Details on AMD Bulldozer: Opterons to Feature Configurable TDPby Johan De Gelas & Kristian Vättö on July 15, 2011 12:00 AM EST
Overview of Bulldozer Lineup
AMD’s new Bulldozer-based CPUs are just around the corner. AMD has said the release of Zambezi CPUs will happen in Q3, which means any time from now. The latest word on the street suggests October release though. We know quite a lot about these CPUs already but there is at least one thing we didn't know until now and it may end up being a big thing in server market. AMD’s John Fruehe has published an interesting blog post where he reveals that AMD’s upcoming server CPUs, Operons, will feature a user-configurable TDP.
|AMD Bulldozer lineup
|8, 6 or 4
|8 or 6
|16, 12 or 8
|Supported CPU configurations
|Up to dual CPU
|Up to quad CPU
Lets start with a brief on Bulldozer. It’s AMD’s first new micro-architecture since K10 (if we ignore Bobcat), which was released in late 2007, and frankly it’s long overdue. It will be manufactured using GlobalFoundries’ 32nm SOI, just like Llano. Some of the architectural changes are covered here, so lets not get into that.
The regular desktop CPUs are codenamed Zambezi and will feature up to eight cores. They will use the AM3+ socket and some AM3 boards will also support the new Zambezi CPUs after a BIOS update. These CPUs will not feature an integrated GPU (unlike Llano and Ontario/Zacate) and will support up to 1866MHz DDR3 in dual-channel configuration.
Bulldozer actually gets more interesting when talking about the server parts, Opterons. For low-end and power efficient servers, AMD will offer CPUs codenamed Valencia. Specification wise these CPUs are pretty similar to Zambezi, with 8-core and 6-core variants. The memory support is also dual-channel just like in Zambezi but will be limited to 1600MHz. Valencia will be released under the Opteron 4200 Series brand and will support single- and dual-CPU configurations. It will aslo be compatible with AMD's current San Marino and Adelaide platforms (Opteron 4000 Series) for socket C32.
For high-end servers, AMD’s answer is Interlagos. It will feature up to 16 cores which is achieved by combining two 8-core dies into one package, similar to AMD’s current 12-core Magny Cours. There will also be 12-core and 8-core variants. Interlagos has up to four Hyper-Transport 3.0 links, meaning that quad-CPU configurations are supported. Apparently, there will also be CPUs with only two links, aimed at dual-CPU configurations. Memory support will be quad-channel 1600MHz DDR3, just like Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E (although we don’t know the speed of DDR3 that SB-E supports). Interlagos will be branded as the Opteron 6200 Series and will retain support for Maranello platform (Opteron 6000 Series) which utilizes socket G34.