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Thread: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

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    AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    It proposes mixing "high-feature," and "low-feature" CPU cores in a single CPU/APU.
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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    Would a patent even be able to be granted since ARM's big.LITTLE already exists as a prior example?

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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    People call big.LITTLE as a generalised term and I see no reason why this patent wouldn't be permitted because it is around the handling of high and low featured cores and their interaction across the greater package.

    As I understand it, ARMs big.LITTLE architecture is consistent between the small and big cores and anything extra is extraneously accessed and the small cores are just literally "small" cores but are the same as the big ones?

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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    Would a patent even be able to be granted since ARM's big.LITTLE already exists as a prior example?
    This isn't big.LITTLE

    I'm guessing the "small" cores here would have ripped out all the 16/32 bit support and all the garbage x86 CISC baggage like repeat instructions and complex addressing modes that even Intel have told us to avoid for decades.

    It if tries to run an old/complex instruction, the CPU saves context with an illegal instruction trap and the thread gets restored onto a full x86 CPU. That would need OS support, but Linux could adopt that quite quickly so could be interesting for cramming more cores into a server power envelope.

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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    With the way that MS is making windows arm and x86/x64 compatible I've always wondered why AMD haven't pushed harder with making a combo chip (they supposedly were at one point according to google) with both types of cpu's or even an amd cpu with 'x86' instructions co-processor, to offset the impact of virtualisation.

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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    This isn't big.LITTLE
    I was assuming it would count as similar enough to be considered as having prior examples.

    I guess it just depends upon how detailed the patent application is. Probably because most times I hear about patents, it's usually the vague "how did that ever get granted?" type attempting to be used by patent trolls.

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    I'm guessing the "small" cores here would have ripped out all the 16/32 bit support and all the garbage x86 CISC baggage like repeat instructions and complex addressing modes that even Intel have told us to avoid for decades.

    It if tries to run an old/complex instruction, the CPU saves context with an illegal instruction trap and the thread gets restored onto a full x86 CPU. That would need OS support, but Linux could adopt that quite quickly so could be interesting for cramming more cores into a server power envelope.
    It will certainly be interesting to see how things play out. Obviously Intel has something upcoming, and this indicates that AMD does too - even if the article does state that it doesn't guarantee that AMD will make something based on the patent, I suspect it's likely to happen at some point so both companies have another thing to compete against each other with.

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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    Quote Originally Posted by LSG501 View Post
    With the way that MS is making windows arm and x86/x64 compatible I've always wondered why AMD haven't pushed harder with making a combo chip (they supposedly were at one point according to google) with both types of cpu's or even an amd cpu with 'x86' instructions co-processor, to offset the impact of virtualisation.
    They did, the ARM core was being used to run security features rather than as a low power alternative.

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    Re: AMD patent suggests it is looking closely at hybrid CPU designs

    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    I was assuming it would count as similar enough to be considered as having prior examples.
    Only if you look at it as a power saving core and a full core co-operating.

    This is the first I have heard of where some cores are incapable of running all code. The knock on from that is pretty huge.

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