Monday, September 17, 2012

What is coming in 2.013

The bulk of products that Advanced Micro Devices will be shipping in 2.013 will be made using 28nm process technology, according to plans for the year 2.013 that were disclosed at the company's Financial Analyst Day. 

AMD expects to roll-out three brand-new architectures next year : steamroller high-performance x86, Jaguar low-power x86 and Sea Islands family of graphics chips.

All product lineups that Amd promises to release next year will be substantially different from what is available today, hence, they will not be just product shrinks or refreshes. 

28nm process technology alone is likely to allow Amd to boost performance and feature-set of its chips without increasing power consumption compared to existing solutions that are made using 32nm or 40nm fabrication processes. 

Unfortunately, Amd did not disclose which of its 28nm chips will be made at Globalfoundries and which at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

The new Steamroller x86 high-performance cores will improve performance by boosting efficiency of execution and will also include design elements from low-power architectures to reduce power consumption. 

While it is unknown whether code-named Kaveri accelerated processing unit will turn the page for Amd in terms of x86 performance, the company hopes that further integration of x86 and stream processing architectures will boost overall user experience.

The forthcoming Jaguar low-power x86 architecture is expected to boost performance while trimming energy consumption, which will let Amd to better compete for tablets and similar devices. 

Thanks to thin process technology, Amd's code-named Kabini and Temash APUs will also integrate input/output capabilities, which will greatly simplify system design.

Finally, the code-named Sea Islands graphics processors promise to bring "major GPU architecture enhancements" and skyrocket performance for both graphics and computing.

What is a bit surprising is that a high-performance FX-class x86 chip featuring Steamroller cores is absent from the 2.013 plan, but the Steamroller will still become available with the code-named Kaveri accelerated processing unit. 

Apparently, Amd plans to continue selling its enthusiast-class FX chips code-named Vishera with Piledriver cores due to be introduced in 2.012 next year as well.

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