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Is this the future of AMD’s laptop CPU design? AMD files patent for hybrid computing approach similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE

The patent drawing showcases both the high performance and low power CPUs in the design (Image source: @Underfox3)
The patent drawing showcases both the high performance and low power CPUs in the design (Image source: @Underfox3)
A US patent uncovered by tipster @Underfox3 indicates that AMD is working on a hybrid computing design that appears similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture, with high performance cores paired to power efficient, low-power cores.

Tipster @Underfox3 discovered what appears to be an AMD patent for a hybrid computing CPU architecture. The patent, filed with the US Office of Patents last July describes a "heterogenous processor system" that includes a "lower-feature second processor."

This wording and the drawing sheet attached are very similar to ARM's description of big.LITTLE. While big.LITTLE refers specifically to hybrid computing models leveraging different classes of ARM CPU core, the concept is fundamentally the same as what AMD's evidently doing here.The "high feature processor" and the "low feature processor" have their own L1 Cache, but share access to high-speed L2.

The "low feature processor" implements a sub-set of the ISA features and operates at a lower power/performance level than the "high feature processor." It would be interesting to see exactly how AMD implements this in the x86 space.

Would we see something like BIG.little where full-fledged Zen cores are paired with low-power "little cores?" And would we see this approach on desktop or would it be exclusive to mobility devices like notebooks?

A full-size version of the patent drawing (Image source: @Underfox3)
A full-size version of the patent drawing (Image source: @Underfox3)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 08 > Is this the future of AMD’s laptop CPU design? AMD files patent for hybrid computing approach similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2020-08- 9 (Update: 2020-08- 9)
Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - News Editor
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.