AMD Secretly Rolls-Out "Steamroller" Support Patch for Compilers

AMD Begins to Prepare for the Third Version of Bulldozer

by Anton Shilov
10/11/2012 | 11:26 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday quietly published the first patch work concerning support of its next-generation Steamroller micro-architecture in GNU compilers. The bdver3 GCC patch sheds some light on the peculiarities of AMD's future high-performance x86 core, but does not contain a lot of specifics.

 

"The attached patch (Patch.txt) enables the next version of AMD's Bulldozer core. A new file (bdver3.md) is also attached which describes the pipelines," Ganesh Gopalasubramanian, an AMD engineer, wrote at GCC project web-site.

According to Phoronix web-site, the Bulldozer version 3 (bdver3) GCC patch is presently in its very early form and generally copies most of the tuning work from bdver2 (Piledriver), except the fact that the pipelines have already been modeled in accordance with the new Steamroller core design. Considering the fact that AMD did not add support for any new instruction the next-gen x86 core supports, it is evident that the company is more concerned about ensuring that peculiarities of the Steamroller cores are taken into consideration by software designers on the first place.

AMD is reportedly trying to ensure that Steamroller micro-architecture is supported by the GNU compiler collection 4.8, which is due in the first half of 2013. Apparently, the company is very concerned about optimization of compilers for the new bdver3 pipelines, which were significantly redesigned in the third-gen compared to the original Bulldozer.

AMD pins a lot of hopes on Bulldozer micro-architecture and even disclosed many of its peculiarities back in August '12, well ahead of the roll-out of the first chips, which are projected to be due in late 2013.