[Tom’s Hardware] UK Regulator Approves AMD’s Xilinx Acquisition

1 : Anonymous2021/06/30 13:11 ID: oax1ni
[Tom's Hardware] UK Regulator Approves AMD's Xilinx Acquisition
2 : Anonymous2021/06/30 14:16 ID: h3k9idf

what does this mean for the average pc user?

ID: h3kctfb

Now? Just about nothing, down the line AMD may be building FPGAs into CPUs and GPUs to accelerate certain code, possibly into the IO die. This will take several years though and will most likely come to data center first

ID: h3kkyo7

So correct me if I'm dense but does an FPGAs just mean you can program it to be a workhorse for certain apps / functions within a datacenter / server environment without sacrificing core performance?

ID: h3kpm1j

xilinix also has better memory controllers and io serdes modules than amd IIRC so we could see better IO dies all around

ID: h3lha4n

They already have filed a patent for this in 2019:

Basically: Generate new x86 instructions (for example, but could also be on a GPU) on the fly, for specific tasks.

ID: h3l248j


ID: h3lzyug

While it would be cool to see what could be done with a CPU that has an integrated FPGA, wouldn't it be still more efficient to have multiple ASICs for different functions like Apple does with the M1? Though, I guess it doesn't hurt to have one FPGA in addition to multiple ASICs.

ID: h3m1r32

oh goody

ID: h3kxq4n

i’m wondering if intel did any similar things (ie, incorporate fpga tech into their CPUs) with their altera acquisition?

ID: h3kvzjy

Potentially access to the best video encoder IP on the market. Xilinx Video encoders are so good.

ID: h3lqb1i

A lot of people saying "nothing", but let me give you a few examples of things that can be done with just one aspect of this merger: small, integrated FPGAs within CPU execution units, also known in this patent app as 'PEUs'. Please read the link to learn more about this tech.

This has me really excited about the future of AMD a a company, as well as the potential advances in computing.

Examples where PEUs can change computing:

PEUs can process instructions that haven't been invented yet. For example, in the machine learning field, new instructions are being made almost every few months to accelerate ML workloads (bfloat16, AMX, TF32, etc), and hardware manufacturers have to bake these instructions into the silicon to be able to process them. A PEU/FPGA doesn't require new silicon for new instructions (unlike GPUs and basically any form of fixed function hardware), and old piece of hardware with a PEU can still process brand new data types/instructions, without requiring replacement/upgrade. Being so close to the execution pipeline of the CPU, PEUs can potentially accelerate anything that can be accelerated. For example, a PEU can be programmed to accelerate (using some custom instruction) common functions used within a program. For example video encoding, compiling, compression/decompression, scientific computations, cryptography, sorting, etc etc etc. The only limitation to what can be accelerated is the number of configurable logic blocks (CLBs) the PEUs have. PEU acceleration happens at the program level, so the programmer owns the IP for the custom instruction used to accelerate their program, and not the hardware vendor or some third-party organization. This is huge, as this provides incentive for software engineers to accelerate their own programs as efficiently as possible, so that they can patent the IP used to accelerate them. This transforms AMD hardware from a commodity item to a platform / ecosystem on which third-party software engineers have an interest and stake in. Imagine Adobe creating a custom instruction to accelerate rendering on AMD CPUs within their software. They will be incentivized to do this because they will own this acceleration IP for their program. Or imagine zero-performance cost, lossless video encoding. Imagine on-the-fly compression/decompression. Imagine real-time encryption/decryption with zero performance loss. etc etc. This would all be built around an AMD hardware ecosystem, so it is a self-driving, self-reinforcing buy-in effect. As AMD hardware capability expands, so too does the buy-in from third-party software engineers. The most important aspect of this is that AMD makes access to PEUs as frictionless as possible. PEUs allow for more exotic and efficient forms of computing, by allowing any combination of look-up tables (LUTs), resizeable caches, DSP slices, alongside regular execution logic. All fully reprogrammable. PEUs can eliminate 'dark silicon' and wasted die area that is used for legacy x86 code PEUs can be ISA-agnostic (meaning an x86-based AMD CPU can potentially run ARM64, RISC-V, Power, etc, code, or it can run a completely custom ISA)

This is just one aspect of the merger that I'm excited about. FPGAs also have a massively bright future in ML-inferencing, machine vision (automotive and industrial), communication, networking, among others.

As a side note, I believe FPGA programmers have a very bright future. Would be worth specializing in if anyone is looking for a career path in IC.

Also, edit: I don't think I entirely answered your question about what the average PC user would experience. I think most of the changes will be behind the scenes, and the net effect would be everything has the ability to perform much faster.

ID: h3ls4bx

thanks for the informative reply!

ID: h3kd37i

If Intel's acquisition of Altera is anything to go by.... not much probably.

Xilinx are best known for FPGAs, and whilst there is obviously going to be some useful technology overlap, especially in HPC and video encoding, I would guess AMD are trying to get into different markets, rather than acquiring technology to bolster their existing ones.

ID: h3kifx8

Intel kind of has a history of not properly taking advantage of IP they buy. I have quite a bit more confidence the Xilinx merger will very quickly result in new integrated tech. At the very least AMD's software stack will get a major boost.

ID: h3kiq6k

Intel integrated Altera way too quickly. They forced Altera to delay upcoming products in the near future to use Intel's process nodes, causing Altera to fall behind. And the continued process delays hampered Altera. I believe Intel has allowed Altera to use TSMC again to have more consistent product releases, while Intel fabs sort out their issues.

ID: h3lxweq

xilinx is used to dealing with 3d packaging and advanced interconnects, which is also the route AMD is taking. part of the merger is probably bringing in that expertise.

ID: h3lswn2

A programable security enclave built onto the CPU.

Intel already released one for Ice Lake Server, but that's on the motherboard.

It would really help with servers as AMDs current solution permanently locks CPUs to specific OEMs.

For home use it would mean having some of the CPU bootstrap code and firmware stored on the CPU itself, so there would be less need to update a BIOS for new CPUs. Along with better security.

ID: h3kiene

Nothing. But this gives AMD access to Tensor core IP that they can integrate into their GPUs and a vast amount of tenso

-ai acceleration IP and libraries and talent that understands it all. It equalizes AMD and Nvidia for HPC/AI. Think of XILNX acquisition as Mellanox + Tenso gains but for AMD.

ID: h3ktkp2

Tensor core

That's an Nvidia specific term, tensor by itself would not be. AMD tends to refer to the individual "components" in the silicon as "units".

I believe it is likely that they won't build separate dedicated units on the silicon for tensor operations, until or unless they transition to multi-chip modules, and even then, I am not so sure they will do so. It seems more likely to me that any tensor acceleration hardware will be built into the compute or shader units, much like RNDA2's is.

With this acquisition though, they are acquiring a bunch of new knowledge, IP, and personell, that should allow them to improve their entire product stack, in various ways.

ID: h3nuz69

AMD has their own Matrix Cores on MI100.

ID: h3p5s3x

Not much. This fills a gap in AMDs capabilities and Xilinx makes chips that are very much in demand. In fact they pioneered their field in the 90s. The TLDR is Intel is now being genuinely challenged in places besides desktop PCs.

3 : Anonymous2021/06/30 20:18 ID: h3lnqt8

No wonder their stock is up 5% today.

ID: h3ly6ur

that's also because intel slipped on its release schedule again.

ID: h3lz39e

Oh yea that's right. I forgot about that.

4 : Anonymous2021/06/30 13:12 ID: h3k1s8h


5 : Anonymous2021/06/30 17:09 ID: h3kxebs

bri ish?

ID: h3ll75c

Pak stan?

6 : Anonymous2021/06/30 14:27 ID: h3kb081

Intel bought Altera; what makes AMD buying Xilinx any different. Btw Altera & Xilinx were top 2 manufacturers of FPGAs.

ID: h3kb8f6

Did anyone claim that it was different?

ID: h3kcmys

I guess what's different is that when AMD bought Altera there still was some independent major FPGA designer left, now there are none.

This isn't good for competition and innovation.

ID: h3kdtiv

I guess what's different is that when AMD Intel bought Altera there still was some independent major FPGA designer left, now there are none.


ID: h3kpcud

This isn't good for competition and innovation.

How so?

It's not like Xilinx and Altera are now part of the same corporation. I don't see how them being owned by AMD and Intel respectively hurts competition or innovation when AMD and Intel are fierce competitors and this competition has caused innovation in the CPU market.

ID: h3l4qqk

This isn't good for competition and innovation.

This doesn't affect competition. It would affect competition if say, Xilinx bought Altera, but AMD buying out Xilinx doesn't have that effect as both companies are mutually exclusive in their target markets.

7 : Anonymous2021/06/30 15:08 ID: h3kgnfz

Private companies have to ask permission from the government to perform a transaction?

ID: h3khuy9

Absolutely. There are regulations in place (that are consistently being ignored by American administration re:Disney/Fox/Marvel) meant to prevent the monopolization of markets by a small number or even one company. In the United States there are similar laws in place. It doesn't matter if you are public or private.. as long as the company is forthright in its application and the aquisition doesn't adversely effect competition (this one is meant to bring AMD into a new manufacturing market rather than bolster their main one into a monopoly) it is likely to be approved.

The modern question is whether or not a closed standard (like a singular app store) constitutes a monopoly unlike agreed upon ISO standards that companies create to standardize production and interactivity between brands within markets.

ID: h3khwa9

For special type of transaction, especially mergers and acquisitions, to ensure compliance with anti competition laws.

ID: h3m9gpi

If you want to prevent monopolies then yes. Someone has to supervise.

ID: h3m1ijm

Idk why you get downvoted for asking a question fr

ID: h3mnr91

The question is obviously rhetorical.

8 : Anonymous2021/07/01 00:12 ID: h3mhda1

Im looking forward to the price jump in AMD stock and to watch intel fall .. Epic ! So calls on AMD and puts on Intel .. Wink wink

9 : Anonymous2021/07/01 01:00 ID: h3mmye3

All aboard the FPGA hypetrain.

ID: h3mntiq

That's a weird thing to get hyped about. FPGAs aren't exactly new tech.

ID: h3mw0x2

I am more excited as to what it means for new developments in reconfigurable computing now that the top two FPGA companies are owned by the top two processor companies in the world. Not everything has to be about games and AI my man.

10 : Anonymous2021/07/01 08:30 ID: h3ntokk

what happens to AMD stocks?

11 : Anonymous2021/06/30 14:36 ID: h3kc8qx

Processor S.A.N.D.R.A. Arithmetic increase from "3900X" to "5950X"
To keep it short and sweet: [ looking like a 50% performance increase ]
Arctic MX-4 RAM 3333MHz
top core speeds 5015, 4990,4988,4940 MHz ----NOT in Ryzen Master to start
Peak Current 122.6 AMPS, Peak Package Watts 141.64, Peak Thermal -- Temp 86C [BTW idles like a 3900X in desktop, Thermal Protection SET in BIOS D'Oh!]
TEST Software Sandra Processor Arithmetic
Aggregate Native Performance : 428.32GOPS -- 3900X
Benchmark Results
Aggregate Native Performance : 603.16GOPS -- 5950X
Dhrystone Integer Native AVX2 : 779.75GIPS
Dhrystone Long Native AVX2 : 795.89GIPS
Whetstone Single-float Native AVX/FMA : 511.52GFLOPS
Whetstone Double-float Native AVX/FMA : 425.56GFLOPS

ID: h3lhg0o

Hey duder i think you put this comment in the wrong post


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