AMD will today present details of two new processor core designs at the Hot Chips conference in California. The cores, Bulldozer and Bobcat, will power AMD's processor chips for 2011 in the mainstream and power-efficient categories, respectively, plus further chips for years to come.
The two cores are both new designs from the ground up but target separate market segments with different capabilities. Bulldozer will appear first in chips for servers but also later in PCs and laptops, while Bobcat will form the CPU core in AMD's first fusion chip and will target netbooks and other portable devices.
In a press briefing ahead of the Hot Chips conference, AMD said the new cores showed that innovation within the firm is alive and well, and that these designs will form a solid foundation for AMD products for years to come.
Bulldozer is the 'heavy lift' core, set to debut in the 16-core Interlagos server chip early in 2011. It features a number of instruction set extensions and is built using 32nm process technology.
It will also power mainstream client products, appearing in other chips with a smaller number of cores.
Each Bulldozer core comprises two integer execution units plus some shared components, such as floating-point execution units, which reflects the fact that over 80 percent of compute tasks are integer based while floating point is used only occasionally.
This means that each Bulldozer module functions as two processor cores as far as software is concerned, but is smaller and consumes less power than the conventional approach of putting two complete monolithic cores side-by-side on a chip, according to Chekib Akrout, senior vice president of AMD's Technology Group.
"We've done significant research into analysing workloads, looking at what needs to be shared and how to maximise performance," he said.
Akrout said this approach is more efficient than Intel's Hyper-Threading technology, which turns each core into two virtual processors that have to share all on-chip resources.
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