AMD Launches Bobcat and Bulldozer x86 Cores
As it was expected, AMD presented two cores: Bulldozer and Bobcat. The former utilizes an innovative approach to high-performance multi-way computation, the latter is focused on reducing power consumption.
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The 32nm Bulldozer core is designed for processors used in high-performance PCs, workstations and servers. The Bobcat core is meant for notebooks and compact desktops. According to AMD, the new cores are critical for the company's plan to release the Fusion Accelerated Processing Unit (APU).
Bulldozer's key feature is the innovative approach to high-performance multi-way computation that balances out dedicated and shared resources to create a compact, multi-core design that can be easily reproduced on die to improve performance.
Bulldozer is not quite a core, it's a monolithic module that actually contains two cores and supports executing two instruction streams simultaneously. The fetch and decode unit is followed by two sets of integer pipelines, registers, L1 caches and such. The floating-point unit, the prefetch unit and L2 cache are shared.
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The core supports new x86 instruction sets SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX and XOP, including the 4-operand FMAC module. The advantages of Bulldozer also include advanced power management features.
Consuming just 1W, the Bobcat core is designed for mobile devices. It features optimized microarchitecture and power management. The core architecture supports out-of-order instruction execution for improved performance. AMD claims that the new core provides 90% performance of existing solutions in a twice smaller die. The Bobcat core is designed so it can be easily adapted to newer process technologies.
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