AMD Cancels Next-Gen Komodo Processor, Corona Platform in Favour of New Chips

AMD's Readies Vishera CPUs, Volan Platform as Next-Gen Desktop

by Anton Shilov
09/06/2011 | 07:33 PM

Advanced Micro Devices has altered its high-end desktop product plans for next year and cancelled its Komodo central processing unit (CPU) with eight or ten processing cores as well as canned Corona platform. The modified roadmap of AMD includes Vishera microprocessors with up to eight cores as well as Volan/Scrorpius refresh platform.

 

Not a lot is known about AMD's code-named Vishera chips, which are projected to succeed AMD FX "Zambezi" processors next year. People with knowledge of the matter indicated that the CPUs sport up to eight Piledriver (next-generation Bulldozer) x86 cores, dual-channel DDR3 memory controller and are compatible with AM3+ infrastructure as well as Scorpius platform featuring AMD 990FX core-logic sets. Although the new platform has its own code-name "Volan", some sources refer to it as "Scorpius Refresh".

AMD's Komodo CPUs were officially announced by AMD in early November, 2010. The chip was supposed to have up to eight next-generation Bulldozer (Piledriver) cores. Indirectly though, AMD implied that the number of cores inside Komodo may be as high as ten and the design of the chip is similar to Sepang (a server chip for 1-2 socket machines), which features triple-channel memory controller and integrated PCI Express 3.0 controller. Unofficial sources later confirmed that Komodo was supposed to have ten Piledriver cores, utilize Fusion Controller Hub (meaning built-in PCIe 3.0 and a new form-factor) and be the base of AMD's Corona platform. Integration of PCIe into microprocessors speeds up data transactions between CPU and graphics cards, a necessary thing for high-end desktops and workstations.

If assumptions and unofficial bits of information about Komodo and Corona are correct, then it is clear that Vishera CPUs and Volan/Scorpius Refresh are considerably less progressive than previously planned products. Apparently, AMD will not have high-end desktop platforms with PCI Express 3.0 support in 2012, if the information about the adjustment of plans is correct. Given that cancellations of such type do not usually happen because of business decisions, the change of plans may indicate technical problems with Komodo.

It remains to be seen whether such problems will also affect AMD's server roadmap. The company's 2012 chips for servers - Terramar with up to 20 "Piledriver" cores for G2012 platform and Sepang with up to 10 "Piledriver" cores for C2012 platform - are planned to have built-in PCI Express 3.0 controllers and rely on brand new Server Controller Hub (SCH) core-logic architecture.

AMD's FX-microprocessors code-named Vishera are projected to hit the market in the third quarter of 2012, but it is unclear whether it will be early July or late September.

AMD usually does not comment on unofficial information about its future products.