AMD and ATI Promise Unified Development by 2008
July 24, 2006 8:11 AM
comment(s) - last by
AMD and ATI are already planning scalable designs for 2008
"Torrenza" platforms and unified GPU/CPU processors
AMD announced the
$5.4B USD takeover of ATI
earlier today, but the new company is already making large plans for the future. Dave Orton, soon-to-be Executive Vice President of AMD's ATI Division, claimed that AMD and ATI would begin leveraging the sales of both companies by 2007. However, a slide from the AMD/ATI merger documentation has already shown some
interesting development plans for 2008
Specifically, it appears as though AMD and ATI are planning unified, scalable platforms using a mixture of AMD CPUs, ATI chipsets and ATI GPUs. This sort of multi-GPU, multi-CPU architecture is extremely reminiscent of
technology announced this past June
, which allows low-latency communications between chipset, CPU and main memory. The premise for
is to open the channel for embedded chipset development from 3rd party companies. AMD said the technology is an open architecture, allowing what it called "accelerators" to be plugged into the system to perform special duties, similar to the way we have a dedicated GPU for graphics.
Furthermore, AMD President Dirk Meyer also confirmed that in addition to multi-processor platforms, stating "As we look towards ever finer manufacturing geometries we see the opportunity to integrate CPU and GPU cores together onto the same die to better serve the needs of some segments."
reader recently pointed out
that AMD just recently filed its
first graphics-oriented patent a few weeks ago
. The patent, titled "CPU and graphics unit with shared cache" seems to indicate that these pet projects at AMD are a little more than just pipe dreams.
During the AMD/ATI merger conference call, Meyer furthermore added that not too long ago, floating point processing was done on a separate piece of silicon. Meyer claimed that the trend for the FPU integration into the CPU may not be too different than the evolution of the GPU into the CPU.
Bob Rivet, AMD's Chief Financial Officer, claims the combined company will save nearly $75M USD in licensing and development overlap in 2007 alone, and another $125M in 2008. Clearly the combined development between the two companies has a few cogs in motion already.
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7/25/2006 3:52:42 PM
So what if, let us say in 5-10 years. AMD builds a quad core processor, All four cores are physically identical. Each core though can function as either a general purpose cpu, a video processor, a physics processorby utilizing "Field programable Gate Array" technology similar what is described on this link
"FPGAs are able to 'rewire' themselves on-the-fly, allowing for full hardware level reconfigurability. The processors are reconfigured on-the-fly, as and when a different stage in processing needs to be accelerated. This allows for maximum flexibility in adapting to the computational workflow requirements."
All four cores are aware of each other, and share cache and memory. This chip also has integrated RAM, sufficient to operate independently of any outside RAM.
Of course, having all that on a CPU would drive the CPU price up, but I am pretty sure that it would not even approacht he price of a CPU and independant video card.
This would be a system builders dream. For low end systems/work stations that are only used for word processiong, and powerpoint presentations, the onchip memory would be sufficient. For high end systems, external RAM could be installed and perform as an extension of the on DIE RAM.
Just as the little picture illustrates, General Purpose, and Media Centric could essentially be the same system. With software utilizing the cores differently. Same for Data Centric, and Graphics Centric, which I percieve to be a motherboard supporting dual quadcore chips, with software utilizing the cores.
The system builder would essentially only need to design one system, and based on the customer's needs, they would install one or two processors, any external memory requested, as well as the usual peripherals, such as, dvd drives, hard drives, etc.
Just food for thought.
RE: An Idea
7/27/2006 2:08:04 PM
So what if, let us say in 5-10 years. AMD builds a quad core processor, All four cores are physically identical. Each core though can function as either a general purpose cpu, a video processor, a physics processor by utilizing "Field programable Gate Array" technology similar what is described on this link
far better FPGAs exist today, the Kilocore™ with its 1,024 processing elements.
its interesting that AMD were licencing several IBM patents,
wonder if evolution of these KiloCORE might serve us well into the future on all future motherboards.
" IBM, Rapport Unveil Energy-Wise Power Chip
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Power.org member Rapport unveiled a new energy-efficient processor dubbed Kilocore that features more than 1,000 processing elements around a Power chip architecture.
Kilocore -- with parallel processing similar to that of the new Cell processor, Sun's Niagara, and Azul's multi-core chip -- has the ability to join hundreds or even thousands of parallel processing elements on a single chip that saves energy by cutting the distance for computing signals."
Conventional technology is unable to meet the processing and power consumption requirements of many of today’s complex products such as audio, video and data processing “securely” on mobile devices. In addition, evolving standards and next generation functional requirements often move faster than today’s development design cycle creating product obsolescence before shipment.
Kilocore™ products can be upgraded in the field via software, enabling delivery of next generation features while creating potential downstream revenue models.
Dynamically Reconfigurable Computing
Kilocore™ processors use a powerful new parallel computing architecture that dramatically lowers power consumption for equivalent computational performance. Kilocore™ technology utilizes arrays of dynamically reconfigurable parallel processing elements optimized for performance. Each processing element in a Kilocore™ stripe can be dynamically reconfigured in one clock cycle. Kilocore™ tools support both dynamic reconfiguration of processing elements and formatting of all types of data. The unique Kilocore™ architecture provides the following benefits:
Flexibility: functions can be dynamically changed in a single clock cycle.
Performance: unprecedented performance via simultaneous computing of multiple functions.
Scalability: hundreds to thousands of processing elements on a single chip.
Efficiency: Extremely low power consumption.
Rapport's KC256 Chip utilizing Kilocore™ Architecture"
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