Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

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Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:51 pm

Looking at ISSCC abstracts, looks like a Bulldozer module will be 213M transistors including 2MB L2 cache. The die size for a single module they mention is only 31mm-sq, which is quite a fantastic density. I guess we will know the final die sizes soon enough, but I am starting to think that a 4-module Bulldozer will certainly not be larger than a 4-core Sandy Bridge.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:39 am

It would be very nice if AMD could keep the package size low, to give them a chance to make some revenue off of it; it would be even nicer if they could get within spitting distance of SB on IPC though, and able to keep close on clocks and thermals at the same time. I fear they're getting too far behind too quickly...
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:24 am

GlobalFoundries Process Tech led to that density, according to the front page.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:27 am

Airmantharp wrote:It would be very nice if AMD could keep the package size low, to give them a chance to make some revenue off of it; it would be even nicer if they could get within spitting distance of SB on IPC though, and able to keep close on clocks and thermals at the same time. I fear they're getting too far behind too quickly...


I have to agree :-? . AMD must be equal to or superior to Intel for them to actually compete. Otherwise, it is literally back to the K6-K8 days all over again :oops: .
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:36 am

riviera74 wrote:I have to agree :-? . AMD must be equal to or superior to Intel for them to actually compete. Otherwise, it is literally back to the K6-K8 days all over again :oops: .

They actually did very well in the K8 days, until Intel introduced Core 2.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:38 am

just brew it! wrote:
riviera74 wrote:I have to agree :-? . AMD must be equal to or superior to Intel for them to actually compete. Otherwise, it is literally back to the K6-K8 days all over again :oops: .

They actually did very well in the K8 days, until Intel introduced Core 2.

And Intel introduced the Pentium M/Core/Core 2 precisely because of AMD's resounding success over the miserable Pentium 4.

Even in the Pentium III vs. Athlon days, AMD was pulling ahead.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:42 am

Buub wrote:Even in the Pentium III vs. Athlon days, AMD was pulling ahead.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:45 am

Buub wrote:Even in the Pentium III vs. Athlon days, AMD was pulling ahead.

Among enthusiasts, yes. But they didn't start to get significant credibility with the general public and corporate IT types until the K8.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:51 am

Corporate IT types too often seem to make it their mission to reject any new, innovative or more efficient technology in favor of maintaining the status quo.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:43 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Corporate IT types too often seem to make it their mission to reject any new, innovative or more efficient technology in favor of maintaining the status quo.

Some of this attitude is certainly misguided, but some is not. When you're responsible for maintaining hundreds or thousands of systems, having a consistent platform matters. Sticking with one platform means you can have identical (or at least very similar) system images across an entire fleet of machines; it simplifies training of the support staff since they need to deal with fewer different types of systems; and you need to stock fewer different kinds of spare parts.

As an aside, the P4 was also the point at which desktop CPUs became fast enough that they were "good enough" for the vast majority of tasks that a typical PC user would perform. Believe it or not, we've actually got a couple of users here in the office who are still hanging on to their old P4s. One of 'em is even a software developer...
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:33 pm

just brew it! wrote:Believe it or not, we've actually got a couple of users here in the office who are still hanging on to their old P4s. One of 'em is even a software developer...

Plus, it's winter and they double as space heaters.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:39 pm

morphine wrote:
just brew it! wrote:Believe it or not, we've actually got a couple of users here in the office who are still hanging on to their old P4s. One of 'em is even a software developer...

Plus, it's winter and they double as space heaters.

Indeed. They also sound like a jet taking off when you run a big compile and the CPU cooler kicks into high gear!
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:16 pm

I still have a P4 Dell laptop. But back to topic, For our sake Bulldozer better hold its own against SB.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:29 pm

just brew it! wrote:As an aside, the P4 was also the point at which desktop CPUs became fast enough that they were "good enough" for the vast majority of tasks that a typical PC user would perform. Believe it or not, we've actually got a couple of users here in the office who are still hanging on to their old P4s. One of 'em is even a software developer...


Ayuh. We've got a few users with Optiplex 270s & P4-2.8s which run 32-bit Win7 pretty well, when given 3GB of RAM and an updated video card. They're certainly good enough for office tasks.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:39 pm

My professor's still on a Pentium IV 2.4GHz. He's writing a neural network in Matlab and in C on it. It certainly is fast enough for normal tasks. My Athlon XP also feels snappy enough, although 720p Youtube gets it down.

In contrast, I just use my Phenom II X6 to fold :( I feel less productive.

EDIT: Even if Bulldozer isn't going to be faster than Sandy Bridge, I'll still buy the best incarnation of it and a good AM3+ board to put it in. I'm no longer that concerned about maximizing single threaded performance, as long as Firefox is snappy enough and it doesn't limit my GTX 470 in games.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:17 pm

As something of an AMD fan I'm disappointed to keep hearing these rumors about Bulldozer (which is not out yet) probably performing slower than Sandy Bridge (which is already shipping and running cool).

I realize AMD can't afford to throw mass billions of $$$ at R&D at the level Intel does, but AMD really has to kick it into high gear someday.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:38 am

sparkman wrote:As something of an AMD fan I'm disappointed to keep hearing these rumors about Bulldozer (which is not out yet) probably performing slower than Sandy Bridge (which is already shipping and running cool).

I realize AMD can't afford to throw mass billions of $$$ at R&D at the level Intel does, but AMD really has to kick it into high gear someday.


Someday :-? ? How about NOW?! :evil:

AMD may get crushed by Intel this year if new CPUs are not better than SB. This is about survival, not competition. Most (normal) people do not care what CPU is in their desktops and notebooks, so AMD must match up and defeat Intel so that OEMs will buy processors at profitable margins.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:22 am

They don't need to compete with Intel in every segment to survive. Though I do admit that it would be nice if they could compete with Intel's high-end desktop offerings...
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:48 am

SBs were a disappointment. Good performance, marred by product segmentation, high prices and atrocious drivers. Even if Bulldozer doesn't match SB in CPU performance (open question), its DX11 IGP and superior drivers will more than make up for the difference (pretty much a given).
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:22 am

BlackStar wrote:Even if Bulldozer doesn't match SB in CPU performance (open question), its DX11 IGP and superior drivers will more than make up for the difference (pretty much a given).

Bulldozer has no IGP. On-die graphics is currently only for consumer parts (Sandy Bridge, Brazos, eventually Llano) whereas Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge-E will be oriented more towards servers.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:59 am

Althernai wrote:
BlackStar wrote:Even if Bulldozer doesn't match SB in CPU performance (open question), its DX11 IGP and superior drivers will more than make up for the difference (pretty much a given).

Bulldozer has no IGP. On-die graphics is currently only for consumer parts (Sandy Bridge, Brazos, eventually Llano) whereas Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge-E will be oriented more towards servers.

Make that Llano then.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:19 pm

just brew it! wrote:They don't need to compete with Intel in every segment to survive. Though I do admit that it would be nice if they could compete with Intel's high-end desktop offerings...


This is very true. Too many enthusiasts say that Intel's top part beats AMD's so AMD is doomed. Except that intel's top part is $1000 and few, if any people buy it.

Personally I'd rather spend a few hundred on the whole system and not $1000 for just the processor. We are very competitive in the markets that we participate in.

Keep in mind that probably 95%+ of the market is buying CPUs in the sub $300 market. Being very competitive in 95% of the market is not a bad place to be.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:38 pm

BlackStar wrote:
Althernai wrote:
BlackStar wrote:Even if Bulldozer doesn't match SB in CPU performance (open question), its DX11 IGP and superior drivers will more than make up for the difference (pretty much a given).
Bulldozer has no IGP. On-die graphics is currently only for consumer parts (Sandy Bridge, Brazos, eventually Llano) whereas Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge-E will be oriented more towards servers.
Make that Llano then.
I'm not sure Llano is quite what you think it is.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:56 pm

UberGerbil wrote:I'm not sure Llano is quite what you think it is.


Yup. We'll have to wait till Trinity and Komodo (2012) before we see IGP + BD cores.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:47 am

@JF-AMD : Wow! Pretty cool to see a senior AMD person commenting here :)

Oh and here is a John Fruehe interview I heard recently (about 15 minutes, you can download MP3): http://insidehpc.com/2010/12/15/podcast ... bulldozer/
The interview mentions a little bit about the 16-core Bulldozer for servers and also a bit about Llano and Zacate fusion products. John mentions around 50% better throughput (which I believe is compared to current AMD offerings) and also mentions around 50% better effective memory bandwidth. Bulldozer has a reworked memory controller and support for DDR3-1600 (opposed to DDR3-1333).
There are interesting remarks about fusion products currently not being positioned towards server (particularly HPC?) workloads.
I suggest anyone interested in AMD products should give it a listen.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:10 am

UberGerbil wrote:I'm not sure Llano is quite what you think it is.

I'm not sure you know what I think Llano is.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:08 am

JF-AMD wrote:We are very competitive in the markets that we participate in. ... Being very competitive in 95% of the market is not a bad place to be.


True, when I built my Phenom II 965 box it was a nice deal vs Intel at the time. And while Intel has great CPU's, and nVidia has great GPU's, only AMD has both pieces. (Making the loss of Dirk Meyer all the more mystifying to us outside AMD.)

But I guess I was hoping the Bulldozer era would return AMD to the pole position on the desktop for awhile.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 1:25 pm

BlackStar wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:I'm not sure Llano is quite what you think it is.
I'm not sure you know what I think Llano is.
I agree, which is why I phrased it that way. But Llano is not "Bulldozer w/IGP" which seemed to be what your terse response implied you thought it to be.
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:17 pm

UberGerbil wrote:
BlackStar wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:I'm not sure Llano is quite what you think it is.
I'm not sure you know what I think Llano is.
I agree, which is why I phrased it that way. But Llano is not "Bulldozer w/IGP" which seemed to be what your terse response implied you thought it to be.


OK. So what is the difference between Bulldozer and Llano?
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Re: Bulldozer may turn out to be a dense die

Postposted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:29 pm

riviera74 wrote:
OK. So what is the difference between Bulldozer and Llano?


Llano = Cores largely based upon the same architecture (with minor tweaks) as Athlon II X4 shrunk to 32nm and a DX11 GPU integrated on-die.
Bulldozer = Completely new architecture and without on-die GPU.
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