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Through Thorns to the… Cities: AMD Demos 45nm Wafers, Servers on Shanghai Processors.

It has been a tough year for Advanced Micro Devices: first, ATI Radeon HD 2000-series graphics chips did not come out on time, then quad-core AMD Opteron and AMD Phenom chips faced massive delays, then the microprocessor maker found an erratum inside chips based on the latest micro-architecture and afterwards the company delayed introduction of higher performance microprocessors. But maybe the things will change when AMD starts transition to 45nm process technology?

AMD's first 300mm wafers produced using 45nm process technology

At CeBIT 2008 AMD demonstrated its chips made using 45nm process technology for the first time. Unlike usually in such cases, AMD demonstrated not only wafers consisting of new dice, but a functioning system running quad-core AMD processors produced using 45nm fab tech. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to picture a server running them, but we will take the claim as granted…

Screenshot allegedly made on a system based on AMD's quad-core microprocessors produced using 45nm process technology

AMD does not tell exactly when the new chips will hit the mass market, but the history tells us that it is not going to happen really shortly.

The world’s second largest maker of x86 central processing units (CPUs) demonstrated first wafers with its quad-core code-named Barcelona chips for servers at CeBIT 2007, in mid-March. Shipments of such microprocessors started in late August, about five months afterwards.

Theoretically, AMD’s 45nm chips may emerge commercially as early as in four to six months from now, which is in either as early as in late June, or as late as in late August, 2008. It is not clear whether desktop versions of the chips will be considerably behind server versions of microprocessors in terms of timeframe, but it is obvious that it is in AMD’s interest to launch higher-performance desktop CPUs as early as possible.

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