Things seems to take an interesting turn in the Bulldozer story as it appears that, contrary to what we previously knew, AMD's upcoming high-performance desktop chips will be compatible with older AM3 motherboards via a simple BIOS update.
The news comes from the Hardware-Infos website that spoke with various motherboard makers present at CeBIT and found out that Bulldozer will be compatible with AM3 motherboards.
Furthermore, at least one AMD board partner has managed to run a Bulldozer sample inside a socket AM3 board by simply building a special BIOS version.
No details regarding the performance of the Bulldozer processor when paired together with an AM3 motherboard were provided, but it is expected that there will be some sort of performance penalty as AM3+ boards are expected to support higher HyperTransport and memory speeds as well as a wider connection between the Northbridge and Southbridge.
The news is extremely surprising considering that just last year AMD said that retaining AM3 compatibility for Bulldozer wasn't possible without having to drop some of its features.
All that AMD was capable of doing, in order to ease its users' transition to the new architecture, was to make the AM3+ socket compatible with existing AM3 CPUs.
Other details are not available at this moment regarding Bulldozer's compatibility with AM3 motherboards, and we don't know if going this route (if the news is indeed true) will disable any of the CPU's features, such as Turbo Core 2.0 or its advanced power gating technology.
Bulldozer is AMD's next-generation high-performance CPU architecture that was designed from the ground up in order to eliminate some of the redundancies that come with traditional multi-core designs and a Bulldozer module should be able to deliver about 92% of the throughput of a similar native dual-core chip.