Published on 27th July 2012 by
Now, we did some digging and found out quite few interesting things. Here is a quote from the AMD ex employee himself, who posted few comments about the whole situation some time ago:
On paper bulldozer is a lovely chip. Bulldozer was on the drawing board (people were even working on it) even back when I was there. All I can say is that by the time you see silicon for sale, it will be a lot less impressive, both in its own terms and when compared to what Intel will be offering. (Because I have no faith AMD knows how to actually design chips anymore). I don’t really want to reveal what I know about Bulldozer from my time at AMD.
What did happen is that management decided there SHOULD BE such cross-engineering ,which meant we had to stop hand-crafting our CPU designs and switch to an SoC design style. This results in giving up a lot of performance, chip area, and efficiency. The reason DEC Alphas were always much faster than anything else is they designed each transistor by hand. Intel and AMD had always done so at least for the critical parts of the chip. That changed before I left – they started to rely on synthesis tools, automatic place and route tools, etc. I had been in charge of our design flow in the years before I left, and I had tested these tools by asking the companies who sold them to design blocks (adders, multipliers, etc.) using their tools. I let them take as long as they wanted. They always came back to me with designs that were 20% bigger, and 20% slower than our hand-crafted designs, and which suffered from electromigration and other problems.
That is now how AMD designs chips. I’m sure it will turn out well for them [/sarcasm]
BTW, you ask how AMD could have competed? Well, for one thing, the could have leveraged K8 and the K8 team’s success and design techniques instead of wasting years of time on a project that eventually got cancelled using people that had never achieved any success. It took Intel years to come out with Nehalem, and AMD could have been so far ahead by that point that they’d have enough money in the bank that they wouldn’t have to accept a low-ball settlement offer in the antitrust suit and they wouldn’t have to sell off their fabs.
Gives a totally different perspective on why Bulldozer failed, doesn’t
Originally Posted by .//TuNdRa
Bulldozer's Ridiculously long development cycle didn't help the chip. Considering AMD had to take a shot at the future from, what? Six years ago? They've not falling that far off the mark.
Originally Posted by ZinfandelWhy do they even bother?
Originally Posted by HustlerStill only a Quad Core with some fancy new Hyper Threading thrown in.
Dishonest marketing from AMD.
Originally Posted by bagmanIntel start to develop their chips 10 years in advance. But you also have to consider that the bulldozer chips were made under a time of uncertainty at AMD with new (was it new CEOs like every month or something because the share holders weren't happy?).
What I don't understand is how inefficient the bulldozer chips are. 579W @4.65GHz for a chip far from the performance of a i7 920 @4GHz which draws 411W.
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