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.
Exactly how low can Intel's Atom processors go? At least down to 15nm, according to Intel's latest roadmap. Think about that for a moment. At just 15nm, the manufacturing process is about the size of 60 atoms. By comparison, human hair measures 100,000nm in diameter. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
Intel's plans were revealed in a slide being shown at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), which also showed 32nm and 22nm parts filling in the gap between 15nm and currently shipping 45nm Atom processors.
The slide is short on details, but interestingly it looks as though Intel will crank out more Atom chip offerings as the manufacturing process continues to shrink. At 15nm, Intel shows five chips each for netbooks, nettops, and consumer electronics, and six chips each for handheld "Z" series and embedded "E" series products.
At this year's Intel Develop Forum (IDF), Dell had on display an upcoming 10-inch tablet different from all the other designs we've seen thus far. Unlike other upcoming tablets, Dell's model comes with a physical keyboard hidden underneath the screen.
You can think of it as a sort of convertible/hybrid netbook, because that's really what it is. Users can open up the clamshell device, swivel the screen around, and use an actual keyboard. This design addresses one of the main concerns with the iPad, which is that it's difficult to actually be productive using only a virtual keyboard.
"There are times that you have to do work. Tablets are great for entertainment, but they aren't exactly conducive to productivity," a Dell rep said right before he revealed the keyboard to onlookers.
There's a dual-core Atom processor packed inside and it runs Windows 7. Other than that, Dell didn't reveal any other specs and features, but did say the device would ship by the end of this year.
Unveiled last summer, Intel’s Experience and Interactions Research promises a new way to develop projects. What they’re showing looks pretty familiar, though.
If Dr. Genevieve Bell, the only Intel Fellow who’s an anthropologist, has her way, Intel’s product development process needs to change. Last summer, Intel announced that Bell would be the head of a newly created lab under Intel’s research umbrella known as “Experience and Interactions Research.” The idea is to create products based on users desires – and to try to predict where those users' desires would be in a few years.
Sandy Bridge will feature an on-die, high clock speed graphics core. Will it be fast enough for most users? Maximum PC readers know we’ve never been strong fans of integrated graphics. Even when we’ve needed them – in small form factor home theater PCs, for example, we’ve tended to go for AMD or Nvidia integrated solutions. More often, though, we’ll spec out an entry level discrete graphics card for a compact HTPC.
The new Intel HD Graphics built into the Sandy Bridge CPU may shift that decision point a bit. While any gaming experience with the new graphics is still fairly entry level, it’s far less anemic than past Intel efforts. Starcraft 2, for example, runs at medium settings and keeps up pretty well with entry level discrete solutions from Nvidia. Let’s take a quick look at the internals of the latest Intel graphics core, rebuilt from the ground up for 32nm, brings to the table.