Hope it works out for them, didn't Intel just release dual core Atoms?
AMD must be tired of playing catchup.
Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.
Dual-core Atom is no big shakes performance wise. All of AMD's Ontario parts will be dual-core, and dual-core Ontario will destroy dual-core Atom clock-for-clock. Due to the differences between an in-order (Atom) and out-of-order (Ontario) architecture, it's almost impossible for Ontario *not* to beat Atom in raw performance.
At the same time, Atom will always draw much less power and fit into much smaller devices. It's a trade-off.
I'll drop a caveat in there for Joel and say, "in theory" because we haven't tested it... YET. :)
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I think we are fast approaching a time when Intel will be again playing catch up. More and more we are hearing how the GPU is playing a more important role in computers now and in the future. People want rich multimedia and that is where AMD if they play their cards right should start to shine. Intel when then be playing catch up as they attempt to get a decent GPU out to market.
Again though on a clock for clock basis Intel is hands down champ but this is changing with every passing month.
I read an article in Computer Power User July 2008 edition and they compare an awesome GPU paired up with a crappy CPU and the result is horrible, and they do the same thing with the killer CPU paired with a crappy GPU yep you guessed it the results were atrocious.
My point is AMD has both CPU and GPU that are very respectable more so on the GPU side but their CPU is nothing to scoff at.
Alright, alright, I'll agree to "in theory," but I think this is about as solid a fact as we've ever been able to predict. Not only is one CPU in-order and one OoO, Atom was specifically designed for low-power. Atom's ALU and FPU are as trimmed down as they can be; the chip shares certain execution units with the FPU (despite a heavy performance penalty) because Intel focused Atom on low power above *all* else.
Another good example is the chip's lopsided L1 cache. Instead of having a matched cache (32K Instruction, 32K Data), Atom has a 24K data cache. When Intel unveiled the chip's cache sizes, the company said it trimmed 8K of data cache off to make the die smaller and lower the chip's power consumption.
Trimming 8K of cache off a modern chip is like slicing a carrot so thin that the individual slivers are translucent. The fact that Intel did it anyway is evidence of how seriously the company wanted to cut Atom's power consumption. Bobcat *isn't* tuned for the same low power consumption, and evidence of this is all throughout the architecture.
Unless AMD/TSMC catastrophically screws something up, the chips look like this:
Ontario *will* outperform Atom in absolute performance.
It *should* be able to do so while offering improved battery life compared to previous AMD chips and roughly comparable battery life compared to Atom netbooks.
AMD *may* be able to offer a Bobcat at a superior performance-per-watt ratio to that of Atom depending on how the chip's frequency and power consumption scales.
Remember, beating Atom is easy. Everything in AMD's existing product line beats Atom, everything else in Intel's product line beats Atom, and there's not much Intel can do to tweak the chip's performance--Moorestown's enhancements are almost all aimed at improving power consumption.
If Bobcat starts cutting into Atom sales, Intel could respond by poking clockspeed higher on the dual-core flavor (2GHz should be an easy jump) or by pulling the CULV options into lower price points. It could even ally itself with NVIDIA's ION to gain a strong GPU component, though I think a wee bit too much water has passed under that bridge.
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