AMD's upcoming multicore, high-end desktop processors, code-named Zambezi and based on its Bulldozer architecture, will be branded as AMD's FX series CPUs.
According to a report from Nordic Hardware, eight-core and four-core versions of AMD's Zambezi processors featuring AMD's TurboCore 2.0 technology are due in June.
AMD has confirmed that Zambezi will be listed under its FX line-up. The FX series processors are pictured with AMD's Black Edition moniker for high-end CPUs with unlocked multipliers in the leaked images.
“'Zambezi' is a four-, six-, or eight-core 32-nm AM3+ socket desktop processor based on the 'Bulldozer' processor architecture for the enthusiast market," an AMD spokesperson on Monday told CRN. The 'Zambezi' CPU will carry the FX brand, and it’s planned for introduction in Q2 of this year."
AMD's Zambezi processors will target Intel's flagship 9000 series six-core desktop CPUs, although the six-core versions of Zambezi were not included in the leaked images. Instead, according to a report from X-bit Labs, AMD's FX-series Zambezi processors offers capabilities similar to Intel's high-end Sandy Bridge Core i7 processors.
Based on what appear to be leaked AMD documents, the report says AMD's Zambezi features more over-clocked cores and dual graphics, as well as OpenCL and GPU capabilities -- making the Bulldozer-based Zambezi more of an integrated graphics chip than a classic desktop CPU. According to the report, AMD expects that by year's end more than 10 percent of its desktop processors will be based on its Bulldozer reference design.
AMD's Bulldozer is a multi-threaded, high-performance x86 CPU that includes the 32-nm Zambezi chips with 4, 6 or 8 cores, according to AMD executives speaking at the company's Analyst Day in October. Bulldozer is also the reference architecture for two 32-nm server product lines, code-named Valencia, featuring 6 or 8 cores, and the higher-end Interlagos featuring 8, 12 or 16 cores. AMD said its Bulldozer architecture includes two integer units, along with one floating-point unit, and two threads on separate integer units rather than a single-core solution.
Next: Challenging Intel's Sandy BridgeIf AMD's Zambezi processors include the integrated graphics capabilities, their release in the coming months would allow AMD to take advantage of Intel's Sandy Bridge delay and its impact on Intel's roadmap for its new integrated graphics platform. Leslie Sobon, AMD vice president of product and platform marketing, last month said AMD's OEM and retail partners have ordered additional AMD products in order to meet the need that Intel's recent recall of flawed Intel Series 6 Sandy Bridge support chipsets code-named Cougar Point has created.
Intel on Feb. 1 identified the error and began producing corrected chipsets. Several OEMs had to recall systems running Intel's Sandy Bridge platform, after many of them unveiled those systems at CES 2011, and some began selling them to end users. The following week, Intel resumed shipments in unaffected Sandy Bridge systems.
Intel's unforeseen issue may be just what AMD needs to reverse its fortunes in the semiconductor industry. AMD lost market share as Intel claimed an 80.8 percent share of the PC processor market, according to IDC's latest estimate. IDC says Intel claimed an 80.8 percent share of the PC processor market in the fourth quarter, up 0.4 percent, while AMD has 19.9 percent market share, down 0.4 percent sequentially. For the full year 2010, Intel's market share rose 1.1 percent while AMD lost 1.1 percent, placing pressure on AMD to do well with its forthcoming Fusion integrated graphics and Bulldozer CPU products.