The Bulldozer's lackluster launch left us all wanting more from AMD, especially given the momentum that Intel has picked up with its Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge series -- that wish may be answered soon. AMD has announced to its partners that the processor codenamed Vishera, using the overcompensating "Piledriver" cores, should hit production queues in Q3 of 2012, with prototypes projected for Q2 2012 alongside the new Volan platform (utilizing AM3+ as Bulldozer does). We don't expect to see any noticeable impact on CPU development as a result of the 28% decay in PC market growth.
The Vishera processor is slated to run on 22nm architecture as does the Ivy Bridge, but the Ivy Bridge series will launch slightly before AMD's new Piledriver cores - likely in Q2 2012. We'll see if Intel's speed damages the success of Vishera. Ivy Bridge will not compete in the hexa- and quad- market heavily until Q4 2012, so Vishera and Volan may have a slight headstart.
We expect Volan will make use of AMD's 990FX northbridge as do the current Bulldozer CPUs.
AMD excels in the sub-$200 market, but Bulldozer was an attempt at a landgrab for Intel's dominated $200+ enthusiast market. We'll keep you updated on how things play out between the two goliaths over the next year.
Next to Hitachi's new 4TB HDD, next year should yield some fantastic advances in hardware!