3 cache. In total, the whole chip will pack in whopping 16MB of SRAM, a 77% increase from the current six-core microprocessors that have 9MB of cache in total.

It is noteworthy that AMD's Zambezi microprocessors made using 32nm silicon-on-insulator process technology by Globalfoundries will be available earlier than the company's code-named Llano chips that combine current-generation x86 cores with current-generation DirectX 11 graphics engine on the same piece of silicon.

AMD Orochi design is the company's next-generation processor for high-end desktop (Zambezi) and server (Valencia) markets. The chip will feature eight processing engines, but since it is based on Bulldozer micro-architecture, those cores will be packed into four modules. Every module which will have two independent integer cores (that will share fetch, decode and L2 functionality) with dedicated schedulers, one "Flex FP" floating point unit with two 128-bit FMAC pipes with one FP scheduler. The chip will have shared L3 cache, new dual-channel DDR3 memory controller and will use HyperTransport 3.1 bus. The Zambezi chips will use new AM3+ form-factor and will require brand new platforms.

The Sunnyvale, California-based chip designer plans to introduce AMD 900-series chipsets compatible with Zambezi processors in Q2 2011. The Bulldozer processors, Radeon HD 6000 "Northern Islands" discrete graphics cards  and AMD 900-series core-logic sets will power AMD's next-generation enthusiast-class platform code-named Scorpius.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: AMD, Bulldozer, AVX, Flex FP, 32nm, Phenom

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 11/05/10 06:09:27 PM
Latest comment: 11/28/10 07:08:37 AM
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1. 
Ehh .. guys ...
Just as a note, Sandy Bridge is since a few months in production now, too. However its launch is in January, not last month ...

That means, if BD's mass production starts in April, which is quite likely, then you can expect products only 3-4 months later - not in April.

Therefore BD will definitely not launch before Llano - if you information about the mass production start is correct.
0 0 [Posted by: Bingle  | Date: 11/05/10 06:09:27 PM]
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2. 
Why will customers need many cores on client side, if GPGPU gets traction? I see no logic here.
And if mass production of Zambesi will start in April why AMD will need Llano that is based on old core? Why don't they will to use BD module w/ Fusion instead?
0 0 [Posted by: Azazel  | Date: 11/05/10 09:49:47 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
Easy answer: Because Bulldozer wasn't finished when they started the Llano development.
Furthermore, GPGPU has a long road ahead and is not a solution for every computing task.
0 0 [Posted by: Bingle  | Date: 11/06/10 01:05:50 AM]
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because doing a new design on a new manufacturing process it difficult enough. (that's why most companies don't do it if they can help it. its the reason behind intel's tick/tock.)
adding something novel like a GPU on a SOI process would make it near impossible and almost sure to not live up to yield expectations.

besides, GPGPU is still in its early development. making a high-end bulldozer without one wont hurt their marketability in the medium and high end markets, while a cheap llano with a vidoecard already inside is a perfect cheap platform for the low end, and medium sized laptop.
add bobcat, for the netbooks, ultraportables and low end laptops and it looks like AMD has quit a good product mix.
0 0 [Posted by: Countess  | Date: 11/28/10 07:08:37 AM]
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3. 
Why don't they launch a 140W part. Doesn't matter if the availability would be in the hundreds even. They should have a marketing flagship.
0 0 [Posted by: East17  | Date: 11/09/10 05:26:44 PM]
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