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When I talk to people who are not in the GPU business everyone is always amazed how big and complex the chips are -- almost 670 million transistors for an HD38xx and climbing. CPUs are typically smaller (a Phenom is ~460 million), and if you look at die shots much more of the CPU is cache memory than on a GPU. Even an RV610, which pretty much only has 1 of everything (2 4-way SIMD blocks, 1 quad texture, 1 quad ROP), is still almost 200 million transistors.
I have to admit that 100,000 is a guess -- I have never actually counted it all; I know that the one time I did start counting I got close to 10,000 pages pretty quickly and hadn't made a big dent in the documentation tree. A lot of it is auto-generated or in databases, so at least it doesn't all have to be typed in.
Most of the time we get lucky and don't have to dig into the really detailed stuff, or we would need as many people to read it as it took to write it
The worst part is the "my head's gonna burst" feeling we get when starting on a new generation of GPUs. We're feeling it right now with the R6xx
These transistor numbers are crazy One thing is to be pack to many small things into such a small die, another is that they actually do something! Crazy!
I can't help but wonder how all the documentation is backed up
Do AMD have a Batman type of cave under the HQ with 1 meter concrete walls all around where the tapes and harddrive a stored and guarded doors looking like bank vaults?
...where the tapes and harddrive a stored and guarded doors looking like bank vaults?
... and no. We use it for underground parking, UPSes for the data center, and a big bunker of diesel fuel for the backup generators
The walls are so thick because there seems to be an underground river flowing through that spot -- when we dug the big hole for the new building the hole mostly filled up with water over the weekend. Backups are all offsite, which is probably good - if anything really bad happened to the data center, I wouldn't want the same thing to happen to our backup tapes