AMD Announces Upcoming CPUs

AMD takes the crown in the GPU market, can it do the same with its new CPU line? Recently, AMD has been doing great with its GPUs as it over took Nvidia’s market share with a six month DirectX 11 lead. Now AMD is seeking to make a major comeback with several new architectures: Bobcat, Llano, and Bulldozer.

Bobcat is AMD’s updated response to Intel’s Atom. These 1-10 watt TDP mobile CPUs will look to make a dent in the Netbook space and offer enticing performance when compared to Intel’s Atom processor.

To put things in context AMD is targeting under 1 watt per core with Bobcat, a dramatic improvement over the L110 and other currently-offered low-power processors from AMD.

While both Atom and Bobcat are similar in number of pipe stages for the CPU (16 stages for the former, 15 for the latter), the Bobcat is an out-of-order CPU which should give it a performance edge over Intel’s otherwise similar design. The design features 64 KB of L1 cache, and 512 KB of L2 cache.

AMD’s Bobcat will appear in laptops sometime early next year. Additionally, AMD plans to pair up one it’s GPUs with two Bobcat cores:

[This is] …AMD’s first Fusion CPU dubbed Ontario. Ontario will feature 2 Bobcat cores paired with an AMD GPU. The combined system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be produced at the 40 nm node at TSMC’s chip fabs.

AMD plans to call this unit that uses Fusion technology, an APU. This stands for accelerated processing unit.

Next up is Bulldozer. These processors are going to address the high performance and mobile sectors. The processors will be available sometime in Q2 or Q3 of 2011.

And AMD promises the performance boost on average will be significantly more than 12-percent, so this seems a smart tradeoff.

Other changes include a deeper pipeline and more aggressive prefetching. Idle cores can be fully turned off for power savings.

Bulldozer CPUs will primarily retail in the desktop sector in 1 to 4 module packages (for a total of 2 to 8 threads/integer cores) on the AM3 socket. A 16-core G34 socket variant dubbed Interlagos and a C32 socket 8-core model dubbed Valencia will launch for servers. The CPUs will be produced on a 32 nm process, by Global Foundries. Intel was the first to hit this node with its Nehalem die-shrink Clarkdale, which launched in January of this year.

Each integer core has a tiny 16 KB cache. That’s disappointingly, low, but AMD says the performance impact will be masked by plentiful L2 cache.

Finally, we have Llano. These will be AMD’s mainstream offering, and they will be available in early 2011.

Unlike the redesigned Bulldozer and Bobcat, Llano is a system on a chip featuring a refined K10-based core design — basically a tweaked Phenom II. AMD’s slides have shown that it will use a new socket called “AM3r2”. The package will pack four of those K10-based cores, a 5000-series-derived GPU, and DD3 memory.

Basically, Llano is another one of AMD’s Fusion processors, which combines both the GPU and CPU integrated onto a single chip. Or, as AMD now calls it, an APU.

What do you think? Can AMD make as much of an impact of the CPU market with these three upcoming Architectures? Anything is possible.