Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bulldozer Maybe Delayed and Need More Tuning

Advanced Micro Devices may further delay release of its highly-anticipated FX-series microprocessors code-named Zambezi that are based on the Bulldozer micro-architecture, according to leaked slides published by a Chinese web-site.


The slides also point to new model numbers for the chips: FX-8150, FX-8100, FX-6100 and FX-4100, which may indicate that the company intends to alter previously set specifications of the chips.

Earlier it was believed that AMD would launch its FX-series of chips in June, 2011. It was also reported that the highest-performing eight-core offering would cost $320, which is in line with the top-of-the-range Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" CPU.

The long-awaited CPUs are now fully-functional and work without flaws, according to a person who wished to remain anonymous. The problem with the delay of the AMD FX family of chips is that they currently cannot operate at truly high-speeds and thus cannot achieve performance levels that AMD wanted them to. As result, AMD will need to design a new stepping of the processor and therefore delay the commercial launch to September.

The currently available B0 and B1 stepping Zambezi/Bulldozer processors can function at around 2.50GHz/3.50GHz (nominal/turbo) clock-speeds and at such frequency they cannot deliver performance AMD considers competitive, a person with knowledge of the situation said on Monday. As a consequence, AMD needs to tune the design of the processor and create B2 stepping of the chip with better clock-speed potential amid similar thermal design power (TDP), which will take several months to complete.

This will slowdown revenue growth of the chip-maker and will also hit its reputation, as this is by far not the first or second delay of Bulldozer in general and Zambezi in particular.

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