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[] AMD Orochi ''Bulldozer'' Die Holds 16 MB Cache - - different look at memory


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Old 25-09-2010, 01:20 AM   #1
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[] AMD Orochi ''Bulldozer'' Die Holds 16 MB Cache

Documents related to the "Orochi" 8-core processor by AMD based on its next-generation Bulldozer architecture reveal its cache hierarchy that comes as a bit of a surprise. Earlier this month, at a GlobalFoundries hosted conference, AMD displayed the first die-shot of the Orochi die, which legibly showed key features including the four Bulldozer modules which hold two cores each, and large L2 caches. In coarse visual inspection, the L2 cache of each module seems to cover 35% of its area. L3 cache is located along the center of the die. The documents seen by X-bit Labs reveal that each Bulldozer module has its own 2 MB L2 cache shared between two cores, and an L3 cache shared between all four modules (8 cores) of 8 MB.

This takes the total cache count of Orochi all the way up to 16 MB. This hierarchy suggests that AMD wants to give individual cores access to a large amount of faster cache (that's a whopping 2048 KB compared to 512 KB per core on Phenom, and 256 KB per core on Core i7), which facilitates faster inter-core, intra-module communication. Inter-module communication is enhanced by the 8 MB L3 cache. Compared to the current "Istanbul" six-core K10-based die, that's a 77% increase in cache amount for a 33% core count increase, 300% increase in L2 cache per core. Orochi is built on a 32 nm GlobalFoundries process, it is sure to have a very high transistor count.

Source: Xbit Labs

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