2015: AMD goes both ways...ARM and x86

Discussion in 'AMD x86 CPUs and chipsets' started by stmok, May 6, 2014.

  1. stmok

    stmok Member

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    The following information is from AMD's Core Innovation Update press conference.

    The ARM and low-power x86 solutions in development are for dense server, embedded, low-power thin clients, etc.

    AMD Announces Project SkyBridge: Pin-Compatible ARM and x86 SoCs in 2015, Android Support
    => http://www.anandtech.com/show/7989/...bridge-pincompatible-arm-and-x86-socs-in-2015

    2014:
    * ARM Cortex A57 based Opterons introduced (8-core).
    * Puma+ based APUs introduced (Beema and Mullins).

    2015:
    * ARM Cortex A57 based APUs.
    => Aimed at the low-power/low-end performance segment.
    => 20nm process node.
    => CGN-based IGP.
    => Pin-compatible with Puma+ based APUs. (Not likely to be socketed like Kabini/Beema. SoC will be soldered on mobo.)

    ...This means AMD will offer both x86 and ARM based APUs with their CGN-based IGP. (Like what Nvidia is doing with Tegra line. Except Nvidia cannot do x86 because Intel won't license to them.)

    This allows AMD to cover both markets. (So expect solutions using Windows, Linux, Android, etc.)


    But it gets even more interesting! They're also working on the successor for 2016 release.

    AMD Announces K12 Core: Custom 64-bit ARM Design in 2016
    => http://www.anandtech.com/show/7990/amd-announces-k12-core-custom-64bit-arm-design-in-2016

    Unlike the 2015 solution that uses a pre-designed ARM Cortex A57 core, AMD will build their own ARM-based solution that is compatible with the 64-bit ARM instruction (ARMv8).

    ie:
    2015 => Licensed to produce an ARM Cortex A57 based solution.
    2016 => Licensed to produce their own 64bit ARM processor (K12 core).



    Its not all ARM love, AMD is also providing x86 love for 2016. For mainstream desktop/notebook and performance server.

    AMD is also working on a new 64-bit x86 Core
    => http://www.anandtech.com/show/7991/amd-is-also-working-on-a-new-64bit-x86-core

    There is currently no codename for this x86 core. This will be replacing the Bulldozer-based lines.



    x86 Excavator based APUs are still coming in 2015.
    Enterprise APU => "Toronto" (Berlin's successor)
    Consumer APU => "Carrizo" (Kaveri's successor)


    AMD reveals K12: New ARM and x86 cores are coming
    => http://techreport.com/review/26418/amd-reveals-k12-new-arm-and-x86-cores-are-coming

    More commentary and some details.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2014
  2. AEKaBeer

    AEKaBeer Member

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    This isn't a surprise, they already have an arm core in their APU's for encryption and they've been doing heaps of work on android app conversion.
     
  3. dirtyd

    dirtyd Member

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    Pin compatible x86 and ARM APU's not a surprise? Care to pick my lotto numbers? ;)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    stmok

    stmok Member

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    This is more speculation...

    AMD to Introduce New High-Performance Micro-Architecture in 2015 – Report.
    => http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/di...rmance_Micro_Architecture_in_2015_Report.html

    It mainly talks about Jim Keller and the successor architecture to Bulldozer.

    Who is Keller?

    Keller is the kind of guy AMD needs if they want to reclaim what they have lost in recent years. ie: Start from scratch on a new x86 design that has CPU grunt.

    His past microprocessor work?

    * DEC
    => Involved in Alpha 21164 and 21264 projects.

    * AMD (1998 to 1999)
    => System Engineer on K7 project (original Athlon)
    => Lead Architect of K8 project (Athlon 64)
    => Co-author of Hyper Transport and AMD64 (x86-64) specification.

    * Sibyte/Broadcom (1999 to 2004)

    * PA Semi (2004 to 2008)
    => Vice President of Engineering
    => Apple acquired PA Semi in 2008.

    * Apple (2008 to 2012)
    => Involved in Apple's ARM based SoC projects.
    ==> A4, A5, A5x, and rumoured to also be involved in A6. (Processors found in Apple's iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV)

    * AMD (as of 2012)
    => Returns to AMD as Corporate Vice President and Chief Architect for CPU Cores.
    (AMD nabbed him back from Apple!)


    Its speculated AMD will dump their "dual integer core sharing FPU" module idea of Bulldozer and follow Intel. ie: Strong pure cores with equivalent HyperThreading feature.

    We won't see this new x86 design until 2016/2017. (As the last Bulldozer-based design arrives in 2015, in the form of "Excavator".)

    What do you reckon folks? AMD's "Pentium 4 to Core" era begins in 2016? :D
     
  5. Drizz06

    Drizz06 Member

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    I hope so, Bout time Amd got there shit together and hopefully start to give intel a good run for there money.
     
  6. Digit

    Digit Member

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    But is it too little too late? Will they even be able to get performance going? No if we look at his credentials, while sure, it seems he's a whiz, his most recent posts have been working with ARM. I'm guessing AMD will probably use his experience to furthher improve their ARM offerings and leave their high end CPU's to rot. Which is fair neough since by the time 2016 comes around, who's really going to be using desktops when your phone will probably be as powerful as a Phenom II or Core i5.
     
  7. Head

    Head Member

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    It's a step in the right direction, but AMD just don't have the budget or manpower to go head to head R&D with Intel.
     
  8. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

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    They never have had the budget to go head-to-head with Intel, but they still produced two cores (K7 and K8) that caused Intel some serious headaches.
     
  9. mitsimonsta

    mitsimonsta Member

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    He WROTE x86_64. WROTE IT.

    Let that settle in your head for a moment. Here you have the father of the mightly Athlon 64 (K8) returning to the AMD fold. The guy that built HyperTransport.

    Pretty much everything he did at AMD was technologically ahead of Intel by many years and put AMD at the front of x86 performance. Intel had no answer to it as they were so wedded to the highly inefficient NetBurst it wasn't funny. Yes, the final Pentium D's did take the performance crown back, but at insane prices and a TDP that would make your head spin.

    And yes, I had a couple of Pentium D 945's (3.4Ghz) pumping out the F@H work units for Team 24 back in the day, and those things were like heaters. Never went for the EE at 3.6Ghz but I know what I am talking about.

    EDIT: and just because he has been very ARM-based lately doesn't mean that he cannot bring some of the knowledge of that platform to bring improvements to AMD's x86 Platform. In fact I would say it is highly likely that you will see some ARM flavoured special sauce brought to the table.

    F**k that, this is AMD's equivalent 'Jobs coming back to Apple' moment. Granted AMD isn't quite at the point where Apple was before Jobs returned (about to file Chapter 11 and wind up), but that said they aren't exactly competing with Intel. The movement to a newer core which might be able to give Intel a scare on a clock-for-clock basis will only be a good thing - Intel have been resting on their C2D laurels for waaaay too long and dribbling out marginal improvements.

    A strong AMD is is good for everybody except Intel's bottom line. Everyone else will benefit - cheaper CPUs with real price competition, faster technological change.... look at the pathetic Haswell refresh which is SLOWER in a clock-for-clock comparison with the original Haswell. It's abysmal. No reason for guys like me with a 2600K @ 4Ghz to upgrade at all - GPU's and SSD's give a greater performance boost than the last 3 increments in Intel-land.

    The trick will be having pin-compatible mobos which you can drop either an x86 or ARM CPU into. I'm not sure how they will do that but it is the only reason to be pin-compatible. I's also love to see some real virtualisation movement on ARM - ESXi would be a good start. I know Xen is working on ARMv8 and KVM is moving forward with their project but it is still very much in progress.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  10. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

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    With the Kabini-style chips (ie AM1) this might be pretty easy to do. The CPU pins are basically power/ground, RAM, PCIe, SATA, video, etc. All standard things that are not at all dependant on whether the CPU core is ARM, x86, POWER, or anything else. Any "extras" that manufacturers want to add (like PCI slots) just get connected through PCIe and appropriate adaptor chips.

    From the mainboard's point of view, the only tricky thing will be that the BIOS obviously depends on the architecture, but that's just a matter of using a bigger BIOS chip and having the code for both. Alternatively, AMD might just include a software x86 emulator on their ARM chips (since so much desktop software is x86-based) or a hardware ARM core on their x86 chips (since ARM cores can be tiny), in which case the chips can obviously share a BIOS.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    stmok

    stmok Member

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    Pin-compatible SoC-type processors? All the complex stuff is all integrated within the processor itself and the motherboard is largely a "dumb board" (?) that uses a common bus with switching chips to support x86 or ARM based processors for PCI-Express slots, SATA, USB, etc.


    ...Now, its just a matter of execution for AMD. It certainly would be nice for AMD to make a serious come back. (They know they f**ked up with Bulldozer architecture.)


    It is true that AMD has a much smaller R&D budget than Intel...

    ie: In 2013.
    Intel's R&D Budget: US$10.1 billion
    AMD's R&D Budget: US$1.2 billion

    Other big tech companies...
    Samsung's R&D Budget: US$10.4 billion
    IBM's R&D Budget: US$6.3 billion

    ...But its what you do with that money. The most innovative ideas come from those with very tight budgets. (They have to do what they can with what they have!)

    Intel can splurge on lots of interesting projects (like their Quark processor line), AMD cannot. AMD must be very focused with how they direct their limited resources. They need to really hit key markets and re-establish strength again. (I really dislike this mediocre situation we're in as consumers.)

    Its not impossible for AMD. Its a challenge.
    (This is where you see the difference between good and bad engineering. A good engineer can do with 50 cents what everyone else can do with $1.00)

    It'll be a few years until we see the consequential effects of whatever rabbit Jim Keller pulls out of his hat. :lol:
     
  12. dirtyd

    dirtyd Member

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    Big numbers, but all of those other companies have to invest in their foundries, which eat up a massive chunk of that budget. Sure they get advantages from that, but they also have to spend a shitload on each new node.
     
  13. Segression

    Segression Member

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    I have been an intel boy since upgrading my 3200+ to a c2d back in 2005/6ish ?? but if AMD nails this platform i may move over for the lulz. I have been wanting to build an AMD system for a while but all my intel systems are hard to replace, even for the premium.

    Im hoping something good will come of this, AMD in the past have pioneered a lot of technology (that intel has then done better...but budget...) so who knows this time.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    stmok

    stmok Member

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    Indeed.

    It seems IBM may move out of the foundry business in the long run. (Currently doing low production work). They are going to keep their R&D side; that work on their graphene-based projects...Rumours say GlobalFoundries may acquire their foundries. :confused:

    While Samsung and GlobalFoundries are teaming up for 14nm FinFET process. (It would also appear that GF's 14nm-XM idea has flopped and are going with Samsung's approach).

    For AMD...
    28nm for 2014.
    20nm for 2015/2016. => Excavator?
    14nm FinFET: Sometime later. Design work for next gen has already begun. (Which is AMD's recently announced ARM-based "K12" and un-named x86 architecture.)

    Recently, there's low-level news that IBM has sent (8 month contract) 200 or so of their "experienced technical people" from their East Fishkill foundry in New York to GlobalFoundries; to help them set up Fab 8 (Saratoga, New York).

    GF's Fab 8 is designated for 14nm FinFET mass production.

    On the Samsung side...
    S1 Fab (South Korea) => 14nm FinFET prototyping.
    S2 Fab (Austin, Texas) => 14nm FinFET mass production.
    S3 Fab (South Korea) => 14nm FinFET mass production.

    Basically, GF has offered its Fab 8 as a third production source in return for Samsung offering their S1 facility for prototyping. (Share cost burdens of development and production.)


    And then we have TSMC. According to their annual report...

    * Mass production of 20-nm planar technology in 2014.
    * Production of 16-nm FinFET chips in 2015.
    * Mass production of 10-nm at end of 2016. (Prototypes began in 2013. Trial production scheduled in 2015.)


    If all goes well, we *may* see something interesting from AMD by 2016/2017.
     
  15. JunkDogg

    JunkDogg Member

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    Sorry to dig up a old thread.

    To dumb this down for someone dumb like myself.

    I shouldn't expect anything really to update my 8350(besides the 9xxx series) until late 2015?

    Sorry, read through everything I could find and just ended up more confused.

    I'm turing to be bit of a AMD fanboy and would like to stick with them.

    I turned the 8350 up to 4.8 stable and am happy with it. I just don't want to go to the dark side. Although I do have a 3770k and some other intel bits that I play around with.
     
  16. richan3185

    richan3185 Member

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    Prob not mate :(

    Carrizo will have excavator cores, but it will be in APU form or Athlon form only. Excavator will most likely be another 15% boost but there is no new high performance sku on the roadmap at this time.

    Volcanic Islands + excavator will be another, ok, chip. But more of the same realistically.

    :(
     
  17. bangmango

    bangmango Member

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    Man,8888 post ! beside that good info :thumbup:
     

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