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AMD Roadmap Targets 2011 For Fusion

Advanced Micro Devices’ plans for a CPU-GPU combo highlights new product roadmap revelations that also include a six-core desktop chip for next year.

Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Advanced Micro Devices’ major legal settlement with Intel this week was product roadmap news out of AMD’s Financial Analyst Day at the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif. headquarters.

AMD executives, including CEO Dirk Meyer, focused firmly on the chip maker’s 2011 goal of achieving Fusion -- the long-awaiting integration of CPU and GPU capabilities on a single piece of silicon. That’s a road that Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel is also going down and the race to a viable product line should have the industry on the edge of its seats.

In the shorter term, AMD gave a solid glimpse at what we can expect in the first half of 2010. Perhaps most exciting for the PC-bound will be a proposed six-core desktop chip codenamed Theba, while plenty of action from AMD on the server side in 2010’s opening months should keep data center folks fairly busy.

Here’s a breakdown of AMD’s product roadmap as it currently stands:

THE PATH TO FUSION

AMD Velocity: This designation at AMD ’[r]epresents a shift in the company’s design methodology and product introduction cadence,’ and incorporates the company’s push for what it calls the Accelerated Processing Unit, or APU. In other words, Velocity is AMD’s long-discussed path to its future Fusion architecture, which integrates graphics processing with x86 central processing on the same silicon die.

’The AMD Fusion Design Methodology will build on AMD’s already established annual GPU design cycle to achieve a faster innovation pace than AMD previously achieved with a CPU-only development focus. AMD Velocity is designed to deliver performance breakthroughs via teraFLOPS-class GPU compute power in tandem with performance and low-power x86 core options,’ according to AMD, which further promises to deliver a new APU to the market every calendar year.

PROCESSOR ARCHITECTURES

Bulldozer: This new x86 core architecture for client and server processors is due out in 2011. Bulldozer is a multi-threaded, performance oriented x86 microprocessor core that will appear in a client chip codenamed Zambezi and in server chips codenamed Interlagos and Valencia. According to AMD, ’Bulldozer will be a completely new, high performance architecture for the mainstream server, desktop and notebook PC markets that employs a new approach to multithreaded compute performance for achieving advanced efficiency and throughput.’ What’s more, Bulldozer cores will also play a role in AMD’s future APU designs.

Planned introduction: 2011

Bobcat: This is AMD’s other future x86 core planned for introduction in 2011 and aimed at mobile products like mainstream and ultra-thin notebooks, as well as netbooks. Bobcat will be used in ultra-low power microprocessors and first appears in an APU codenamed Ontario that is scheduled for release in 2011. ’Bobcat is designed to be an extremely small, highly flexible, single-threaded x86 core that easily can be scaled up and combined with other IP in SoC [System-on-Chip] configurations,’ according to the chip maker.

Planned introduction: 2011

DESKTOPS

Thuban: This new 45-nanometer processor due out in the first half of 2010 boasts six cores, a client-side first for AMD following its shipment of six-core Opteron server chips in the first half of 2009. Thuban drops into the AM3 socket and appears within an upcoming desktop hardware platform codenamed Leo.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Leo: This enthusiast-class desktop platform coming in the first half of 2010 succeeds the current-generation Dragon platform from AMD. A Leo platform will feature the upcoming Thuban six-core AM3 processor, a new performance chipset called AMD RD890, and DirectX 11-capable discrete graphics cards from the already available ATI Radeon HD 5000 series.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Dorado: This mainstream desktop platform supports socket AM3 Athlon II processors in their dual-core, triple-core and quad-core flavors, and features the RS880P + SB810 chipset. Dorado is due for release in the first half of 2010.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Zambezi: This processor for the enthusiast market introduces AMD’s future 32-nanometer process technology and brings the core count on a desktop chip up to a whopping eight. Zambezi will also come in quad-core and six-core versions and drops into the AM3 socket. It’s based on the future Bulldozer core architecture.

Planned introduction: 2011

Scorpius: The high-end hardware platform that houses 2011’s Zambezi processors, Scorpius represents AMD’s full transition to DDR3 memory and apparently succeeds next year’s Leo enthusiast hardware platform for desktops.

Planned introduction: 2011

NOTEBOOKS

Huron: This is the former codename for AMD’s Neo processor, a single-core, BGA-socket chip that was part of AMD’s first-generation ultra-thin notebook platform formerly codenamed Yukon.

Introduced: 1H, 2009

Caspian: This is the former codename for AMD’s 45nm, dual-core Turion II processors that are part of the recently introduced mainstream notebook platform formerly known as Tigris.

Introduced: 2H, 2009

Conesus: This is the former codename for AMD’s dual-core, BGA-socket Athlon Neo processors that are featured in the chip maker’s second-generation ultra-thin notebook platform.

Introduced: 2H, 2009

Champlain: AMD’s very first quad-core notebook processor is part of next year’s planned mainstream notebook platform codenamed Danube. Champlain supports DDR3 memory and has 2MB of cache.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Danube: Built around the forthcoming Champlain mobile processor, Danube is a mainstream notebook platform with onboard graphics that support DirectX 10.1 and options for discrete graphics that will take you to DirectX 11. According to AMD, Danube notebooks ’offer up to 7 hours of battery life under typical usage scenarios.’

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Geneva: AMD’s next processor for the ultra-thin notebook segment is a dual-core, 45nm chip for the BGA socket that has 2MB of cache and DDR3 memory support.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Nile: This is AMD’s third-generation ultra-thin notebook platform, built around the upcoming Geneva mobile processor. Nile brings AMD’s ultra-thin trajectory into the world of DDR3 and offers ’more than seven hours battery life,’ according to the chip maker.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Next: Servers, Graphics and APUs


Here's what AMD is planning in the coming months and years for its server products, ATI graphics cards and the proposed fruit of Fusion -- the Accelerated Processing Unit, or APU:

SERVERS

Istanbul: The former codename for AMD’s first six-core processor, released earlier this year as the Opteron 2400 series and 8400 series of products.

Introduced: 1H, 2009

Suzuka: The former codename for AMD’s 45nm, quad-core Opteron processors for the 1P server market released earlier this year.

Introduced: 1H, 2009

Buenos Aires: The former codename for AMD’s socket AM3 server platform for 1P servers, featuring the SR56x0 chipset and Suzuka processor.

Introduced: 2H, 2009

Lisbon: These forthcoming 45nm server chips will be branded as Opteron 4100 series processors for both the San Marino and ultra low-power Adelaide 1P and 2P server platforms. Lisbon will come in quad-core and six-core iterations.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

San Marino: AMD’s next-generation 1P and 2P server platform is ’suited for large, dense deployments that require power efficiency and flexibility, as well as environments where cost is a key driver,’ according to the chip maker. That means San Marino -- which will be branded as the Opteron 4000 Series platform -- has a play in the SMB market as well as for Web-hosting and cloud installations, AMD says. This platform, along with Adelaide, introduces a new socket, C32, that extends to 2011’s proposed 32nm Opteron 4200 Series chips. San Marino’s final piece is the future AMD SR56x0 chipset.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Adelaide: An ultra-low power hardware platform for 1P and 2P servers, Adelaide is built for the cloud with the low power AMD SR5650 chipset. The forthcoming 45nm Opteron 4100 Series chips codenamed Lisbon are the first designees for the platform’s new C32 socket -- next up are 2011’s 32nm, Bulldozer-based Opteron 4200 Series products, also known as Valencia.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Magny-Cours: Moving up the server ladder to the 2P and 4P markets, Magny-Cours also jacks up the core count with as many as 12 in this next-generation, 45nm server processor. Also planned in an eight-core edition, this processor gets branded the AMD Opteron 6100 Series early next year. Magny-Cours marks the full move to HyperTransport 3.0 and boasts four channels of DDR3 memory, all part of the Opteron 6000 Series server platform codenamed Maranello.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Maranello: To be known as the AMD Opteron 6000 Series server platform, Maranello utilizes the new G34 socket and the future AMD SR56x0 chipset. Opteron 6100 Series chips will be the first to power this platform for the 2P and 4P server market, with the 32nm, Bulldozer-based Opteron 6200 Series products due up in 2011.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Valencia: Enter Bulldozer -- AMD’s Valencia chips for 2011 are six- and eight-core parts based on the company’s next-generation core architecture for clients and servers. An early product of AMD’s planned transition to the 32nm process node, Valencia will be released as the Opteron 4200 Series for 1P and 2P servers. The San Marino and Adelaide platforms, both due out in 2010, will support Valencia.

Planned introduction: 2011

Interlagos: This chip is the lurking beast at the end of AMD’s most current product roadmap -- a 32nm, Bulldozer-based processor for 2P and 4P servers that brings the core count up to 16. Meanwhile, 12-core products will also be available in what will in 2011 become the Opteron 6200 Series for the earlier Maranello server platform. Planned introduction: 2011

GRAPHICS

Cypress: Now known as AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 discrete graphics card for enthusiast desktop PCs, products released in the third quarter of this year.

Introduced: 2H, 2009

Juniper: Codename for AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5750 and ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics cards, which are the less costly versions of Cypress.

Introduced: 2H, 2009

Hemlock: This discrete desktop graphics card set for release in late November couples two ATI Radeon HD 5870 GPUs and targets the gaming enthusiast who wants the most powerful graphics AMD has to offer.

Planned introduction: 2H, 2009

Cedar: This entry level desktop discrete graphics card brings the DirectX 11 capability of the recently released ATI Radeon HD 5000 series to the masses in 2010.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Redwood: A notch above Cedar, Redwood is the codename for another release in the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series of DirectX 11-capable graphics cards from AMD -- in this case, for the mainstream desktop market. Discrete Graphics Card

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Broadway: Part of AMD’s planned 2010 release of 40nm Mobility Radeon GPUs, Broadway is targeted at the most powerful consumer notebooks. Like Madison and Park -- sensing a codename theme, here? -- Broadway supports GDDR5 memory and DirectX 11 graphics.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Madison: Next year’s 40nm Mobility Radeon GPU for what AMD calls ’performance’ notebooks.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

Park: Next year’s 40nm Mobility Radeon GPU for mainstream notebooks.

Planned introduction: 1H, 2010

FUSION

Llano: A 32nm processor, Llano is AMD’s first Accelerated Processing Unit or APU. ’It is primarily intended for mainstream notebooks and desktops, engineered to deliver impressive visual computing experiences, outstanding performance with low power and long battery life,’ according to the company.

Planned introduction: 2011

Lynx: The mainstream desktop platform planned for Llano APUs.

Planned introduction: 2011

Ontario: AMD calls Ontario a ’dual-core SoC implementation and APU based of the upcoming Bobcat core for ultra-thin notebooks, netbooks and <20W new market products.’

Planned introduction: 2011

Sabine: The first mainstream APU-based notebook platform, Sabine is based on quad-core Llano APUs.

Planned introduction: 2011

Brazos: This is AMD’s planned platform for its first APU-based ultra-thin notebooks and netbooks, using dual-core Ontario APUs.

Planned introduction: 2011

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