Last week AMD gave its annual conference for financial analysts and, as always, took the opportunity to give details on its products to come.
2012 will see several innovations, with, for desktops, the second generation of AMD FX processor, code name Vishera, which will have between 4 and 8 Piledriver type cores. A development of the current Bulldozer architecture, Vishera should be compatible with current AM3+ cards. AMD didn’t however give any additional details on these processors. The focus, both mobile and desktop, was on Trinity, the APU that is set to be released in the second quarter and will include 2 to 4 Pildedriver cores and a new GPU that's faster than Llano.
The entry level Brazos APUs will be updated with a 2.0 version including Turbo mode and a USB 3 platform. Note the arrival of Hondo, still based on Bobcat architecture and offering a TDP of 4.5 W for tablets. Part of the Brazos-T platform, it will come with a chipset with a TDP of 1W.
2013 will see two developments with respect to CPU architectures. Firstly Piledriver will be replaced by Steamroller on a new APU, Kaveri. As well as having a GCN GPU (like the Radeon H970), Kaveri will be engraved at 28nm, apparently using the Global Foundries bulk process instead of the current 32nm SOI, which should simplify chip design. The other development is Jaguar architecture, which will replace Bobcat on entry level APUs. Kabini will combine 2 to 4 Jaguar cores with a GCN type GPU, with a low energy consumption version, Tamesh, also in the pipeline. It looks as if we’ll have to wait for 2014 to see Steamroller appearing on a stand alone CPU.
On the graphics side, AMD has simply announced a new architecture for 2013, Sea Island, which will come with HSA (Heterogeneous Systems Architecture, the new name for Fusion) functionality. On this point, after having integrated the CPU and GPU onto the same die on its APUs, AMD is aiming to push the concept further in years to come with the inclusion in 2013 of a unified CPU and GPU memory space.
On the server side finally, in 2012/2013 AMD will be developing Interlagos and Valencia, designed for Socket G34 and C32, into Abu Dhabi and Seoul, which will be based on the new Pildriver architecture. Terramar and Sepang, which were supposed to extend to 20 and 10 cores, have therefore been abandoned and there will not be any developments in terms of numbers of cores, which was the logical step following the cancellation of the 10-core Komodo 10 for desktop. The current platforms will be compatible with these new processors and the same goes for Delhi, which will be introduced on AM3+.