Bulldozer Coming Down The Road Early

As someone that was about to purchase a Phenom X6, the news today, of Bulldozer cores coming in the fourth quarter as samples means that the actual release may be much sooner than expected. Hopefully there won’t be any op-code mishaps, as there were with the early Barcelona chips.

As the story in Maximum PC reminds, these will be the first overhaul of the AMD processor since Opteron, as all successors have simply been tune-ups and minor revisions to that mighty K8 architecture, that wrested the performance crown from Intel.

AMD, apparently eager to get its Bulldozer core out the door, might be shipping its next generation architecture sooner than we thought. Mike Magee over at TechEye.net says he recently met up with John Fruehe, who said that AMD plans to start sampling Bulldozer cores in the fourth quarter of this year.

Fruehe went on to say that Bulldozer, which has been built from the ground up, will continue to use the same sockets and the same power envelopes to alleviate potential headaches and ease the process of migrating to the newer platforms.

AMD’s Bulldozer architecture marks the first major redesign of the company’s processor line since the launch of the original Athlon 64 chips way back in 2003. Every CPU since then has basically been a tweaked version rather than a brand new architecture. Bulldozer is different.

"There will be enhancements to our memory controllers, things we cannot talk about just yet, that we expect to help reduce the time to access memory, both locally and remotely," Fruehe said in a blog post.

With the changes outlined in several other sneak peek articles, and the results of the Zacate trials, which are based upon the “little brother” Bobcat architecture, it may be time that the performance magazines start talking about performance on a par with all but the highest performing Intel processors.

And then, as they zero-in on the best tweaks of the architecture, who knows what could be next?

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