AMD Re-Schedules Bulldozer Processors to 2011

AMD’s First “Bulldozer” Named “Orochi” Aimed at 2011

by Anton Shilov
03/05/2009 | 04:54 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday said that the company had reset plans for the launch if its new micro-architecture code-named Bulldozer and the first truly next-generation processors will only emerge in 2011. This slightly contradicts the optimism caused by comments of the company’s chief executive officer, who promised to “ramp up” the first chips produced at 32nm node in mid-2010.


“Our guidance for the Bulldozer CPU core was reset to expect test silicon in late 2010 and product in 2011,” said Damon Muzny, a spokesperson for AMD, in a brief conversation with X-bit labs.

Dirk Meyer, chief executive officer and president of AMD, said in a recent interview that the company expected to ramp up the manufacturing of central processing units (CPUs) using 32nm process technology sometime in mid-2010. Since Mr. Meyer said back in early 2008 that the first samples of processors featuring code-named Bulldozer micro-architecture will be made using 45nm fabrication process would be out in 2009, the claim regarding the ramp up of chips at 32nm node caused expectations that Bulldozer processors will be out earlier than expected. However, this is not correct.

The first processor in the Bulldozer family is code-named Orochi and it has more than four cores, more than 8MB of cache and supports DDR3 memory. The Orochi chip will be made using 32nm process technology and is currently due in 2011. Another interesting chip due in 2011 is code-named Ontario, which has two general-purpose x86 cores, built-in graphics processing engine, 1MB of cache and DDR3 memory support. The chip will be based on the code-named Bobcat micro-architecture, which is projected to be very power efficient, and will also be among the first "Fusion" processors that combine x86 and graphics processing on the same chip.

"In case you're wondering, Ontario is Bobcat," Mr. Muzny said to emphasize the micro-architecture of the Ontario chip.

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 also feature SSE5 instruction set.

The Sunnyvale, California-based microprocessor developer badly needs principally new CPU micro-architecture to recapture performance crown from Intel Corp. and win back market share. It remains to be seen whether AMD manages to be competitive on the market with existing Phenom II/Deneb microprocessors for nearly two years from now. Considering that the end-user demands are rising rapidly, it may be logical for AMD to refresh existing offerings with faster chips sometimes in 2010. However, the company naturally remains tight-lipped regarding such granularity of its plans.