AMD Realizes That Bulldozer Has 800 Million LESS Transistors Than It Thought!
This is a bit unusual. I got an email from AMD PR this week asking me to correct the Bulldozer transistor count in our Sandy Bridge E review. The incorrect number, provided to me (and other reviewers) by AMD PR around 3 months ago was 2 billion transistors. The actual transistor count for Bulldozer is apparently 1.2 billion transistors. I don't have an explanation as to why the original number was wrong, just that the new number has been triple checked by my contact and is indeed right. The total die area for a 4-module/8-core Bulldozer remains correct at 315 mm².
Yes, something as basic as how many transistors are in their flagship product wasn't known about until months after the launch! This kind of info would be common knowledge within the company by the time the first tape-out is ready during the design and testing phase, so surely this cannot be and there must be some other explanation? If this is an attempt to make the processor look better by showing it "doing more with less", then this PR stunt has backfired spectacularly and it would have been better to have left the "error" as it was. Paradoxically, FX processors are a sales success and are flying off the shelves as we just reported, here.