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Monday, 11 April 2011 08:38

Llano delay helped yields

Written by Fuad Abazovic


32nm is now fine for AMD
Six plus months ago AMD was working hard to launch Llano, and around September 2010 they finally admitted that they have to delay Llano but at least they managed to speed up the introduction of the 40nm Brazos platform.

The reason for delays, as you can imagine, were very poor yields. Most of chips didn’t work and AMD simply had to delay the launch. The reason was quite simple, the lack of Tick - Tock strategy at AMD. Llano is AMD's first 32nm chip with a new architecture, and if you look at Intel, you simply never see them making a brand new architecture on a new process. This is why Intel uses the so-called Tick – Tock approach where a new process is always used for a shrunk core rather than a new architecture, eg Sandy Bridge at 32nm, and the second chip on eg 22nm is Ivy Bridge which is more or less shrink of the Sandy bridge architecture. This is a lot safer than simply launching an entirely new 22nm chip with a new architecture.

The reason is quite simple, making a new architecture on a new process is a recipe for disaster as you double the number of factors that can go wrong. AMD has experienced this with Llano. This strategy didn’t work for Swift, the first Fusion that got canceled, and it resulted with a delay of second Fusion, Llano for at least three quarters. The good news is that Llano now has good yields. We are looking at good availability at launch, but again you won't see too many design wins at first, but they will get more of them with time.

Llano will be a nice CPU with a very good graphics performance, so good that it will be able to put a lot of pressure on the mainstream market in general.
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Comments  

 
-52 #1 rundll 2011-04-11 09:01
Quote:
"...Tick – Tock approach where a new process is always used for a shrunk core rather than a new architecture, eg Sandy Bridge at 32nm"


Sandy Bridge IS NOT a die shrink. It IS a new architecture.
 
 
+58 #2 hellfire 2011-04-11 09:18
Quoting rundll:
Sandy Bridge IS NOT a die shrink. It IS a new architecture.



erm..can you even read? Nehalem was a new arch. on OLD tech process, Clarckdale was same Nehalem on a NEW 32nm process, SB is a new architecture on OLD tech process. Ivy Bridge will be an "old" SB architecture on a NEW tech process. It cant get any clearer to understand
 
 
+15 #3 dcon 2011-04-11 10:11
When When When..............I can't wait for this...... :-*
 
 
+15 #4 Vithren 2011-04-11 10:13
"The reason was quite simple, the lack of Tick - Tock strategy at AMD. Llano is AMD's first 32nm chip with a new architecture, and if you look at Intel, you simply never see them making a brand new architecture on a new process(...)" - oh no-you-didn't! So NOW it's "new architecture", while months ago were you wining about Llano being K8 architecture? Oh, funny, my poor friend.

Btw: no shrink is simple, every involves changes, every is a new "design", in a way. Husky cores in Llano are a shrink of K10.5, yes, but they are modified and they are changed, like every shrink and new design. Ivy Bridge also will be a modified SB etc.
You should know those things.
 
 
+11 #5 ramcoza 2011-04-11 11:05
Btw: no shrink is simple, every involves changes, every is a new "design", in a way. Husky cores in Llano are a shrink of K10.5, yes, but they are modified and they are changed, like every shrink and new design. Ivy Bridge also will be a modified SB etc.
You should know those things.

But still simpler than putting a completely new architecture on a new tech process..
 
 
+5 #6 yourma2000 2011-04-11 13:20
I don't think yields will matter that much to price since AMD said they're only going to pay for working dies rather than the whole wafer, the only thing it will effect is availability, I prefer it this way as you're not choosing between a new architecture or a new fab process when upgrading because you're getting both
 
 
+12 #7 nele 2011-04-11 13:36
Quoting Vithren:
"The reason was quite simple, the lack of Tick - Tock strategy at AMD. Llano is AMD's first 32nm chip with a new architecture, and if you look at Intel, you simply never see them making a brand new architecture on a new process(...)" - oh no-you-didn't! So NOW it's "new architecture", while months ago were you wining about Llano being K8 architecture? Oh, funny, my poor friend.

Btw: no shrink is simple, every involves changes, every is a new "design", in a way. Husky cores in Llano are a shrink of K10.5, yes, but they are modified and they are changed, like every shrink and new design. Ivy Bridge also will be a modified SB etc.
You should know those things.


Well, K10.5+ or whatever you want to call it is ultimately derived from the good old K8...

Yes, every new generation and die shrink is tweaked, optimized, modernized, but a truly new architecture is something else.

As you said, Ivy won't be a new architecture, and in many respects neither were the K10 and K10.5, whereas Bulldozer on the other hand is a an entirely new design...
 
 
+4 #8 pogsnet 2011-04-11 14:46
April 19 is the possible launch for Llano but its up to the partners as AMD said.


We will see them this month. Quad cores 1.8Ghz I think, and faster versions soon.
 
 
+7 #9 Nubstick 2011-04-11 18:21
Quote:
Llano delay helped yields



More like shitty yields delayed llano.

Also, what's with the sudden change in Fraud's opinion from "Llano is just original Athlon architecture" to "Llano is completely new architecture?" We know Llano is a revision of the Phenom core, what's really new is that this is their first GPU on SOI.
 
 
+2 #10 The_Countess 2011-04-11 21:35
Quoting Nubstick:
what's really new is that this is their first GPU on SOI.

and first GPU on a non-bulk process, and first GPU on 32nm's.

i have a feeling the yield problems were mostly found in the GPU part of the chip.
 

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