AMD's Bulldozer architecture to battle Intel's Core i7

Mar 15, 2011 by John Messina weblog
AMD’s Bulldozer architecture to battle Intel's Core i7
AMD's Bulldozer is a multi-threaded high performance x86 CPU that includes the 32-nm Zambezi chips with 4, 6, or 8 cores.

( -- AMD's upcoming four-, six- and eight-core processors, code name Zambezi, is based on its Bulldozer architecture and will target Intel’s flagship 9000 series six-core desktop CPU’s. AMD's Zambezi processors will feature AMD's TurboCore 2.0 technology and will be listed under their FX line-up.

At present AMD is not able to compete in performance against Intel’s Core i7 series “Sandy Bridge” but aims to go to battle with its next generation Bulldozer-chips.

According to report from X-bit Labs, leaked AMD documents reveal that Zambezi processors offer similar capabilities to Intel’s Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors. The report also states that AMD’s Zambezi features more over-clocked cores, dual graphics, OpenCL and GPU capabilities. This makes Zambezi more of an integrated graphics chip than a desktop CPU.

AMD’s Zambezi chip will feature eight processing engines with its cores packed into four modules. The Bulldozer includes two integer units, along with one floating-point unit and two threads on separate integer units instead of the single-core solution.

AMD’s Bulldozer architecture to battle Intel's Core i7
Based on the diagram AMD intends to dramatically improve multithreading performance of its CPUs: two INT schedulers, an FP scheduler and separate data caches for each of four cores. Credit: AMD

Because of Intel’s manufacturing processing error discovered in their Series 6 Sandy Bridge Support chipsets, AMD hopes to gain some market share utilizing their Bulldozer micro-architecture.

According to IDC’s latest estimates, holds an 80.8 percent share of the PC market in the fourth quarter which is a 0.4 percent increase. AMD, on the other hand, only holds a market share of 19.9 percent and is down 0.4 percent.

AMD plans to come out fighting by leveraging their Zambezi processors utilizing their Bulldozer architecture. An spokesperson told CRN, on Monday, that their Zambezi CPU carrying the FX brand is planned to be introduced in Q2 of this year.

Explore further: Successful read/write of digital data in fused silica glass with high recording density

More information: via Xbitlabs and CRN

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1 / 5 (3) Mar 15, 2011
I like how the bulldozer chip has a shovel on it instead. photoshop fail?
not rated yet Mar 15, 2011
And in 5 years time ARM might hold a reasonable percentage as well
1 / 5 (3) Mar 15, 2011
Backhoe, bulldozer... trifling matters to a PHD.
not rated yet Mar 15, 2011
Backhoe, bulldozer... trifling matters to a PHD.

But generally those types of phds don't work in the graphics department, unless they're developing algorithms...
2 / 5 (4) Mar 15, 2011
It's really a trackhoe, but I just hope they did a better job designing the chip, than naming the chip.

Bulldozer, really? Big, slow, ponderous, low-tech. Hardly the image I would want for my new fast, powerful, cutting-edge marvel of computer engineering. :)

1 / 5 (3) Mar 15, 2011
There is a picture of an excavator on the chip in the article. So is the chip an excavator or a bulldozer? A better picture may have been a fire extinguisher, because this thing is going to need to be very close to one.
1 / 5 (5) Mar 16, 2011
Well, don't blame their techies. The naming is left to the marketing department and we know that those people don't know, don't understand what's involved and therefore cannot come up with a good name for the chip. It's like politicians deciding we need more nuclear power plants. Will they ever learn the lesson that nature is giving so generously?
5 / 5 (6) Mar 16, 2011
It's like politicians deciding we need more nuclear power plants.

What? It is the politicians catering to the easily frightened clueless public that are pushing the anti-nuclear propaganda.
not rated yet Mar 18, 2011
If the IT industry wants to make decent progress we need to ditch the x86 architecture all together. It's horrible. Lets move forward.

The performance, cost, and power consumption of ARM processors puts Intel to shame. I think Intel is scared of ARM. They are literally s*%$ing their pants. We'll see what happens in the next few years.
5 / 5 (3) Mar 19, 2011
Don't confuse watt/performance ratio with actual performance. While ARM is a great architecture that does put x86-64 to shame in the mobile department, the high end is a completely different ball game. High end x86 processors have much much much better floating point precision and advanced instruction sets aimed at complex computations. While ARM might be great for phones and tablets, it simply cannot compete with the power. Just like x86-64 cannot complete with ARM's power consumption. ARM was designed to be a low power RISC processor. It is usually coupled with a decent low power GPU which makes up for its short comings. The few high end RISC processors that have come up over time have failed to deliver the same performance as x86-64. POWER PC and its derivatives i.e.CELL have been super powerful but yet fall behind. So, Mr. lets 'move forward' - what do you suggest we ditch x86-64 for? A low power mobile architecture? Not all of us use our CPU's only for facebook and email.
not rated yet Mar 22, 2011
So, Mr. lets 'move forward' - what do you suggest we ditch x86-64 for? A low power mobile architecture? Not all of us use our CPU's only for facebook and email.
Agreed, I wasn't saying ARM is the be all end all of CPU's though for most things especially the netbook market and most business users.

Imagine a netbook where the battery lasts a few days to a week.

Also ARM hasn't got a 64bit processor yet so it can't compete with the high end desktops and server systems at this stage.

One of the main reasons ARM isn't currently available in netbooks is partly due to the Intel "Industry development fund" a splash fund aka the Industry bribery fund, where Intel gives manufacturers like Compaq, Asus, etc.. money if they agree to only sell notebooks with x86 architecture for the year.