AMD Displays Die-Shot of Upcoming Eight-Core "Orochi" Processor for the First Time [UPDATED]

AMD Shows Off Die-Short of 32nm Bulldozer-Based "Orochi" Chip

by Anton Shilov
09/01/2010 | 06:12 PM

UPDATE: Clarifying the confusion between Orochi, Valencia and Zambezi code-named.


Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday displayed a die-shot of the forthcoming central processing unit (CPU) code-named Orochi, which is based on the Bulldozer micro-architecture and will be made using 32nm silicon-on-insulator process technology.

AMD Orochi design is the company's next-generation processor for high-end desktop and server 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 floating point unit with two 128-bit FMAC pipes with one FP scheduler. The chip will have shared L3 cache, dual-channel DDR3 memory controller and will use HyperTransport 3.1 bus. The Orochi chips will use new AM3+ form-factor and will require brand new platforms.

The image clearly depicts four separate dual-core Bulldozer modules with unified level-two caches, various interfaces (memory, HyperTransport, etc.), rather strangely aligned level-three cache and so on. Based on the physical size of L2 caches, it can be expected that each module will have 2MB of L2, which should ensure higher single-thread performance compared to existing processors in many situations. It is unclear why the modules on the upper side of the picture are larger than the modules on the lower side of the image. Potentially, this may indicate that either certain modules will include certain additional logic or the image has been specifically altered. According to AMD, the die-shot was substantially "photoshopped" for competitive reasons.

AMD also clarified that Orochi forms the basis for both the eight-core desktop chip known as Zambezi and eight-core server product code-named Valencia. Zambezi is a name which designates a specific desktop platform, whereas Valencia has all the server features enabled.  Orochi refers to the glass which will make both central processing units happen.

Bulldozer instruction set architecture supports SSE 4.1; SSE 4.2; AVX with AMD 4-operand FMAC subset, 256-bit YMM registers and AES; XSAVE state space management and XOP instructions. Bulldozer will also support light weight profiling (LWP) technology. As indicated earlier, there are no word on 3DNow! extensions or SSE5 instruction set.

Besides design and instruction set improvements, Bulldozer, just like the code-named Llano accelerated processing unit (APU), supports advanced power management featuring chip power gating and digital measurements of temperatures. Obviously, the chip will be able to dynamically boost clock-speed when thermal design power allows and multiple cores are not required.