bit-tech.net

AMD updates chip roadmap for 2013

AMD updates chip roadmap for 2013

AMD is keen to discuss the future of its HSA-based APU design, but is a bit more cagey on its FX family of chips.

AMD held its latest Financial Analyst Day in the US yesterday, offering a glimpse of the company's plans for the future as it continues its fight against bitter rival Intel.

Speaking at the event, chief technology officer Mark Papermaster declared that the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) formerly known as Fusion is to get an accelerated roll-out schedule. While the company had previously planned to release fully-integrated HSA processors by 2015, Papermaster claimed at the event that the first fully-functional HSA GPU cores will be available in 2014.

The first Fusion APUs, which combine GPU and CPU technology on a single chip, have been available for some time, but Papermaster's vision goes further. In 2012, he explained, chips will be released that give the GPU access to the CPU memory for increased efficiency and data sharing between the two.

In 2013, this will be further enhanced by doing away with the concept of independent memory altogether. Instead, both the GPU and CPU will share a single unified memory space. The benefit: data can be processed by either subsystem without the delays associated with moving it to different areas of system memory.

Finally, 2014 will see the launch of the first HSA-compatible GPUs. Unlike current general purpose GPU technology, Papermaster claims that the HSA-compatible GPU will be cable of switching its compute context on the fly, executing code on whichever process makes most sense from a performance perspective.

AMD chief executive Rory Read repeated a claim from late last year that his company had reached an inflection point, claiming in his keynote speech that AMD is primed to 'capture' that point. To do so, Read declared a renewed focus on the entry-level and low-power markets while referring to his company's ongoing battle with Intel at the high end as an 'unhealthy duopoly.'

The new focus for AMD, Read explained, will be on mobility - tablets and ultra-portable laptop systems - highly-parallel cloud servers and embedded systems, along with emerging markets.

That's not to say that AMD is giving up on the high-end market, though. In an updated roadmap shared with analysts, the company promised to release its second-generation Trinity APU series this year with a third-generation 28nm HSA-equipped Kaveri family due in 2013. Kaveri, the slide explained, will include improved x86 cores based on the Steamroller architecture for increased instructions-per-clock performance with power saving enhancements along with Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPU capabilities.

The FX series isn't going away, either. While adoption of the Bulldozer-architecture chips has been slow in the consumer market, the company is still on track to release a successor in 2013. Dubbed 'Vishera,' the second generation of FX processors will include between four and eight Piledriver CPU cores. Interestingly, however, these will still be built on a 32nm process size despite the rest of the company's products having transitioned to 28nm by that time.

At the lower power end of the market, AMD revealed that Brazos will give way to Kabini, a second-generation low-power APU based on Bobcat-successor Jaguar cores and again featuring HSA-based technology while skipping the GCN upgrade of its more powerful brother.

Finally, at the ultra-low power end of the market, 2012's Hondo will give way to Temash. Again based on a 28nm process size, the Temash APU will include Jaguar cores on a system-on-chip (SoC) design featuring an integrated Fusion Controller Hub (FCH). This is AMD's tablet and embedded offering, designed to compete directly with the likes of ARM in passively-cooled systems.

On the graphics front, AMD promises to continue its twelve-monthly release cycle with a new GPU family dubbed Sea Islands. Based on the same 28nm process as the current Southern Islands family, Sea Islands will be based on a new GPU architecture and include a subset of HSA functionality. The result, AMD claims, will be significant performance boosts for both graphics and general-purpose compute purposes.

Does AMD's updated roadmap fill you with confidence, or has Read's talk of focusing on tablet and server markets got you worried that it's giving up on chasing Intel at the performance end of the market? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

22 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Hustler 3rd February 2012, 11:09 Quote
"will include improved x86 cores based on the Steamroller architecture for increased instructions-per-clock performance"


Whilst it's good that they 'got the message' about this aspect of Bulldozer's appalling performance in this area, it's too late for me.

My next build will be an Ivy Bridge one, and the only thing that will tempt me back to AMD is if they release a new range of CPU's that are at least as fast as Intels (whatever that maybe) in late 2013 or 2014 when i come to build a replacement rig.

I dont hold out much hope of that, sorry AMD, your Derpdozer debacle lost me as a customer of 8yrs.
Jhodas 3rd February 2012, 11:11 Quote
This sounds sensible, as long as they can stick it out.
AMD seem to be changing their mind/brand identity every other day at the moment,
.//TuNdRa 3rd February 2012, 11:21 Quote
As a rough guide; For bulldozer to be better; it needs a better memory controller, removal of that awful NB bottleneck, the decode units could do with the ability to process two more threads, and, for the love of all god, LLC on the motherboards.

Then, and maybe then, those chips will start to get somewhere.
[USRF]Obiwan 3rd February 2012, 11:39 Quote
AMD should make much better CPU's (as in very competitive to Intel) and sell it for a higher price. Or continue like they do now and sell the CPU's very cheaply. Otherwise nobody will make the step to them.
DbD 3rd February 2012, 11:40 Quote
Tbh AMD is really up against it. Their cpu's aren't competitive - particularly a problem for the opterons that used to make them plenty of money due to big mark-ups. Their gpu's are competitive but not in the most profitable part of the market (i.e. little money in consumer and consoles, they need to win professional and gpu compute). They have big debts which limits their ability to invest. The growth area of the market is moving away from them (i.e. ultra low power devices).

This is a roadmap, but really it looks pretty bleak. Very much a case of hang on in there till bulldozer is replaced and hope it's replacement works much better.
do_it_anyway 3rd February 2012, 12:09 Quote
The fusion APU's are going to save the CPU arm of AMD.

If anyone asked me to build an all rounder PC for them, this is what I would use.
If someone wants high end I will go intel, but as a previous poster pointed out; while talking GPU's; the high end is not the lucrative market.
I expect most laptops, and consmuer desktops to have a fusion chip in the next 6 months.
minimad127 3rd February 2012, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
The fusion APU's are going to save the CPU arm of AMD.

If anyone asked me to build an all rounder PC for them, this is what I would use.
If someone wants high end I will go intel, but as a previous poster pointed out; while talking GPU's; the high end is not the lucrative market.
I expect most laptops, and consmuer desktops to have a fusion chip in the next 6 months.


i think this is the big thing with them, i have had quite a lot of instances on other forums where people have asked for a cheap laptop recommendations (£400ish) which they want to be able to play some low requirement or older games on and the general concensus is go for a Llano based laptop as the build in graphics is so much better than intel's, and if we are honest for most people on a £400 laptop, the extra speed of a intel chip is not likely to ever be noticed
Snips 3rd February 2012, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimad127
Quote:
Originally Posted by do_it_anyway
The fusion APU's are going to save the CPU arm of AMD.

If anyone asked me to build an all rounder PC for them, this is what I would use.
If someone wants high end I will go intel, but as a previous poster pointed out; while talking GPU's; the high end is not the lucrative market.
I expect most laptops, and consmuer desktops to have a fusion chip in the next 6 months.


i think this is the big thing with them, i have had quite a lot of instances on other forums where people have asked for a cheap laptop recommendations (£400ish) which they want to be able to play some low requirement or older games on and the general concensus is go for a Llano based laptop as the build in graphics is so much better than intel's, and if we are honest for most people on a £400 laptop, the extra speed of a intel chip is not likely to ever be noticed

The Intel/Nvidia combo works just fine for this kind of laptop. I can't see any justification on using any AMD components on any class of build now. They have truly lost the plot completely.
Adnoctum 3rd February 2012, 16:32 Quote
When AMD moved to their new GPU strategy where they left the top 0.5% of the single GPU market to Nvidia and instead concentrated resources (whether money, R&D, production or transistors) on the other 99.5% by building chips that used less power and less heat and competing at the top end with multi-GPU cards, we all had mixed feelings.
Some said it was a mistake, some said it was brilliant, but most didn't care and kept buying the cards that were at their price/performance points anyway.

If AMD follows this strategy with their CPUs and APUs, how many is going to care and how much of a problem is it going to be? Personally, I would be fine with it. There is going to be enough performance for everybody except for those whose self-worth is measured by their computers or their Benchmark X score.

I just searched out reviews and my CPU is now 3 years old. It has had a 20% overclock since it was installed, and has outlived a gf7950 and a hd4870 (and a second 4870 later bought for a multi-GPU) and I can't see it being replaced for another 12-18 months when I'll probably again replace the current GPU (a 6950). I game at 1920x1200 and everything turned to the highest settings. I haven't noticed that I don't have a 2600K overclocked to 5 GHz.
By the time it gets replaced I will never have had a CPU this long in my main computer.

How much CPU performance is enough?
Even in the server market?

Intel is always going to be able to outspend AMD R&D twenty-fold, so there is little reason for AMD to expend the kinds of company breaking sums of money trying to beat Intel.

I consider myself a computer enthusiast, and I like fast things. I enjoy reading reviews about fast things. I also buy fast things; I own a higher end GPU and a large capacity SSD. But I don't care that AMD doesn't have a CPU to compete in the top 0.5%. I care about the performance that matters to me.
When it comes time to replace my current CPU, I will look at various factors and make a decision at my price/performance point. One of those factors won't be who is fastest at the top 0.5% of the market.
Adnoctum 3rd February 2012, 16:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips

The Intel/Nvidia combo works just fine for this kind of laptop. I can't see any justification on using any AMD components on any class of build now. They have truly lost the plot completely.

When all you are able to see are nails, hammers look like the solution to every problem.
Yslen 3rd February 2012, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips


The Intel/Nvidia combo works just fine for this kind of laptop. I can't see any justification on using any AMD components on any class of build now. They have truly lost the plot completely.

Except for the part where the AMD solution completely trounces Atom/ION in performance and at a lower price point. You need to work on your anti-AMD flamebait material, Snips, you used to be good at this :P
play_boy_2000 3rd February 2012, 17:33 Quote
AMD seems to be losing a boatload of cash in the consumer CPU market, so I don't blame them for focusing on more profitable aspects of their business. I still do hope that they are still putting some resources into improving the clock for clock performance of their CPU arcatecture, not only to make Fusion HSA better, but also to maybe get back into the high end desktop market in the future.
Adnoctum 3rd February 2012, 17:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
...not only to make Fusion HSA better...

I'm never buying an Arctic/Arctic Cooling product ever again, bunch of greedy motherf...
Snips 3rd February 2012, 18:00 Quote
It managed to hook you Yslen :)
Yslen 3rd February 2012, 18:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
It managed to hook you Yslen :)

True! :D
misterd77 4th February 2012, 05:07 Quote
has everyone forgot about dual graphics ?, a 6/8 core hsa with a decent gpu portion would trounce intel in combined performance, add in a decent midrange gpu, and those hsa's are gonna seem like a very tempting proposition, i can see the new structure paying off bigtime, if the gpu and cpu portions can directly share resources and the controller deciding what portion of the chip tu use to best serve performance and/or battery life, HSA's are gonna be highly scaleable and quite fast, fusion apu's already outperform the intel at consumer level mutlitasking at a midrange pricepoint, and the video/graphics performance blows away intel every time, $ for $, sure Intel wins the performance crown, and blows AMD out of the market by doing so, but Intel needs the green team to win, AMD doesnt, seeing as it has ATI working away with these new HSA's, the new shared memory and resource controller is whats gonna be most important aspect of these new chips, im badly needing a new rig, and im gonna try and hold off for the HSA's, it might just be worth it..........
misterd77 4th February 2012, 05:11 Quote
^^^^^^^ tasty, you should all try it.
fluxtatic 4th February 2012, 06:43 Quote
What I wonder is, with this talk of shared address space, won't the GPU suffer? That is, better GPUs tend to use GDDR5, while the lower end use DDR3. I'm guessing GDDR5 tends to cost more than DDR3, and it isn't just some marketing BS to get me to drop more cash on a GPU (and benchmarks seem to bear out that DDR3 can choke in cases where GDDR5 is fine.) That being the case, are they shooting themselves in the foot by making this move when the current tech will still be DDR3? Maybe not, since we're not talking 6970-class GPUs, but with AMD's recent missteps, it makes me nervous. As does the 'unhealthy duopoly' comment...what does he mean? He wants Via to step in so there are three? Or AMD is better served by giving that fight up and letting Intel have the top end? (Please god no, although it seems that way.)

On the other hand, I feel bit smug at the moment in that they're getting closer to what I predicted before BD came out - eventually, the CPU won't even have an FPU. That functionality will be handed off to the GPU side seamlessly, since they're sharing address space. Not be (more of a) fanboy, but I think I was right - AMD didn't totally f*ck it up - they're just ahead of their time. In a way, they did f*ck it up - too far ahead. If we're very lucky, they'll have it sorted out to where PD will have the performance in Win8 that BD should have had under Win7 (and while the scheduler hotfix being backported is nice, the difference it apparently made is still depressingly small.)

Come on, AMD! Don't make me feel like an idiot for buying an AM3+ board when I could have switched sides while I still had money!

Oh, and Snips: lazy troll is lazy :P
machima 4th February 2012, 08:14 Quote
o_0
SchizoFrog 5th February 2012, 17:24 Quote
For the argument of laptops, the spec difference from a £400 to a £430 is quite a difference (i3 to second gen i5 in my experience). Now, considering I want my laptop to last a few years and £430 is a fair amount of money in the first place, I personally chose to spend an extra £70 (Yes, I wait a little longer so I could afford it) and got an ASUS laptop with an i5-2410, 4GB RAM, an nVidia 540m built in and includes a BluRay (reader) DVD Burner.
The graphics switches on the fly between the built in i5 when in normal use and to the gaming card when needed.

It is all very well talking about value but it is not value to spend 86% (£430 instead of £500) to get a product that is far less powerful and will therefore need replacing that much sooner. It is also the difference between complaint stricken companies such as Dell, Acer or Toshiba and an award winning company such as ASUS.
Petrol head 5th February 2012, 23:27 Quote
SchizoFrog, I have been looking at the same line. Asus also have a I7 2670 on Comet for £750 with the same Nvidia 540. Please do appreciate these are an end of line sale for Asus as apr £200 off. Essentially this is a one off. Average price for what your getting is £750+ and the I7 £1000. I got a Samsung A6 3410 mx and have been surprised to be playing URT 3 with no problems. I only paid £430.
Petrol head 6th February 2012, 09:26 Quote
Just checked Comet again. I7 Asus gone. Acer are now doing the same though I7 £750-£800. If you have the money fill your boots doubt the chance will be around for long.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums