Review Index:

AMD Processor and GPU Roadmaps Through 2013

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: AMD

AMD Gives a Glimpse of the Near Future

AMD has released an updated roadmap for these next two years, and the information contained within is quite revealing of where AMD is going and how they are shifting their lineup to be less dependent on a single manufacturer.  The Financial Analyst Day has brought a few surprises of where AMD is headed, and how they will get there.  Rory Read and Mark Papermaster have brought a new level of energy to the company that seemingly has been either absent or muted.  Sometimes a new set of eyes on a problem, or in this case the attitudes and culture of a company, can bring about significant changes for the positive.  From what we have seen so far from Rory and company is a new energy and direction for AMD.  While AMD is still sticking to their roots, they are looking to further expand upon their expertise in some areas, all the while being flexible enough to license products from other companies that are far enough away from AMD's core competence that it pays to license rather than force engineers to re-invent the wheel.

The roadmaps cover graphics, desktop, mobile, and server products through 2013.

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This first slide is a snapshot of the current and upcoming APU lineup.  Southern Islands is the codename for the recently released HD 7000 series of desktop parts.  This will cover products from the 7700 level on up to the top end 7990.  Of great interest are the Brazos 2.0 and Hondo chips.  AMD had cancelled the "Krishna" series of chips which would have been based on Bobcat cores up to 4 on 28 nm.  Details are still pending, but it seems Brazos 2.0 will still be 40 nm parts but much more refined so they can be clocked higher and still pull less power.  Hondo looks to be the basic Brazos core, but for Ultra Low Power (lower clocks, possibly disabled units, etc.) which would presumably scale to 5 watts and possibly lower.

Read the entire article here.

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The next slide shows the upcoming new products in 2013.  Sea Islands will be the codename for the next generation graphics products from AMD.  It looks as if it could be a significant change from the current Southern Islands.  AMD appears to be doing this to more adequately integrate graphics into the computing fabric provided by modern CPUs.  HSA replaces Fusion, and the intent is to have GPU and CPU work far more closely than what we see today.

New CPU cores include "Steamroller" which will make its way into desktop and mobile products.  2013 will feature the 3rd generation APUs, and these products will utilize the GCN graphics architecture that AMD is introducing to us this year.  These APUs will be far more integrated than what we currently have.  This means different potential interconnects and most importantly the shared x86 memory space that we were introduced to in last years Fusion developers event.

Bobcat cores will be replaced by the new Jaguar cores in the low power and ultra low power markets.  These most likely will be based on 28 nm processes, and no other 3rd party Fab will have a working 22 nm product.  Temash and Kabini will also be true SOCs.  These chips will integrate the current FCH technology, so there will be no need for a dedicated southbridge with these parts.  This will cut down on system complexity and cost, as well as help to control power consumption of the system overall.

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2012's mobile and desktop roadmap are presented here.  Trinity looks to be prime mover for AMD in the desktop and mobile arenas.  This is a product that AMD is extremely excited about, and they feel that it will help them claw back marketshare from Intel.  Though Intel will have an advantage in their 22 nm process, AMD feels that they can match the overall thermals and CPU performance, all the while bringing a better overall graphics experience through both hardware and software.  Piledriver will make it to the AM3+ market, but the CPU design and architecture will be a step above Piledriver featured in Trinity.  AMD is going with a tic-toc strategy of their own, but they will release a new processor architecture with the APUs, but the standalone CPUs will get a more refined and upgraded core based on that new architecture.  All indications at this point see AMD being much more competitive in terms of CPU performance with the Vishera product.  We also see that Hondo will go down as low as 4.5 watts, which should allow it to be integrated in tablets fairly effectively.  Do not expect AMD to get into handsets anytime soon though.

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February 2, 2012 | 02:21 PM - Posted by collie (not verified)

Is "Hondo" x86 based, can I run it fanless as a silent pc, or is it a tablet part?

February 2, 2012 | 02:33 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Yes, Hondo is Bobcat based. It just seems to be a major revision of Brazos that further enhances changes to a mature 40 nm process from TSMC. No new features, but a better TDP as compared to the original Brazos.

February 2, 2012 | 02:45 PM - Posted by DieHard (not verified)

Still no sign of 28nm FX processors.

February 2, 2012 | 04:47 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I doubt there will be any 28 nm FX processors. My guess is that all desktop will go to APUs after mid-2013. Only server will have the more dedicated CPUs. And even then I think servers will eventually go to APUs due to the GPGPU potential, especially if HSA does build a foundation.

February 3, 2012 | 12:58 AM - Posted by Operandi

I don’t really see why the future of AMDs processors being APU precludes them from making FX (or other higher-end) processors.

A big part of HSA (Fusion or whatever they want to call it) is the performance potential it offers. Even if AMD never even matches Intel in x86 performance again having a very capable GCN GPU onboard the CPU could make for very compelling high-end product for workstation and enthusiast class machines as well as servers.

February 2, 2012 | 04:30 PM - Posted by amd hater and ex fanbuoy (not verified)

so is it tamesh or temash.

amd cant make up their minds in their slides and their text on the analyst and blog pages of their own site at

this company is such a poor example of the human species.

it sucks to be an amd fanboy. i really do wonder why i stick with amd all these years and decades already.

i should better kill my enthusiasm and very self.

February 2, 2012 | 06:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


February 2, 2012 | 05:49 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

I didn't see any 8 core desktop parts for 2012.

So I'll probably have to buy Intel and look at AMD again in 4 years.

February 2, 2012 | 06:06 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

AMD is showing in the last slide the 4 to 8 core Piledriver based part. Unless of course you are looking for an 8 module/16 core chip?

February 2, 2012 | 08:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So what is going to replace the E350?

February 2, 2012 | 09:47 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Well, I would imagine something along the lines of... a part clocked the same, but pulls less power. E-360?

Along those same lines we will probably see something like a 18 watt TDP part with faster graphics clock and core speeds up to 1.8 GHz.

Nothing official yet, this is just speculation.

February 3, 2012 | 10:06 PM - Posted by Uncle Bob (not verified)

AMD will continue to deliver desktop CPUs beyond Vishera even though some folks are in suspense because they are not disclosed on the slides. Those old enough to remember the launch of Athlon should have a smile on their face as they will still be able to purchase good AMD desktop CPUs in '13-'14. That's all I can tell you for now. ;)

February 14, 2012 | 10:56 PM - Posted by campdude (not verified)

Its kindof nice that it "looks" like AM3+ will be supported for quite some time. The server roadmap even has AM3+....

If piledriver is in thier 2013 slide and they meet the rumor target for 2012 release of piledriver....

THEN: Hopefully a "refresh" of CPU line up in 2013 would be nice(with more preformance than 2012 release hopefully)
THEN one last kicker cpu 2013/2014 with really high clock speeds before they wind down the AM3+ platform.

Thats what I'm hoping for... I'll probably wait too long and be forced into buying a server CPU for my desktop... (nah im smarter than that this time around... had to get an opteron 180 for my S939 to go from single core to dual core previous system)

February 6, 2012 | 07:27 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

HSA finally
I suspect AMD will be Kickass by 2013-2014 meanwhile trinty should
outsell Lano and BD combined as well they should take 1/3 of mobile platforms by then.

February 7, 2012 | 10:57 PM - Posted by Uncle Bob (not verified)


June 13, 2012 | 10:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Amd 2014 will be great, but Intel by then would have 3.4 Ghz i9 or 11 8core, integrated intel5000 graphics :P

prediction amd 2014 is similar to the phenom core lines except more radeon cores with higher clock speeds ;)
Amd is going to be the best "balanced" processor in terms of computing power and graphical power.

estimate 2014:

Amd APU, cuda core: 120 (or 320) ^AMD APUS dont ever use CUDA cores?^ or radeon cores 480 (725/930mhz) - 820 (725/1130mhz)
2.5 ghz - 4.2 Ghz

works with the dedicated graphics 7xxx series, or the 8xxx series...

February 4, 2013 | 07:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

AMD FX - 8530 Stock clock speed 5.0 Ghz, and no thats not a typo ;) you wont here about this for a bit but keep an eye out for this bombshell

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