AMD Excavator may be very powerful
AMD’s upcoming Excavator core may turn out to be surprisingly powerful, early rumors suggest. According to them the new core will have dramatic architecture changes including support for 256-bit AVX2 floating point instructions, a fact which hints of a new FPU.
Excavator will be the fourth core based on the Bulldozer architecture and as such it will come with a number of architectural improvements that will bring it much closer to Intel’s high-end processors. What’s known as of now is that Excavator will support all multimedia instructions, found in Intel’s Haswell processor including AVX2, BMI, RDRND and more. The big news is the support for AVX2 instructions that require major architectural changes in order to be implemented. The thing is that while AVX2 works with 256-bit integer instructions, the current Bulldozer FPU only supports 128-bit integer instructions using the XOP instruction set.
The problem for AMD is that by the time Excavator gets on the market Intel will have its Skylake chip that will support AVX 3.2 instructions. In any case in order to be competitive AMD must upgrade the FPUs it integrates in its chips.