Following last week’s publication of AMD’s codename roadmap, someone has thought the world needed to know a bit more about the company’s short-term game plan in the desktop client arena.
Spotted on Turkish website Donanim Haber, the leaked slides seem to report back to an OEM platform validation scheme, as it displays the new AMD Vision requirements for news systems this year. But that’s not all. It also reports the introduction ‘date’ of the new platforms.
The AMD Vision platforms not only detail the market segmentation but a bevvy of upcoming processors, including ‘Vishera’ (FX series CPUs), ‘Trinity’ (A series APUs) and Brazos 2.0 (E series CPU for the low end).
The slides seem to confirm what pundits have been estimating since the financial analyst day: while AMD won’t shrink its dies until 2013, the Piledriver cores will be introduced soon and, from previous information, promise an instant 15 percent IPC gain over its Bulldozer predecessor.
This brings three new Trinity APUs in the second quarter of this year (A10-5800, A10-5700, A8-5500 and A8-5600), and two new Brazos 2.0 CPUs, the E2-1800 and the E1-1200.
Later in the year, at back to school, AMD’s Piledriver-based FX CPUs will repopulate the higher end of the spectrum with the FX-8350, FX-8320 octa-cores, the FX-6300 hexa-core and the FX-4320 quad-core. At this point in time, AMD will also launch an A6-5400 and A4-5300.
Both Vishera and Trinity are built on 32nm nodes but the prior does not integrate a graphics core, ie: it is a vanilla CPU.
The second leaked slide puts a bit of flesh on the Virgo desktop socket FM2 platform (ie: Trinity-based APUs). These second-gen APUs, apart from the Piledriver core, will also include ‘7000’-series GPUs. These are not Southern Islands GPUs, as we do not believe AMD would inflate its silicon from 28nm to 32nm just for this but there are fewer, more optimised cores, with a much higher clock (800MHz or 760MHz) depending on the model.
These are identified as “Radeon Cores 2.0” and as the text puts it, “a newer GPU Core architecture which provides a greater performance uplift” – marketing talk which really means nothing right now, except OEMs shouldn’t fear for worse performance.
In the second quarter, most of these Trinity APUs will co-exist side-by-side with their Llano predecessor, which should present an interesting marketing challenge, but by the third quarter, only Piledrivers - and way down the food chain, the Brazos 2.0 - will be on the shelves.
Hopefully, Windows 8 will be out of the door by then and while AMD won’t be able to compete clock-for-clock with Intel, it will have something of value to offer to all levels of the market.