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Although Advanced Micro Devices does not have any plans to update its FX-series microprocessors in 2014 and does not seem to have plans to replace them even in 2015, this does not mean that Intel is giving up the market of high-end central processing units (CPUs). Based on a recent comment made by an AMD representative, it looks like the company is looking forward hybrid high-end accelerated processing units with different types of cores.

"AMD will continue to supply AM3+ and AMD FX processors for the foreseeable future, as per AMD's official roadmap update at APU'13 [above]. Recently, AMD launched the FX-9000 series, AMD's fastest desktop processor to date. As AMD's business continues to evolve, AMD will focus on the areas of growth including support for the desktop PC enthusiast leveraging AMD's world-class processor design IP, including heterogeneous compute. AMD's FX branded products will continue to evolve and we look forward to sharing those updates in the future," said James Prior, an AMD manager of APU/CPU product reviews, in a conversation with Gamer’s Nexus web-site.

AMD’s official roadmap, which covers products due in 2013 – 2014 timeframe clearly states that AMD has no plans to replace current second-generation generation FX-series CPUs code-named Vishera with up to eight Piledriver cores till the end of 2014. AMD’s roadmap that the company allegedly demonstrates to its partners indicates that there are no plans to introduce multi-core FX-series chips featuring Steamroller or Excavator cores even in 2015.

Traditionally, AMD’s high-end FX microprocessors relied on designs originally developed for servers. Enthusiast-class central processing units feature lower core-count but higher clock-rates compared to server units. In addition, they lack certain specific functionality. AMD’s server plans for 2014 include code-named Warsaw CPU with twelve or sixteen Piledriver cores, which should feature certain design changes compared to currently-available Opteron 4300-/6300-series products. Unfortunately, it does not look like there will be consumer-class derivative from Warsaw.

The launch of AMD FX-9000-series microprocessors with 220W thermal design power this year implies that AMD still can boost performance of existing Vishera design by simply overclocking them. While this approach is a dead-end for performance-mainstream market, it clearly works for enthusiasts and boutique PC makers. Theoretically, AMD may introduce even higher-performing iterations of FX-9000-series for its fans sometimes in 2014.

Nonetheless, as AMD focuses to “support for the desktop PC enthusiast leveraging AMD's world-class processor design IP, including heterogeneous compute”, it is pretty obvious that the company’s longer-term plans include serving the high-end of the market with hybrid Fusion chips that integrate both x86 and graphics processing engines. As adoption of heterogeneous computing increases, AMD will inevitably have to integrate GPU into enthusiast-class CPUs despite of the fact that target audience of those chips use discrete graphics cards. For example, Intel Corp.’s Core i7-4770K chips that easily outperform AMD’s FX-9590 in general-purpose applications feature integrated graphics engines.

While longer-term strategic plans of AMD look more or less certain, it is still unclear when the company plans to offer something obviously more powerful than the current-gen AMD FX processors in AM3+ form-factor since neither official nor unofficial roadmaps indicate this fact.

Tags: AMD, FX, Vishera, 32nm, Piledriver, Steamroller, 28nm, Kaveri, Fusion

Discussion

Comments currently: 29
Discussion started: 12/11/13 03:14:10 AM
Latest comment: 12/14/13 03:10:44 AM
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1. 
Server market is where multi-threaded performance matters(unlike consumer space, where single-thread performance matters) , steamroller helps especially multi-threaded performance, and they are not upgrading their server line to steamroller
1 0 [Posted by: hkultala  | Date: 12/11/13 03:14:10 AM]
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2. 
So now the AMD FX brand is a known unknown. I would suggest we'll see it reappear once Intel catches up sufficiently and AMD wants to pull ahead. Before then, expect strategic bluffs from both sides with the intention of trying to reveal each other's tech hand. This new game of HSA/OpenCL poker has just begun.
1 3 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 12/11/13 03:41:17 AM]
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"once Intel catches up"

Really? Are you talking about raw performance or "bang for buck"? Raw performance king = Intel. "Bang for Buck" king = AMD. Let's keep things in perspective, shall we?
1 2 [Posted by: LexLuthermiester  | Date: 12/11/13 11:25:12 PM]
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@Lexluthermiester - Intel APU's produce less GFlops due to poor Intel graphics. And they don't have HSA features either. Yes, Intel is at least 2 years behind in APU development. It's got nothing to do with perspective. AMD changed the game whilst Intel were still significantly investing R&D in CPUs.
1 1 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 12/12/13 06:32:00 AM]
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3. 
I'm afraid that by the time new FX processors arrive I will have moved to Intel. Putting OpenCL processing power on a CPU isn't a bad idea, but I would really like AMD to push some of its CPU advances at the AM3+ crowd.
1 1 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 12/11/13 07:44:48 AM]
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just a tip: opencl on cpu is not something new.
there are more things behind what they call HSA and not some opencl commands like avx and sse.
Performance is not an issue for most users, because they are simply too stupid to take advantage of their cpu capabilities.
You can have a phenom II or a 1st gen i7 and still see no difference in your regular tasks+ gaming+ most of the staff the 99% of the users do.

In the end, claiming that you want a faster cpu, is like changing your car with top speed 250 KM/h for something that has 300 KM/h top speed.
although you can never get that speed, you feel more comfortable having that 300 number on your dashboard
3 1 [Posted by: Yorgos  | Date: 12/11/13 10:00:34 AM]
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4. 
I think they can do, imagine the same SoC in PS4/XBOne but without the GPU part or a much smaller one, enthusiast will use a discrete GPU for sure... that GPU part silicon will be saved for more TDP head room, for sure it will have 8 cores ( four modules ) and might be able to be clocked higher than what is already in these console... the thing that AMD should take into account is the memory bandwidth which is one of the weak points of AMD memory controller... The only solution ATM I see now is having more than 2 channels of RAM which will require changing the socket and I don't like this... change it when we move for DDR4 which will take time...

I think AMD can fill the blanks between now and DDR4 with one 8 cores steamroller with the fastest DDR3 they can support while they work on an upgrade for the platform to support DDR4 and prepare it for excavator also...
0 0 [Posted by: Xajel  | Date: 12/11/13 08:06:07 AM]
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Xajel, PS4 and XBOne SOCs are using an 8-core Jaguar design @ 1.6ghz. This is their small core arch (meant for mobile and low-power applications), while Steamroller is their big core.

As of now, we will only get Steamroller with Kaveri APUs; these will feature up to 4 cores (2 modules), and no L3 cache. AMD has no plan for an 8c-4m design with L3 right now.
0 2 [Posted by: 200380051  | Date: 12/11/13 10:24:32 AM]
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No AMD could build an 8 or more APU core with its latest GPU/s all on a PCI card, with the APU's CPU/GPU cores shareing a 512 bit data bus, all connected to 8 or more gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, and on the same package next to the APU die some very fast On module RAM, running at internal data bus speeds, just enough to host the most essential gaming engine/CPU type code/data, leaving the GDDR5 memory to handle frame buffers/GPU shader stuff, and some non-essential/non latency impacted CPU code/data! And maybe the SteamOS, all on the PCI card! leaving with the motherboard's CPU down on its narrow bus/slow memory, a non factor, but held in reserve, should extra computational power be needed!
1 1 [Posted by: BigChiefRunAmok  | Date: 12/11/13 04:40:20 PM]
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5. 
I seem to recall an article way back in July on the sever road map. The customer CPU are taken from server CPU's so there are plans for high end CPU's in the pipe just not saying that they will be for home use. The new CPU will be from the server CPU stable and will be 12 or more cores by the look of things also I think that they will be made on either 22/28 sized dies depending whether one use AMD sizes or Intel sizes which are always smaller than AMD for the same size.
1 0 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 12/11/13 08:15:26 AM]
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6. 
According to AMD's own roadmaps the only FX processors that will exist in '14 are Pildriver based. Any new PD models will be just marginal improvements as the cores will still be PD. In 2015 socket AM3+ reaches the end of the road with no new CPUs other than the PD based units in '14.

The FX naming scheme will be transfered to FM2+ APUs, probably with revised or deleted GPU sections that marginally increase performance over current FX CPUs. AMD considers the future to be APUs so CPUs will be a low priority and for specific market segments where mandated by the consumer.
1 1 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 12/11/13 08:29:01 AM]
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7. 
"this does not mean that Intel is giving up the market of high-end central processing units (CPUs)"

AMD perhaps?
1 1 [Posted by: 200380051  | Date: 12/11/13 10:06:24 AM]
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There are usually so many story errors that we just ignore most of them. Yes obviously they meant to say AMD, not Intel.
3 1 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 12/11/13 01:09:32 PM]
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