Report: Next-gen Bulldozer chipsets due next year

As advanced as AMD’s Bulldozer architecture may be, the accompanying chipsets are relatively pedestrian. Much of the blame lies with the SB850 south-bridge component, which anchors the 900-series chipset line and has been around for more than a year and a half. The chip may have six 6Gbps SATA ports, but we’ve found those to be slower than the two 6Gbps ports stemming from contemporary Intel chipsets. The SB850 also lacks the USB 3.0 connectivity built into AMD’s recent Llano platform hubs.

According to the latest slide leaked by Turkish site Donanim Haber, AMD is prepping two new Bulldozer chipsets for 2012. The 1090FX and 1070 will reportedly rely on a new SB1060 south bridge that serves up eight 6Gbps SATA ports. USB 3.0 support will also be offered with the 1090FX, but it looks like that feature didn’t make the cut for the 1070. The 1070 also seems to be missing dual-x16 CrossFire support, another perk reserved for the 1090FX.

The slide makes several references to Intel’s current and upcoming platforms, noting the AMD line’s lack of PCIe 3.0 support. Intel’s Smart Response SSD caching scheme is also mentioned, and it doesn’t look like AMD has an answer. Asus has already developed its own SSD caching scheme designed to work with a Marvell SATA controller, and I’d expect similar solutions to migrate to high-end 1090FX boards if AMD doesn’t offer something itself.

Donanim Haber’s sources have been pretty reliable, but I’d take these supposed plans with a grain of salt. Newly minted AMD CEO Rory Read is set to talk about the company’s “path forward” tomorrow, and at least on the desktop, that direction may deviate from the one AMD has been following recently.

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    • can-a-tuna
    • 8 years ago

    Hope they are not crapdozers this time.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Rory Read: “We at AMD been content to fight Intel on Intel’s turf, but with me at the helm and the Board calling all the shots behind me, AMD is about to pave a brave, new future where we give up the high end, medium-high end, medium end, and medium-low end on everything from CPU’s to motherboard chipsets to GPU’s to dignity. We would like to announce to the world our new focus on the wonderful ARM technology that all the cool kids are using. Together with that, we’re reducing our reliance upon the decadent and aging x86 architectures of the past and building exciting new partnerships to better expand our options through cash infusions. Intel and nVidia have graciously offered tidy sums to buy our discrete GPU and x86 CPU businesses, respectively, at rather decent prices, all things considered. With these new funds, we can better ensure our future by contracting out to third party chip designs, like nVidia and Samsung, to better position products with our unique marketing opportunities combined with the cheaper R&D investment of using the design teams of other companies.

    “The new AMD I lead is the one that will redefine the very purpose of the company. The future is just teeming with possibility! Along with this new future, we are announcing price cuts across all our product lines in the same manner of the HP Touchpad success story. $99 will get you an AMD Radeon 6990, $99 will get you a 8150 Bulldozer CPU plus motherboard and memory, $149 will get you a pair of 6970’s! Buy quickly because once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Own a piece of history!

    “Also, if anyone’s looking to name their company, ‘AMD,’ we’re actually in the market to sell the name. We’ll consider any serious offers. Seriously. No takers? Oh, okay, well, remember. AMD, it’s a brand worth something.”

    • chasscF1
    • 8 years ago

    Doesn’t seem like anyone even wants to make am3+ motherboards. Isn’t it weird that no one has produced a 9 series mATX motherboard? Maybe new chipset sooner than later?

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Recently? You mean since the companies inception… AMD has always been a desktop processor company.

    I really hate tards like this CEO that simply try to grab from another pie because they believe it will somehow magically fix their current situation. ‘Oh the mobile market has been growing by XYZ, lets get in there and take some!’ Because its always that easy to completely switch the direction of a company and there are no adversaries already entrenched there. It reminds me of the trend in video games, where developers keep going after other successful franchise’s pies instead of attempting to be original.

    • cmrcmk
    • 8 years ago

    Is anyone else surprised that they’re still using a two chip chipset? I expected this next refresh to be a single chip solution.

      • hansmuff
      • 8 years ago

      It may well be that the PCI-Express interface needs to be close to the CPU for signal strength issues. Intel has put all that into the SB CPUs, so they were able to eliminate the north bridge.

      Bulldozer does not have that amount of ‘un-core’ logic yet. Maybe next generation?

        • shank15217
        • 8 years ago

        Bulldozer has plenty of un-core logic, a bit too much to be any use in any desktop workload.

          • hansmuff
          • 8 years ago

          I’m not sure I understand, maybe I’m getting this wrong but doesn’t Sandy Bridge have a huge un-core compared to other desktop chips from either vendor? DMI, PCI-Express, memory controller, display logic, … ? Or does Bulldozer have something else in the core I’m not thinking of that’s even bigger?

        • Saribro
        • 8 years ago

        Also, multi-socket servers (after rebadging the chipsets) can have multiple PCI-E hubs, even though needing only 1 southbridge.

    • jjj
    • 8 years ago

    “Asus has already developed its own SSD caching scheme designed to work with a Marvell SATA controller,”

    I don’t actually know what Asus does and have no time to check now, but Marvell is the first one to enable this feature,before Intel, with the Marvell 88SE9130 ,announced and detailed in january.So,i don’t know if Asus did anything besides actually using the chip.

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      If a caching scheme is developed by a Taiwanese MB maker and not someone that specializes in storage, I simply won’t touch it. No offense to those obviously quite bright hardware engineers, but they frequently offer half-baked solutions on the software side that can easily break with another vendor’s unintended update or driver.

      And also: Marvell: bane of early flawed SATA 6Gbps implementations everywhere.

    • crabjokeman
    • 8 years ago

    No USB 3.0 on 1070? That’s… interesting. I think most people would prefer a balance of USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps rather than a ton of SATA 6Gbps ports (with those who own 8 SSD’s excepted).

      • Meadows
      • 8 years ago

      On the one hand, I can easily see where you’re coming from, but on the other hand, USB 3 devices are virtually nonexistent, while SATA 6 Gbps devices are not.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        Those who can afford more than 2 SSDs can afford a higher-end board. Meanwhile, it would be nice to have USB3 support for an external hard drive…

          • indeego
          • 8 years ago

          [url=http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=usb3+pcie&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=Tca&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1206&bih=966&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=11931112590116466875&sa=X&ei=q665Tpz_BpCAsgLHhsnVCA&ved=0CI8BEPMCMAA<]Done.[/url<]

          • smilingcrow
          • 8 years ago

          Exactly NeelyDan. 8 SATA3 ports is an irrelevance in general outside of a workstation but even 1 USB 3 port is potentially useful even to Joe and Jolene Home-User.

            • LoneWolf15
            • 8 years ago

            Do you think he’s “Neelin’ In the Years”?

        • albundy
        • 8 years ago

        when you see intel board makers rolling out this tech without intel’s blessing, you kinda feel like your getting jipped on a high end bulldozer board that cant manage to plop usb3 on there. its never about devices being nonexistant, its about offering the tech so you can use it in the future without having to shell out more money for a usb 3 expansion card.

          • Meadows
          • 8 years ago

          If you really want it, just buy all the other boards that will include it. I don’t see where all the stress is coming from.

      • Saribro
      • 8 years ago

      Keep in mind, they rebadge these chips as server chipsets too.

        • yogibbear
        • 8 years ago

        LOL. Stop the trolling… OH SNAP. YOU WEREN’T!

    • maxxcool
    • 8 years ago

    I have only 1 question: will it feature a improved more efficient INT scheduler ? Otherwise waiting for win8 to “effectively” use a BD “module” is going to kill them…

      • PrincipalSkinner
      • 8 years ago

      Chipsets not CPUs.

        • maxxcool
        • 8 years ago

        damit

    • Deanjo
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]new SB1060 south bridge that serves up eight 6Gbps SATA ports[/quote<] It's about frikken time (although 10 would have been better). Wonder if they are finally going to move it off of the "old as the hills" 65 nm fab process as well.

      • jensend
      • 8 years ago

      Enlighten us- exactly what do you need eight 6G SATA ports for? Is this really the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for all your life (all that “frikken” time)?

      Do you use eight SSDs in one box?

      I mean, I know Bulldozer is kind of a server-centered chip, but still…

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        Easy to get rid of some of my controllers that I have now. Right now with my current rig I had to add add an additional controller just so I could upgrade to a Sata optical drive. The current rig is packed to the brim right now with 6 hard drives (WD Blacks 2 TB’s) and the system carries more then one OS.

        Next build is going to require,

        8 plattered drives ( two RAID 10 arrays, one for Linux, the other for Windows use )
        1 SSD (Boot drive)
        1 Optical

        In the home server there is also already 12 data drives in it and more expansion is always welcome.

          • Farting Bob
          • 8 years ago

          Right, ive done the maths and you will need…..1 SATA 6Gbps port. Even in RAID 10 (1+0) mechanical HDD’s do not benefit from the higher max speed. You might notice a small difference in burst speeds or maybe even with the very start of a synthetic benchmark test. But in the real world you wont notice any of it.

          USB 3 however will be rather useful for many many more people and yet AMD want you to buy their most expensive desktop boards for that goodness built in. Like Bulldozer wasnt a hard enough sell on its own!

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    Inc. more holding breath for anticipation.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Newly minted AMD CEO Rory Read is set to talk about the company's "path forward" tomorrow, and at least on the desktop, that direction may deviate from the one AMD has been following recently.[/quote<] That sounds damn scary. But at the same time put yourself in AMD's shoes...How can you compete with Ivy Bridge on power consumption/efficiency or performance when you can't even match Sandy's Bridge performance while sporting higher power consumption? To match IB in performance AMD would need to launched a 200W TDP CPU at least 🙂 (and since the architecture is so bad it might not match it even then). They are at the moment completely outclassed.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      What is there to be scared of? They don’t care. They have literally zero interest in “competing” based exclusively on CPU performance in a dying market that they don’t design CPUs for.

      AMD is not Intel. Their handful of “large” markets, like laptops, are only about 1/5 the share of Intel’s, and the rest border on non-existant, including the server CPUs that the current iteration of Bulldozer is derived from.

      Now imagine how absolutely miniscule their “high end” desktop business is.

      Just because they recycle laptop and occassional server parts so long as OEMs will continue to buy them does not imply “interest” in desktops. Nothing has changed and nothing is going to change.

        • Arclight
        • 8 years ago

        Things could change, they might choose not to try at all to take on Intel and although they weren’t successful they did try with Barcelona, Deneb or Bulldozer. I think that would be a huge change for the CPU market.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          Well, I’d argue that they stopped “trying” years ago, maybe even 10 years ago (the Athlon 64 was finished and on sale in 2003), but they’ll continue offering something they already developed to anyone who will take it.

          It just becomes a tougher and tougher sales pitch as time goes on, and thus, we end up with things like AMD turning Bulldozer into a marketing stunt instead of really putting it to use for desktops. The reality is that they just couldn’t come up with a legitimate use for it.

          You’ll see Intel in this very same position within about a year. Again, that doesn’t mean “high end” desktop parts will simply vanish, but they’ll increasingly seem very, “been there, done that, why bother?” as opposed to something new and set apart.

          But that’s not to play down the improvements that are coming to PCs. We’re right on the verge of the most significant change since probably mainstream GUI-based OSs.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]Now imagine how absolutely miniscule their "high end" desktop business is.[/quote<] Perhaps they should stop selling or worrying about selling discreet GPU's as well since it is a "a dying market"

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          Graphics cards for desktops are. It is already an unprofitable business.

          Discrete cards in general are not, as that also includes rendering farms and HPC applications like super computers, which use gajillions of cards that may cost several thousand dollars each.

          You’re just describing the exact same thing. What we know of as PC graphics cards are no longer designed to be PC graphics cards. Their underlying intentions lie elsewhere, and the left overs are recycled by whoever will take them.

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]It is already an unprofitable business[/quote<] Hardly, it is more profitable then AMD's cpu business. You just have to look over the financials since the purchase of ATI to see that and ATI has virtually no presence in GPGPU HPC market.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            That’s patently false.

            [url<]http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=74093&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1622941&highlight=[/url<] CPUs: "Operating income was $149 million, compared with $142 million in Q2 11 and $164 million in Q3 10. Graphics cards: "Operating income was $12 million, compared with operating loss of $7 million in Q2 11 and operating income of $1 million in Q3 10." Look at this table: ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC.SELECTED CORPORATE DATA That shows the last few quarters with revenue vs. income for both. CPUs have over a 10% return, and graphics just about breaks even. And they continue to pour money into graphics development. Why? Because there will be money in the professional market when the desktop market dwindles away. I didn't say they already make their money there. Exactly what I said in my post was that [b<]discrete cards, not graphics cards[/b<], are not dying off. Desktops are. The end.

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            Should read your own link,

            [quote<]-- Graphics segment revenue increased 10 percent sequentially and 4 percent year-over-year. [b<]The sequential increase was driven primarily by seasonality in the add-in-board market.[/b<] The year-over-year increase was primarily driven by increased discrete mobile graphics revenue.[/quote<]

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]The year-over-year increase was primarily driven by increased discrete [b<]mobile graphics[/b<] revenue.[/quote<] I said: [quote<]Desktop graphics cards are.[/quote<] (dying) You replied: [quote<]it is more profitable then AMD's cpu business.[/quote<] This is simply not true, as the CPU division makes a reasonable profit, and the graphics division does not. As you pointed out, mobile sales are what is keeping the graphics division afloat. And yet, they still don't really make money from the entire division on the whole, as it has had operational losses and cost a boat load to pick up. Breaking even = no profit = unprofitable business

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            Computing Solutions (1)
            Net revenue $ 1,286
            Operating income $ 149

            Graphics (2)
            Net revenue 403
            Operating income (loss) 12

            Do the math

        • chuckula
        • 8 years ago

        Uh… last time I checked notebooks are not a dying market, and AMD will be trying to compete in those markets with a bulldozer derivative.

        Last time I checked, Intel was riding the “dying market” of standard desktop computing + notebooks to record profits quarter after quarter in a weak economy… I’m sure lots of companies would kill to have a “dying” market like that.

        Despite your dismissal of the very thought-out analysis of many people that Bulldozer has the production cost of a very-high end server chip coupled with less than the performance of a desktop chip, that does not mean Bulldozer was *not* meant to compete against Sandy Bridge E. The reason it is not competing is not because AMD doesn’t want it to, but because Bulldozer literally can’t keep up.

        If you meant to say that Bulldozer can’t compete with the really high-end Intel chips that serve the workstation market, then that is a correct statement. The workstation market is *not* “dying” however. It just isn’t as big as the commodity market, and never has been as big as the commodity market. That’s like saying that BMW, Audi, Lexus, etc. all sell to a “dying” market because the market for luxury cars is smaller than for compact cars.

        Intel will do very well in the high-end and will do even better when Sandy Bridge E comes out. The fact that Intel will not sell as many Sandy Bridge E chips as it does notebook chips is 100% irrelevant because:
        1. Intel *will* sell every Sandy Bridge E chip it makes.
        2. Intel can select how many Sandy Bridge E chips it makes to tailor the supply to the demand while also churning out a wide variety of other chips, all of which make excellent profits for Intel. AMD has the choice of: 1. Not getting enough Llanos due to yield issues or 2. Paying as much or more in production costs than Intel does for Sandy Bridge E to get a Bulldozer die that sells for less than a standard Sandy Bridge on the desktop.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          Don’t put words in my mouth. I never said laptops were dying. I never mentioned workstations or what Bulldozer is [i<]actually[/i<] for. And you're not talking about what it's actually for, either, as you have literally no clue how the 16 core, multi-socket Bulldozer platform compares to Sandy Bridge EN/EX. Bulldozer is not Trinity. They don't even share the same core. You are mixing chips and cores as if they're interchangable when I wasn't talking about anything but the existing chip itself.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    “Next-gen Bulldozer chipsets due next year” WOW! that’s kinda obvious isn’t it? I’d be more surprised if they could squeeze it in this year to cover up this botched launch or if they pushed it back to 2013 leaving AMD without feasible products for a year and a half.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Actually, it is a bit surprising, because they weren’t supposed to have “chipsets” as of the next iteration of Bulldozer.

      There is some unexplained monkey business going on with changing the road map to keep AM3 around.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      AMD should have had a new chipset @ BD’s launch to add more value to the platform instead of relying on a almost 2 year old rebranded chipset. Glad this article came out however. I was just about to pull a trigger on a motherboard (Asus Sabretooth) and wait for the respin of BD with Vishera. Now I will just wait until Vishera is out before investing in the motherboard.

      Should be able to get a Vishera, 1090FX, GTX 680 all around the same time now.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      yeah pulling my foot out of my mouth hold on a minute…

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