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Old 22nd September 2015, 10:03 PM   #106
lithos
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The last remaining few of us AMD fans pray to the gods that this is in fact what happened.
Somewhere, in a ranch in the foothills of the Rockies. Jim Keller, in a pair of worn jeans and a flannelette shirt, is splitting firewood in front of a small log cabin, smoke curling from its chimney.

A helicopter roars in over the cabin. Not being able to find a landing zone, it hovers a few feet away from where a solid, but ancient, Ford F-150 is parked.

The side door of the chopper slides open, and a thin, faintly balding man in a slim, dark suit, and holding a briefcase, jumps the last few feet down to the ground. The helicopter peels away, rotors fading off into the distance, their echoes bouncing off the mountain.

Jim buries the blocksplitter in the tree stump serving as a chopping block, and watches the man, brief held over head to guard against helicopter's downwash.

"Keller? Jim Keller?"

Jim watches the man, face as still and hard as the mountains rising behind him.

"You're a hard man to find, Mr. Keller."

Jim turns back to the woodpile. Starts stacking.

"What? Not going to ask how we found you? Wasn't easy, Mr. Keller."

"Don't matter. You're here. What do you want?"

"Nice place. Great views. Love the air up here - clean."

"Wouldn't've come all this way just talk about the air."

"We need you back, Jim."

Jim snorts. The suit walks around the woodpile, closer, his eyes on the ground to watch where his Italian brogues land.

"Ain't what I do no more."

"You know, people still talk about the Athlon 64, brought 64-bit to the masses."

"Who sent you? Apple - naw, hell. You're AMD."

"Yes Jim. I am. We've had some...problems."

"I heard."

Looking around the sparse cabin, the suit wonders how.

"Our Bulldozer-"

"Tried sharin' an FPU between two cores, didn't ya? Called 'em modules, meant to be half as many modules actin' like a plain ol' core, but the OS don't see it that way, just counts all the actual cores you got on there, hadda increase the latencies, stretch the pipe, and tried to up the revs to compensate...OS has no idea how many cylinders it's 'sposed to fire."

"Something...something like that, yeah. I'm not an engineer, Mr. Keller. I'm a field guy."

"I believe you're an AMD field guy. Only a company that pulls that Bulldozer crap is gonna dress their field guys in Armani and send 'em into the Rockies."

The man in the suit looks at his clothes.

"Must tell you something about how eager we are to have you back."

"Tells me how desperate you are. Like said, that ain't me no more."

"Anything, Mr. Keller. Name it."

Jim throws the last of the wood on the pile, draws himself to full height. In the time it takes for him to speak, it feels to the suit that the entire mountain range behind the cabin has risen, eroded away, risen again.

"I pick my own team. We get a clean sheet o' paper. Start from scratch, blank silicone wafer-"

"There's a lot we learned from Bulldozer-"

"Only thing you learned from Bulldozer was never to try to pull that stunt again. Clean sheet, my way, or you're walkin' off this mountain, alone. I get full control of the project. I'll keep the budget 'cause I know this is the last throw for you guys. You gimme three years. I'm gone by October 2015. I want no interruptions, no requests for reports, no outside help beyond anything I specifically ask for. And if I do ask, I want it done. No management, no CEOs, no Board members, no shareholders meddlin' in what we're doin'. I'll save your asses, but you'd better come correct with me. I'll take the fight to the Blue boys for ya."

The man in the suit is running sums, lining up negotiations, running scenarios.

"You hear what I just said?"

"Yes, Mr. Keller. I heard. Anything else?"

"Yeah. I'd like a new truck."

"Welcome back, Mr. Keller."
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Congratulations, OP, you've discovered stereotypes and hyperbole. These two things have been used for centuries by imbeciles and morons.
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Old 22nd September 2015, 11:16 PM   #107
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Haha, oh wow

Back on topic, I am pretty sure that any contract between a chip company and a lead architect would contain some pretty watertight clauses about not leaving until the design is finished. So it's probably taped out, or very close to.

Here's hoping the process is up to snuff for a "big" high frequency core, which is no certainty in modern SoC-first fabs
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Old 23rd September 2015, 8:51 AM   #108
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Haha, oh wow

Back on topic, I am pretty sure that any contract between a chip company and a lead architect would contain some pretty watertight clauses about not leaving until the design is finished. So it's probably taped out, or very close to.

Here's hoping the process is up to snuff for a "big" high frequency core, which is no certainty in modern SoC-first fabs
Yeah, the whole "Unexpected Departure!11!" hype around his leaving is more along the lines of tech websites being too stupid to see that clause in his contract coming, and the writers trying to cover their arses.

Zen's due next year-ish, around the middle, right? So, six months or so is enough to work out any manufacturing kinks (please, for the love of Moore...), packaging, pricing, logistics, etc.
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Congratulations, OP, you've discovered stereotypes and hyperbole. These two things have been used for centuries by imbeciles and morons.

Last edited by lithos; 23rd September 2015 at 2:36 PM.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 3:24 PM   #109
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Second half, they'll want it out by September/ early October to make the November sales period.
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Old 23rd September 2015, 7:20 PM   #110
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I take him leaving as a sign that everything is going as planned and he's not needed any more.
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Old 24th September 2015, 8:53 AM   #111
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im just sitting back was going to upgrade to skylake but i see ppl arnt getting good clocks that they thought they would and the new chips seem imo to be running quite warm,so ill just chill with my 8350@4.6 stock vcore for now does everything i want plays games vid edits well,just sit back and wait not in a rush to upgrade atm see what AMD will bring to the table..
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Old 24th September 2015, 9:35 PM   #112
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http://www.kitguru.net/components/cp...edom-with-zen/

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The “Zen” micro-architecture is a tremendously important project for Advanced Micro Devices. If the new technology is successful, AMD will become a viable developer of central processing units again. If not, the company will have troubles with surviving. Fortunately, “Zen” is a completely new micro-architecture that promises to be very competitive. Apparently, the management team gave a lot of freedom with the new CPU design.
“It is the first time in a very long time that we engineers have been given the total freedom to build a processor from scratch and do the best we can do,” said Suzanne Plummer, a director of design engineering at AMD and also a veteran Austin chip engineer, who heads development of a “Zen”-based processor, in an interview with MyStatesman.
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Old 24th September 2015, 10:51 PM   #113
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Good. Wasn't one of the problems with Bulldozer the insistence, by management, the engineers automate the layout of the chip, instead of letting the humans tailor it properly?
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Old 25th September 2015, 12:05 AM   #114
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I want to think zen is going to be good but then I remember bulldozer and the 290x/furyx
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Old 25th September 2015, 10:04 PM   #115
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I want to think zen is going to be good but then I remember bulldozer and the 290x/furyx
Erm, the R9 290X came out and flogged the crap out of the then best Nvidia at the time. Not sure why you added that to your list.
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Old 27th September 2015, 12:00 AM   #116
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Good. Wasn't one of the problems with Bulldozer the insistence, by management, the engineers automate the layout of the chip, instead of letting the humans tailor it properly?
Yes/no

This was always nothing more than a rumor from an ex Employee. There's likely some truth to it, but whilst Bobcat that was fully synthesized (which AMD were happy to state as it made sense) , Bulldozer was certainly not for the most part. You can see this from the die shots alone.

Automated design tools certainly have their place though. Especially in future as they become more capable. The performance/watt and die size benefits seen in the transition from Richland -> Kaveri -> Cazziro are largely due to the these tools. The tradeoff is reduction in max frequency with each iteration (hence why we haven' seen Excavator desktop chips).

Given the Bulldozer based architecture relies on clockspeed, you can see why it's been an issue. Not only do ADT's slow you down, so does each new process shrink.. Especially when you move to FinFet ( See Sandy bridge vs everything else for an example).

So this is more the root of AMD's failure. They committed themselves to a high frequency design early on, but were faced with ever decreasing Mhz from newer process's and a reliance on AD.

This is why I'm betting on Zen being a relatively low frequency part , but with competitive performance/watt, and 'more than competitive' performance/mm2. - Both of which are critical to getting more core's on a reasonably sized piece of silicon, with a reasonable TDP.

The 40% IPC increase is NOT about entering a single threaded perf war with Intel again. That would pointless (see skylake to see what happens when you continue to chase per/thread performance instead of increasing your core count ). It's about adjusting the IPC vs frequency vs core count compromise to better suit the available process, and be more attractive as an overall package.

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Old 1st October 2015, 7:19 AM   #117
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This is why I'm betting on Zen being a relatively low frequency part , but with competitive performance/watt, and 'more than competitive' performance/mm2. - Both of which are critical to getting more core's on a reasonably sized piece of silicon, with a reasonable TDP.
Agree.. and IMO more cores is the game changer.

If they can't beat Intel on single-thread performance (and the cost of matching them is high - beating Intel's single core would be exorbitantly expensive and only give incremental gains), going wide is a good way to change the game.

I'd love to see 16-way desktop cpu's (not 8-way dual-pipeline.. but proper 16 way) from AMD in a small, efficient package, and 32+ way server ones.

That would be enough of a jump to put intel a generation behind at least, and give AMD a serious run at the datacentre market.
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Old 7th October 2015, 5:50 PM   #118
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So can we expect Zen to compete with an i5, i7 etc or what?
Any more info... can AMD shine once again?
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Old 7th October 2015, 6:08 PM   #119
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Agree.. and IMO more cores is the game changer.

If they can't beat Intel on single-thread performance (and the cost of matching them is high - beating Intel's single core would be exorbitantly expensive and only give incremental gains), going wide is a good way to change the game.

I'd love to see 16-way desktop cpu's (not 8-way dual-pipeline.. but proper 16 way) from AMD in a small, efficient package, and 32+ way server ones.
.
It would be near impossible for Intel to quickly catch-up on single-thread performance with AMD should Zen turn out to be a big single-thread surprise.. It would require Intel developing an entirely new architecture.

On the other hand, in a multi-core battle Intel already has existing massively multi-cored chip in production (Xeon 18-cores, etc). If AMD caught Intel short in overall computation performance, then Intel would simply turn to its manufacturing prowess and switch production to large-die chips. And then do a price war using those chips and X99 motherboards.

When AMD introduced the Athlon 64 X2, the first multi-core processor.. it was a native design with both cores in single die. To quickly respond, Intel produced the Pentium D with 2 dies in a single processor package. It ate up a lot of manufacturing capacity.. and uses a lot of power. Whatever it takes though and it proved reasonable effective at defending marketshare.

So yeah, realistically AMD could not possibly win a multi-core battle. Single thread or power efficiency in my opinion is the key. Particularly power efficiency since it would allow AMD to actually compete in the ultrabook/tablet sector.. and maybe even smartphones if Zen ended up an insanely scalable chip
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Old 9th October 2015, 5:38 PM   #120
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Currently still using a 1055T, I think thuban was the last good cpu's amd made for the average consumer. Everything else after has been trash. I am in the process of saving up for a skylake/kabylake build next year. Unless amd can back up their claims then im switching over to intel.

But, hopefully amd doesn't flop again and go under because if they do the market will be dominated by intel/nvidia and with no competition the prices will be ridiculous.
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