First of all, Intel and AMD processors are designed to run the exact same code! However, each company has its own recipe for success. So, forgetting that both products are used for the same exact purpose, each company has its own implementation, its own ‘special sauce’.
So, in fact, there are even quite significant differences within the product ranges of both companies, due to the fact that a processor is not always made in the same way. After all, both companies have made major changes to their base architectures over the years. That is exactly why AMD suffered for several years being unable to rival Intel. But it quickly started to change the trend after the launch of Zen architecture in 2017, bringing several unexpected improvements.
That is, to explain in a simplified way, AMD Ryzen are very different from Bulldozer processors, which in turn were quite different from the old Athlon II and Phenom II. However, the same is true on the Intel side. The current range of Intel Core processors is quite different from the predecessor ranges Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo, which in turn is also quite different from the old Pentium 4. Interestingly, both companies also have ranges of CPUs designed only and only for applications less demanding (Low Power) like Intel Atom and AMD Puma. (Very different from solutions focused on performance)
Both bet on x86 processors!
Having said all this, as you can imagine, there are several common elements among all these products. Since they all work by breaking complex x86 instructions into simpler instructions so that execution units can do their job.
Yes, all Intel and AMD processors have execution units capable of running in parallel. With a kind of operations queue, where it will be possible to process several types of information at the same time. In addition to this, we also have the use of speculative execution, which basically serves to predict what will happen in order to increase the speed of processing. (A feature that gave rise to the recent Specter and Meltdown vulnerabilities.)
In parallel, both companies have very similar technology to allow a core to be able to offer two processing threads (HyperThreading on the Intel side and SMT on the AMD side). Of course, both Intel and AMD processors use 3 levels of super-fast access cache memory to avoid going to RAM. A small one with super fast access, another one a little bigger but slower and another one even bigger and of course a little slower. (Despite its actual speed, RAM is too slow to meet the needs of a modern CPU.)
As you may know, both companies have also been playing with multi-core processors for some years now! Although AMD was' to blame 'for Intel's recent gamble on this world of many ‘colors' (basically more than 4)
A big difference in this field is the fact that AMD uses a modular technique while Intel prefers to create its processor using a single piece of silicon. (AMD builds its home (CPU) using several bricks, while Intel creates its home from a single giant piece of stone.)
That's why AMD was able to reach 7nm first, since not all die components are 7nm. (Only Zen 2 cores are made on the TSMC lines.) In the meantime, Intel continues to struggle with its 10nm process. However, this also has some disadvantages on the AMD side, as there is some lag in accessing shared memory within these processors.
Interestingly, the only big difference you will notice between these two giants when looking at both platforms, is the way you put the processor on the motherboard! Since AMD prefers to put the pins in the processor itself, while Intel prefers to have the pins in the board socket. (LGA on the Intel side vs. PGA on the AMD side).
Furthermore, what do you think about all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.
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