Whether this means AMD is moving to a two platform desktop/workstation strategy is unclear. Bobcat architecture based mainstream CPUs for the desktop will follow the introduction of Ontario based notebooks, a new platform known as Brazos. Whether or not the new southbridge with FUSION controller will be part of the AM3+ motherboards is another unknown, but seems likely. Bulldozer will be introduced in server (Interlagos, socket G34 & C32) and desktop (Zambezi, AM3+) markets first. This will be quickly followed by APU based products and mainstream markets. Hopefully AMD is not following Intel's confusing split socket mainstream and enthusiast strategy, and will have a single same-generation CPU (sorry, APU) socket that works for Bulldozer and Bobcat based processors, whether they have GPU capabilities or not.
Probably the most exciting concepts to come from the new technologies surround the smooth integration of the massive parallel processing power of the SIMD combined with the new high-throughput x86 architecture. With both CPU cores and GPU cores having access to shared, low latency memory, a high-performance heterogeneous compute capability exists like never before. We've seen a few applications that can leverage the GPU for problem solving, but once it's a part of the commodity hardware, present in so many platforms and machines, developers can design their applications accordingly, to take full advantage of it.
It will be interesting to see if AMD can reduce the lag of next generation graphics and the technology included in the FUSION APU. The lead time for new generation graphics parts is about 18-24 months from ATI (the next generation of discrete cards was being drawn on napkins in bars while Formula One racing was on, before the HD 4000 was even released), but what about Bobcat and Bulldozer? How long from 'pens down' time, up to working silicon to products in stores? We just don't know how that will shape up yet, so it might be three or four years, if ever, that we see a concurrent new technology launch from APU to high end discrete add in board through to server processor.
We can also expect AMD to trend towards a yearly cadence for refreshing product lines once they have launched Bulldozer and Bobcat products initially, similar to the discrete graphics and mainstream CPU product lines currently employ. AMD is aligning itself to hit the market 'bumps' - where demand is high and new technology sells best. This is typically around major holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving sales, and major OS releases (Windows 7, anyone? Only one guest RSVP'd but didn't make it ...), and back to school. You can maybe add tax refund season in there as well.
Catalyst Is The Key
The Future Is Fusion
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