world's biggest semiconductor company is poised to launch its first
Westmere products fairly soon, which integrate 32nm dual core
CPUs with 45nm graphics chips on the same package. Intel has
traditional been very strong with its CPUs, but weak on the
integrated graphics side. AMD, on the other hand, has been able to
provide above average graphics performance on its integrated graphics
chipsets, at lower prices than Intel-based motherboards.
order to compete, AMD is going to introduce the RS880P northbridge
with faster integrated DirectX 10.1 graphics for the mainstream
market early in 2010. Enthusiasts can look forward to the RD890
northbridge, which will use less energy and produce less heat than
AMD will also be introducing the SB800 series
of southbridges at the same time, which will integrate a gigabit
ethernet port. AMD has missed an opportunity to surpass Intel by
integrating USB 3.0 and 6Gb/s SATA ports, but the new southbridges
will have more bandwidth. This will make it easier and cheaper for
motherboard manufacturers to add
USB 3.0 and 6 Gb/s SATA ports themselves without having to resort to
Sources have indicated that there will be
motherboards using the new chipsets shown at the Consumer Electronics
show in Las Vegas during the first week of January.
be introducing a 32nm six-core Westmere-based CPU codenamed
Gulftown in Q2 of 2010. AMD plans to respond with Thuban,
which features six-cores of its own based on those used by the
Phenom II family.
Things get interesting in 2011. AMD's Lynx
platform will feature the Llano Accelerated Processing Unit (APU),
which integrates up to four 32nm Phenom II cores with a 32nm DirectX
11 graphics chip on the same die.
The Scorius platform
will use Zambezi CPUs using four or eight 32nm cores built
using the new Bulldozer architecture. It will also be capable
of support new 32nm Radeon GPUs.
Both the Scorpius and
Lynx platforms will require new chipsets and socket in order
to deliver on the promise of higher performance.
architecture had a few teething problems when it was first introduced
by AMD in 2007. It has since proved its usefulness, but Intel has
been successful with its Nehalem-based CPUs, dramatically
leading the performance race since it was introduced. Bulldozer will
be the first new architecture for AMD since the K10, and the company
hopes that it will enable it to compete on performance as well as
price. It was originally supposed
to be introduced this year, but AMD has had to overcome multiple
financial, design, and production hurdles over the last few
Bulldozer cores will be built on a future 32nm
SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) high-K metal gate process. They will come
in desktop and server iterations and feature new instruction set
Llano and Bulldozer
will start sampling with some of AMD's partners late in 2010, right
about the time Intel will introduce its new Sandy
Bridge architecture. Even worse for AMD, it will start to
introduce products based on the Bulldozer architecture in
2011, just as Intel's production of new Sandy Bridge ramps up
dramatically at the massive Fab 32 and Fab 11X.
currently undergoing research and develop of new CPUs using 22nm
technology, and is set to introduce 22nm
parts based on the Ivy Bridge architecture at the
end of 2011.