AMD Prepares 16-Core Processor with Integrated PCI Express 3.0 Controller

The 8-module chip hasn't been given a name quite yet, unfortunately

By on January 17th, 2014 10:38 GMT

Even though its past attempts at marketing processors with more than 4-6 cores met with failure, or near-failure, Advanced Micro Devices continues to explore the concept of chips with more than the regular set of computing units.

The latest thing we have learned on this matter is that Advanced Micro Device is preparing a 16-core central processing unit.

And we do mean a 16-core CPU, not to be confused with the latest accelerated processing units which can tentatively be called 12-core units because they have 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores.

The upcoming 16-core CPU won't be the same as the Opteron 6300-series "Abu Dhabi" either, even though more information on those would not go amiss.

According to some developer documents that the Sunnyvale, California-based company published not long ago, the 16-core unit is, for now, called Family 15h Models 30h – 3fh.

And we do mean 16-core unit, not a pair of eight dual-core modules molded together. It's an actual, 8-module, 16-core die, with four HyperTransport links.

That doesn't really tell us anything, and we do have to wonder how AMD's customers actually bear using that so-called name when it doesn't roll off the tongue at all.

Anyway, the 16-core processor will have a full uncore. Uncore is a term used to describe the functions of a microprocessor that are not in the Core, but which are essential for Core performance.

The QPI controllers, L3 cache, snoop agent pipeline, on-die memory controller, and Thunderbolt controllers all make up the Uncore.

Usually, the PCI Express and SPI are part of the chipset, not the Uncore, but AMD intends for the Family 15h Models 30h – 3fh to be the first with full Uncore though. The first in its own portfolio at least. Thus, the PCI Express gen 3.0 root complex will be included in the Uncore.

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