Bulldozer rolls out of AMD

AMD has announced that it has started shipping its first processors based on its new x86 “Bulldozer” architecture.

Billed as the world’s first 16-core x86 processor, the chip codenamed “Interlagos,” has been being built since August.

Now AMD says that it has licked the stamp and mailed them to its OEM chums.

Interlagos is supposed to be compatible with existing AMD Opteron 6100 Series platforms and infrastructure, and should be seen in the shops in time for Christmas. It will be known from now on as the less identifable name of Opteron 6200.

It will be pin-compatible with Socket G34 (Magny-Cours/Opteron 6100) motherboards.

AMD tells us that many of the initial shipments have been earmarked for large custom supercomputer installations that are now underway. That makes sense as until Intel pulls out its finger and gets its Intel’s Knights Ferry in the shops, AMD’s cheaper-than-Xeon chip should be the only thing any one wants to see in their supercomputer..

AMD Rick Bergman, senior vice president, said that the ‘Bulldozer’ core represents the beginning of unprecedented performance scaling for x86 CPUs.

He used lots of words like “flexibile” but when he mentioned things like datacentre and scalability we nodded off. Fortunately he did not mention the word storage or else we would be still snoozing.

However one question he did not answer was when will the 8-core Bulldozer-based desktop-oriented Zambezi CPU come out.

Word on the street is that AMD cant get Bulldozer cores to clock speeds that would be competitive with Intel’s Core i7.

Pushing out the less interesting Interlagos chip first seems to indicate that there might be some truth to this rumour. Given that Zambezi was supposed to herald a golden dawn of competition with Intel it is sad that the outfit can’t move fast enough.

At this rate Intel will have the next generation of Sandy Bridge-E processors in the shops first and then it would be “good night Vienna” to any golden dawn and hello Dante’s Inferno.