Opterons to have 12 cores in early 2010, 16 cores in 2011

To coincide with the original Opteron processor’s sixth anniversary, AMD showed the latest version of its server roadmap to the press earlier this afternoon. Among other revelations, the company said its 12-core Magny-Cours processors will launch in the first quarter of 2010. A 16-core, 32nm successor based on the next-gen Bulldozer architecture will follow in 2011, as well.

First things first, though. AMD reiterated the new June launch schedule for Istanbul, its six-core Opteron processor. Istanbul will augment the two-, four-, and eight-socket Opteron lineups with up to 30% higher performance within the same thermal envelopes, the company says. AMD also prides itself on the fact that it will end up taking the first Istanbul tape-out to production—that’s the first blueprint sent to GlobalFoundries for manufacturing.

In the first quarter of next year, AMD plans to introduce a revamped server platform together with the 12-core Magny-Cours CPU. Rather than continue the tradition of the one-size-fits-all Socket F, AMD will offer two distinct platforms with different capabilities and different Opteron lines tied to them:

Magny-Cours will be the first member of the Opteron 6000 series, which will slip into two- and four-socket G34 systems with quad-channel DDR3 memory, up to 12 DIMM slots per socket, and quadruple HyperTransport 3.0 links. AMD plans nine Magny-Cours variants with 8-12 cores and ACP ratings of 105W, 75W, and 55W.

For one- and two-socket servers, AMD will also offer Opteron 4000-series processors with a new C32 platform. The first Opteron 4000 CPUs are code-named Lisbon; they’ll feature 4-6 cores and 75W, 55W, and 40W power envelopes.

The following year, AMD will make the move to its next-gen 32nm Bulldozer core—and with it, 16-core Interlagos processors that will be drop-in compatible with G34 systems. In the Opteron 4000 line, Lisbon will be succeeded by 32nm Valencia processors with 6-8 cores.

So, how will all these next-gen CPUs perform? We’ll have to test them ourselves to be sure, but AMD provided some in-house projections for Istanbul, Magny-Cours, and Interlagos:

AMD is evidently banking on major performance improvements, especially in the case of Magny-Cours, which it expects to nearly double integer performance compared to Istanbul. The company expects Bulldozer to make major strides in terms of floating-point performance compared to its predecessors, as well. Bulldozer should also debut in desktops in 2011.

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    • 0g1
    • 13 years ago

    Thanks for the info!

    • Saribro
    • 13 years ago

    Some older AMD presentations about clustered multithreading, combined with some investigation into recent AMD patents has given a view of what Bulldozer -might- look like.
    It’s probably safe to be sceptical, but it’s a cool arch regardless.
    §[<http://citavia.blog.de/2009/04/15/amd-bulldozer-cpu-mpu-architecture-5947212/<]§

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    How can AMD mess it up? The same thing they already make, just with 50% more cores. I think its an excellent move, at least once they have really good yields.

    • sergeant_skyes
    • 13 years ago

    Well i wonder when the desktop version will release , cant wait to one 16 core processor!! but hey isnt AMD gonna adopt Simultaneous Multi Threading (Hyper Threading as intel may call it) ??? I wonder why not?? It could be a huge improvement.

    • WillBach
    • 13 years ago

    -[

    • data8504
    • 13 years ago

    Well, possible but not probable –

    A 128-bit DQ interface would introduce several problems:
    – routing. it is very difficult to do a fly-by routing of 128 pins in a finite-layered board. you’d have to increase your layers more than cost would like to allow.
    – capacity. while routing to fewer DIMMs might be great for performance on the low end, the servers and workstations will need so much RAM that they’d have to have many DIMMs anyhow. By consolidating channels, you’d enable a low-margin market by castrating the high end. There is an electrical finite number of “DPC” or “DIMMs per channel.” Depending on the platform/board/etc. it’s usually between 2 and 4.

    Hope that helps.

    • pluscard
    • 13 years ago

    Anyone seen this:
    Don’t try this at home: AMD overclocks new Phenom II X4 to 7 GHz
    §[<http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9131994<]§

    • wibeasley
    • 13 years ago

    Cool. Thanks for the information.

    • data8504
    • 13 years ago

    Alvin better hang onto his day job.

    Here’s a bit of silicon production jargon from an insider: (it’s industry-wide, so don’t hold my working for Intel against me…)

    – “Masking” is the old process by which board (and early silicon) layout negatives were created, literally by placing tape on large film- or glass-slide-like projection substrates, creating the medium through which the actual etching/lithographic process was carried out. Processes (especially on PCB) were so large until this industry took off, that optical processes could be used to shrink these “taped” masks down to appropriate sizes.
    – Despite the fact that we no longer use tape to create industry masks, the terms “tape-in” and “tape-out” are still used to describe the entry and exit from the masking process. Think of this as the part of the design phase wherein you take the logic and proposed layout of a chip and actually put it down in gates–size and all–as it will actually appear on die.

    The key takeaway here is that no, Alvin, you are incorrect. A separate tape-in/tape-out is required for each validation stepping. No questions asked. These steppings can be metal-layer or base-layer (this may be what is confusing you), but again each requires a new tape-out.

    The act of stamping something for mass manufacturing, at least at Intel, is referred to as “Product Release Qualification.”

    • wingless
    • 13 years ago

    The success of 6-core Istanbul will be a litmus test as to how well AMD will do in 2010 regardless of their 12-core or not. If Istanbul fails then nobody will pick up any of AMD’s lineup come 2010 or 2011. Companies will surely not adopt a new AMD socket if their infrastructure is rooted in Intel. AMD’s hope is customer retention right now.

    Fortunately, Istanbul absolutely ROCKS! Common sense tells us it shouldn’t be an issue for AMD to keep their current customer base. Reality always surprises though.

    • AMDisDEC
    • 13 years ago

    I don’t doubt it’ll happen. Just curious on how AMD will manage to shot themselves in the foot this time.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    AMD followed ATI’s que (cue? whichever works) last time, would be interesting to see history repeat itself.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Pretty much, if I was in charge of a 100,000 user upgrade, I could see the need.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Honestly, with 16 cores, I could care less if it needed a new socket, I’d need a new mobo by that time anyways, also, DDR4 would likely be right around the corner.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Unless the are assuming some major performance increasing enhancements that /[

    • pluscard
    • 13 years ago

    This is huge for apps like sql server, which charge by the number of sockets, not the number of cores.

    • wibeasley
    • 13 years ago

    Is there a term for the pre-tapeout production process? And it uses a 32nm process too?

    • Cyril
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 13 years ago

    tape-out is the design for production. They have been making plenty of chips, testing and improving. However, the latter process is done in very small labs that mimic the large fabs. At first, you don’t worry about yield and other production issues. You just focus on making the chips work well and efficiently. Once you have that, you start to try and improve yields and meet production requirements. The result of that process is the tape-out which is sent to Global foundries for mass production so they can start to produce them and put them in the warehouse for the release date.

    Its the first tape-out, because the small lab doesn’t stop working on the chip. They keep on improving production issues and talk about problems that happen at the fab. Over time, they produce more tape outs which will lower production costs and keep make small performance improvements like higher stock speeds.

    • 0g1
    • 13 years ago

    The reason they have half the amount of cores on the 4000 series is because the 6000 series has almost 2000 pins and is a very large package that supports four channels and (most likely) Multi Chip Modules.

    • Xajel
    • 13 years ago

    There’s something wrong here

    I think the count of cores are meant to be for the whole platform, eg.. two sockets = 2x8cores = 16 cores & 2x6cores = 12 cores…

    this is why 12 & 16 cores platform are only on 2P platform Maranello (Magny-Cours, Interlagos) while the 1P platform San Marino (Lisbon, Valencia) only had 6 & 8 cores…

    the point is thier was a rumour that AMD may go for MCM by stiching 2 x Istanbul ( 6 cores ) to have the 12 cores chip, then do the same for 2 x Magny-Cours ( 8 cores ) to have the 16 cores chip but I think AMD may changed this idea duo to thier chip design or power thingies, they may have it later with Bulldozer ( K11 ) as current K10 & K10.5 design is not meant to be used in MCM chips ( on which die they will have the IMC/INB ? )

    • 0g1
    • 13 years ago

    Must be some kind of mistake because multiplying the Istanbul performance by two doesn’t correspond to the Magny-Cours performance which should be exactly double (cos its two Istanbuls).

    Also, the Istanbul should just be using the same core, but with six of them instead of four.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    Bulldozer is a completely new architecture from K8/K10/K10.5. So there’s a very good chance it’ll require a brand new socket.

    • dermutti
    • 13 years ago

    So Intel now provides CPUs with 3 memory channels and AMD is looking to provide 4 channels. Only problem is, you have to have memory sticks in multiples of the channel count to take full advantage of it.

    Is there an EE guy out there that can give me an idea of how hard it would be to just make a future memory standard 128 bit instead of 64?

    • wibeasley
    • 13 years ago

    I was talking about selling stock, but I see you point. I don’t buy chips in any quantity to make a difference in a company’s success -certainly not enough AMD chips to hurt Intel’s success.

    • Faceless Clock
    • 13 years ago

    My only question is this: Well these run on a variation of the long-running AM2/AM2+/AM3 sockets? Because that would be absolutely awesome.

    • Goty
    • 13 years ago

    The integer performance jump on Istanbul is very interesting, to say the least.

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah, but based on what we’ve seen with the Phenom, they’ll offer an X12 version where a quarter of the cores are disabled for yield or market segmentation reasons… 😉

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    Multiples of the original Opteron’s performance, which is why it is set =1 in 2003. Of course they don’t specify exactly which model of original Opteron, or which benchmarks they’re using to measure integer and fp performance (I assume the respective SPEC benches)

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    WTF is the axis on the left?
    “performance?” what units of measurement are we even talking about hereg{

    • eofpi
    • 13 years ago

    That’s what memory riser cards are for. Besides, 4-socket boards with 32 dimm slots already exist.

    • d2brothe
    • 13 years ago

    Yes, however, investing in one company while purchasing the products of its competitors is a little bit illogical…since you purchasing their competitors products only hurts the company and thus, your investment.

    • d2brothe
    • 13 years ago

    Pssst….16 x 4 = 64 not 48.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 13 years ago

    Wow. Four 16-core processors? Forty-eight processors???? That’ll be one badass computer.

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    Is that a die shot of Istanbul I see on this story? Haven’t seen one so far…

    • wibeasley
    • 13 years ago

    You’re not necessarily contradicting yourself if you believe that AMD is going to perform financially worse than expected (so you sell/short their stock), while also believing their chips outperform comparably priced Intel chips (so you buy a Bulldozer).

    EDIT: But if you think both their listing finances and technology will sink (because they can no longer successfully coast with poor management and underfunded R&D), then jump overboard and yell, “Burn baby burn.”

    • ish718
    • 13 years ago

    16 core bulldozer in 2011? Can we flash forward to 2011, please?

    • Grigory
    • 13 years ago

    Hang in there, AMD! <3

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    Did AMD just make a /[

    • StashTheVampede
    • 13 years ago

    At least by the time those CPU parts get shipped we’ll have plenty more SSDs on the market!

    • Hattig
    • 13 years ago

    Good to see a roadmap from AMD, and I think they’re on the right line regarding their platform changes. They also seem quite positive about Bulldozer. I’ve heard that the top-end socket is nearly 2000 pins, is the C32 actually the same old Socket F?

    • ClickClick5
    • 13 years ago

    AMD surprised everyone with the Radeon 4xxx series, now…. is it time for their proc lineup?

    • just brew it!
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • dpaus
    • 13 years ago

    I can not only imagine it, I have an application for it!

    My manager and I were just discussing this story, and he mentioned how, just 7 years ago, he was working on a project that was using a 16-core Sun server that cost $1 million, and now, by 2011, a 16-core server is likely going to come in the door at about $5,000.

    I described how by 2011 you should be able to plunk 8 of those into a Tyan Thunder motherboard with daughter-card and have a 128-core behemoth that – for about $50,000 – will put recent “massively parallel computing” clusters costing several million dollars to shame. Basement weather forecasting, anyone?

    Now i have to start hunting for a suitable graphics card 🙂

    oops – that was supposed to be a reply to post #6 by cygnus1

    • donkeycrock
    • 13 years ago

    I was really going to sell all my AMD stock and buy Intel. And only buy Intel products but ehh. I give AMD another shot.

    • cygnus1
    • 13 years ago

    q[

    • Jigar
    • 13 years ago

    The better come up with some thing powerful against the i series of Intel.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    These are real server CPUs, virtualization and server consolidation is the answer to your question. Even if the performance per core (PPC?) is similar the TCO would be lower.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Do those kind of expected increases put a damper on their CPU upgrade angle for current servers? I imagine most companies don’t do CPU upgrades anyway and just buy whole new servers but a CPU upgrade would only make sense with known budget constraints in to 2010 along with current servers already being strained.

    Also it looks like someone at AMD might be a fan of Spinal Tap…’goes to 11′ indeed.

    • emorgoch
    • 13 years ago

    Since it plans to double the number of cores from Istanbul to Magny-Cours, I’d expect the integer performance to at least double as well.

    What I want to know is how are they improving the per-core performance? Do they plan to increase clock speeds? Higher IPCs? Right now, it really seems like they’re concentrating on getting as many cores into a CPU as possible, and expect that some silver bullet is going to come along and make all our programs (or at least future programs) multithreaded.

    • khands
    • 13 years ago

    Interesting to hear as always, hopefully they can deliver.

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