Globalfoundries Discloses Peculiarities of AMD's Trinity: Piledriver x86 Cores, Radeon HD 7000 Graphics

Globalfoundries Talks Next-Gen 32nm SOI AMD Fusion Chip

by Anton Shilov
09/01/2011 | 11:58 PM

At its annual Global Technology Conference (GTC 2011), Globalfoundries officially disclosed peculiarities of AMD's next-generation Fusion A-series accelerated processing unit code-named Trinity. As expected, the chip will be based on enhanced Bulldozer/Piledriver x86 cores as well as AMD's next-gen Radeon HD 7000-series graphics technology.


As reported, Advanced Micro Devices' second-generation code-named Trinity APU for mainstream personal computers (Comal for notebooks and Virgo for desktops) will be made using 32nm SOI HKMG process technology at Globalfoundries. The APU will feature up to four x86 cores powered by enhanced Bulldozer/Piledriver architecture, AMD Radeon HD 7000-series "Southern Islands" graphics core with DirectX 11-class graphics support and other improvements.

AMD and Globalfoundries claim that Trinity will offer up to 50% improvement in GFLOPS performance with the same power consumption as currently available A-series "Llano" APUs or similar GFLOPS horsepower with 50% reduction of power consumption.

While basic specs and peculiarities are known, it is still unclear how much more powerful will the enhanced Bulldozer (Piledriver) x86 cores be compared to the first-generation Bulldozer offerings and what will be different between the two iterations of the micro-architecture. It also remains to be seen whether AMD Radeon HD 7000-series will rely on VLIW4 architecture (Cayman-like), will sport a new graphics/compute architecture or something hybrid. It will be interesting to find out whether AMD will implement unified address space for CPU and GPU cores and/or other enhancements for heterogeneous multi-core solutions into its second-generation Fusion or will be a little bit more conservative.

AMD has been testing the 32nm SOI HKMG-based Trinity since June, 2011, therefore it is logical to expect the company to release the chip sometimes in the middle of 2012.

Even though both AMD and Globalfoundries nowadays praise 28nm HKMG bulk process technology, there is a whole lot of new products to be made at GF's 32nm SOI HKMG node in 2012, including eight-core Komodo central processing unit for desktops, ten-core Sepang chip for 1-2 socket servers as well as twenty-core Terramar processor for 2-4 socket servers. For some reason, Globalfoundries did not issue any updates about those microprocessors. Besides, neither AMD nor GF confirmed that the latter will make graphics processing units at 28nm node next year.