Rumour: AMD to revive "FX" branding with Bulldozer

AMD's Bulldozer is set to receive the "FX" branding, which has been absent since the Athlon 64 FX-70 back in 2006, according to DonanimHaber. The flagship 4-module, 8-core CPU Zambezi will be branded as Vision Black FX. 4-core and 6-core Bulldozer CPUs will be branded as Ultimate Vision FX.

In the past, AMD's "FX" branding was an equivalent to Intel's "Extreme Edition" moniker. The resulting products are flagships with unlocked multipliers and exorbitant ~$1000 price tags. However, since the onslaught of Intel's "Core" CPUs, AMD has been restricted to the <$300 market, with no FX CPUs. Bulldozer is AMD's most major architectural change since K8 in 2003, and arguably since K7 in 1999. Judging by the rumoured branding, it is entirely possible that the branding will be radically altered as well, with "FX" not signifying the high-end, extreme performance (and price tag) as it did in AMD's glory days. However, DonanimHaber does indicate that AMD are confident of Bulldozer's performance. Whether it will be a match for Intel's Gulftown (let alone the 8-core Sandy Bridge CPU) remains to be seen.

Bulldozer is set to release with a new platform based around AMD's upcoming 900 series chipset. While previously expected to be AM3 compatible, Bulldozer is now based on an pin-compatible AM3+ platform. Current AM3 Athlon/Phenom CPUs will be compatible with the 900 series, although there is no solid information of the level of compatibility of Bulldozer with previous AM3 motherboards. Certainly, some features will be disabled, at least.

AMD is expected to release Bulldozer in Q2 2011.

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