In this half-year, Intel has stopped hiding that its upcoming Alder Lake consumer processors for next fall will use a hybrid architecture with a combination of large and compact cores. But AMD believes that the time for such layout solutions has not yet come to the desktop segment, although it keeps its finger on the pulse of trends.
As Joe Macri, AMD Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, explains, big.LITTLE itself has been on the market for over fifteen years, it isn’t new, but to make it successful in the consumer sector, it takes a fundamental rework operating systems and software. Existing task schedulers strive for symmetry, effectively managing data flows for large and small cores at the same time is very difficult.
An AMD spokesman declined to discuss even the theoretical timing of the introduction of such a hybrid layout in the company’s processors, but admitted that it would never use such an architecture just for marketing purposes. “We will not do this just to get more (cores)”, – explained Joe Macri.
Adding the number of cores at the expense of small functional blocks, according to him, will be pointless until their resources can be effectively used by the software ecosystem. The successes that AMD has now achieved with “large” cores, according to Macri, could not have been achieved with “small” ones. Over time, he admits, AMD may need to use small cores, but the software should be radically rebuilt by that time. If such changes are not noticeable to the end consumer, then there is no point in introducing them.
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