AMD: No Core Wars Incoming

Core Wars Will Not Last - AMD

by Anton Shilov
10/17/2010 | 05:00 PM

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.