by Anton Shilov
11/05/2010 | 07:45 PM
The code-named Bulldozer NG processors are not only discussed by Advanced Micro Devices in conceptual "what if" roadmaps, but are actually chips that are in developments and that have chances to show up earlier than one may think.
AMD recently added several new extensions for the "upcoming bdver2 processors" into the set of patches for GNU operating system, findings of a famous blogger reveal. The fact that Advanced Micro Devices made the new extensions available under non-disclosure agreement to select software developers mean that the company's Bulldozer Version 2.0 - or, perhaps, Bulldozer NG - may be just several years away.
The new extensions that should be supported by the Bulldozer 2 processors are the following:
Unfortunately, we know nothing about the aforementioned instructions and their potential. What we do know is that AMD's own Bulldozer does support FMA4 instruction already and the FMA3 may be implemented for better compatibility with Intel's Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge chips that support the FMA3.
According to Wikipedia, the 4-operand form (FMA4) allows a, b, c and d to be four different registers, while the 3-operand form (FMA3) requires that d is the same register as either a, b or c. The 3-operand form makes the code shorter and the hardware implementation slightly simpler while the 4-operand form provides more programming flexibility.
AMD does not comment on unannounced products.