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Apr 17, 2012

AMD’s New Steamroller Architecture to Bring Significant Performance

AMD is reportedly concentrating on their Fusion promise they’ve made six years ago when they’ve acquired the GPU design company, ATI. Therefore, their next radically new processor architecture will first be introduced in the company’s APUs during the next year.

AMD’s Bulldozer has been a huge disappointment for the CPU and computer enthusiasts around the world.

All the main characteristics of Bulldozer are basically logical good ideas and seem to synergically be able to bring serious performance improvements over the Stars architecture.

The only problem is that this synergy that we’re all been talking about simply is not happening in AMD’s new FX processors.

The problem seems to be the significant latencies that occur around the CPU’s units and the low IPC approach they’ve taken hoping for high frequencies that would attenuate the undesired latencies.

The end result is a CPU that performs worse than its predecessor while working at much higher frequencies and benefiting from more cache.

It was clear that AMD needed different core architecture. The design direction with Bulldozer was a seemingly a good one, as two integer units and one shared floating point units really are more efficiently used than an identical cores with the same number of INT units and FPUs.

The core architecture will significantly change and, if we are to take AMD’s word for it, the Steamroller cores will perform generally 33% better than Bulldozer cores.

This doesn’t mean that the CPU won’t benefit from other performance enhancing developments such as a better memory controller or more cache with lower latencies.

So, even if we won’t see a new line of FX CPUs based on this new Steamroller architecture during 2013, we are certain to see new updated versions of the Brazos and Llano platforms, as Pile Driver seems to be a 2012 only product.

The new design replacing the Pile Driver cores in the 2013 APUs will be called “Kaveri” and the “Bobcat” cores in the Brazos line will benefit from updated “Jaguar” cores.

We’ll have to wait until very late 2013 or early 2014 to see an updated FX line of CPUs based on the Steamroller architecture.


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