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AMD Bulldozer goes for Intel's Santa Rosa jugular

Griffin is a CPU designed from the ground up, Puma is RS790M
Thu May 17 2007, 19:18
WE HAVE KNOWN about the existence of AMD Bulldozer project for quite some time, as our Charlie reported around a year ago.

Bulldozer was alleged codename for "K10 for notebook", but in fact, it is more than a K10 for a notebook - it is the very first custom CPU design for DAAMIT. At least, that's what AMD wants us to believe.

AMD will be combining the Griffin processor with the "Puma platform", more known to general readership as a souped up RS790 chipset. The main advantage of Puma chipset is the fact that it is compliant with DirectX 10 specification.

alt='amd_roadmap_q406_10'
Slide from the roadmap AMD posted after Analyst Day in December, but the schedule has been brought forward

Yes, RS790M features a DX10 core inside, and that core comes from the Radeon HD 2000 product family. We are uncertain about the branding right now, but don't be surprised if Radeon HD 2150 or 2250 gets used. Of course, these numbers are below DirectX 9 part (HD2300), so confusion is inevitable. Do not expect for this GPU to crash world records in 3DMark, so you can expect that AMD will be touting its video capabilities, e.g. H.264 processing. We're not too sure if Transcode or Cap'n'Stream will work in any video resolution, but still, this GPU is one hefty advantage for DAAMIT.

Graphics part gets more and more interesting once that we really dig into specs, since it will support both HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces. When we were talking with some companies about coexistence of HDMI and DisplayPort in the single package, a lot of our sources were surprised and did not felt that we were right, because what company would go out with a product that support both. Well, you know the answer now. DAAMIT.

Puma chipset also brings support for PCI Express 2.0, or the "PCIe 5 GHz", as AMD will be calling it. Worst part for the competition, or the Santa Rosa chipset - is that DX10 compliancy is a joke, and new chipset named Montevina was not planed for quite some time. Yours truly cannot remember if Montevina will support PCIe 2.0 (sorry, PCIe 5 GHz) or not, but somehow I feel that it will not. I could be wrong over this one... but I am not wrong over Puma, luckily :).

When it comes to Robson Technology (Turbo Memory), AMD decided not to support it, but rather rely on full-flash hard drives and hybrid drives, such as ones from Seagate and Samsung. Expect that Robson will offer a bigger performance boost - then again, AMD can always argue its integrated memory controller being fastest of the pack - can you say powerpointery war of worlds?

So, Bulldozer is Griffin processor and Puma chipset. Interesting turn of events, we might add. Oh yeah, we almost forgot - everything is manufactured in 65nm process. CPU will be manufactured in Fab36 or in Singapore, while chipset will be produced over at TSMC. µ

 

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