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AMD “Activates the Magic Moment”. Official Beginning of Dual-Core CPUs Shipments.

AMD press conference at Computex 2005 was devoted to the official launch ceremony of the AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor family. In particular, as we have already reported in our News earlier today, they announced the availability of processors for the beginning of commercial shipments, which means that the users will be able to buy the actual products juts a few weeks later.

Henri Richard, AMD Executive Vice President, who was one of the key speakers at the ceremony, said that AMD owes its success to customer-centric innovation strategy. The main idea behind this customer-centric strategy is that they are driving technologies that are important and relevant to their partners and customers. According to AMD statistics, AMD64 technology has already been adopted by more than 200 computer manufacturers and more than 300 software developers. And today AMD officially announced the availability of four dual-core processor from their latest Athlon 64 X2 family: Athlon 64 X2 CPUs with the performance ratings of 4200+, 4400+. 4600+ and 4800+.

In his speech Dirk Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer of AMD microprocessor sector talked a little bit about what brought AMD to where they are now. He said that they were not happy with the idea of just driving clock speed through the roof. This mere approach didn’t compel with the acceptable power consumption and thermal dissipation rates. From summer 1999 AMD pursued a different track. As a result, they managed to get where they are now: 64-bit extensions and direct connect architecture were developed and computer environments were recognized by multi-tasking applications.

AMD64 technology arrived in the year 2003. After that AMD added multi-core support and brought it to life with the Opteron release last April, which proved just perfectly fit for multi-tasking environments. As everybody should see from their own experience by now, users are introducing a lot of multi-tasking scenarios, so the dual-core technology will be just in the right place here. It is true that right now the gaming environment doesn’t benefit that much yet, because games are not built for multi-threaded algorithms, therefore AMD does not intend to throw all their effort into the dual-core at once. They will continue increasing the single-core performance of their Athlon 64 processors simultaneously with the dual-core CPU family development. As you may see, AMD is currently offering only expensive dual-core solutions and there is no dual-core alternative to Intel’s 250-dollar dual-core Pentium D right now. This is not an accidental omission, but a part of AMD’s global strategy: this price category will still be covered by the single-core Athlon 64 processors, which will provide sufficient performance for the needs of the users in this price group.

Besides, AMD was also stressing another advantage of their dual-core architecture saying that their partners and customers do not have to drive incremental investment into transferring to the dual-core: all you actually need is a CPU and a BIOS update for the mainboard.

Rob Enderle, the WW analyst invited to highlight the advantages of the AMD dual-core technology from the user prospective mentioned that it is expected to change the way people use computers at home and at work. For example, you will no longer have to disable the anti-virus software during gameplay, because with the second core in your system these processes will be running simultaneously without eating up your gaming performance. So, theoretically, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble in and get proper virus protection at all times, which in the global prospective saves the users from billions of dollars worth of damage.

After the general presentations AMD invited all their chipset partners to the stage to share the “magic moment” with them. Here I have to be a little bit humorous probably, because the whole set-up was really a lot of fun. Everybody who came up to the stage had to go through a ceremony of “touching the crystal ball”, which would start glowing with the company name once you put your hand on top of it. The first one honored with this opportunity was ATI. After that the NVIDIA head of the chipset division was invited. Having touched the crystal ball, he walked straight to the other end of the stage from ATI.

ServerWorks, SiS, and ULi followed next. Then it was VIA’s turn. The guy stalled for a second at the crystal ball stand, glanced in ATI’s direction, then bin NVIDIA’s direction (making the decision which way to go, probably) and moved towards NVIDIA representative. A hand-shake followed :)

Once everybody were on the stage, the AMD officials were invited to “activate the magic moment” by putting their hands on top of the crystal ball with Star Wars sound track playing in the background. This is how the commercial shipments of AMD dual-core processors have started.

The Q&A following the ceremony was carried out in AMD’s typical manner: no definite answers and a clear message that they have enough processors to satisfy the demand and there is no need to worry. Well, with the magic crystal ball they don’t have any causes for concern, I believe :) 
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