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Advanced Micro Devices this week revealed some details about its future processors during its presentation at the Lehman Brothers T4 Conference. The company sees the future of central processing units in increasing count of processing engines, more advanced memory controllers and higher-bandwidth I/O busses.

The Road Ahead

The milestones of the road ahead are dual-core, quad-core and eight-core processors to allow highly-parallel tremendously efficient architecture; DDR2, DDR3 memory types as well as FB DIMMs to constantly drive unbelievable transfer rates of system memory to match the increased core-clocks and number of cores; HyperTransport 3 as well as PCI Express 2 interconnection busses; split power planes that allow CPU to reduce voltage when only memory controller operates, which decreases overall power consumption of chips; as well as Presidio and Pacifica technologies – advanced security and virtualization capabilities.

Fred Weber, Chief Technology Officer at AMD, did not elaborate on timeframes for all the innovations his company is going to bring, but given that presentation did not elaborate on very long-term future, it is possible to expect all of the capabilities to be implemented within the next 3 – 4 years into AMD64 and AMD code-named K9 and K10 processors.

K9, K10, K11

Feeling itself unprecedented competitive and being fully concentrated on technology, AMD currently does not name code-names of its future projects, like it did in the past to show future potential and differentiate future products from current processors. Presently feature-set of forthcoming AMD chips is not discussed much, in contrast, AMD proclaims certain enhancements for existing and close-to-be-released processors.

In mid-2003 AMD’s execs and sources close to the company said AMD’s K9 project would see the light of the day in 2005, roughly 2 years after the first AMD64 went out of AMD’s fab. Today AMD does not name K9, but speaks about dual-core K8 (AMD64) central processing units. It is unclear whether the company initially referred its dual-core chips as K9, or the K9 project is delayed. The destiny of longer-term projects called AMD K10 and AMD K11 is also not completely clear.

AMD reiterated its commitment to deliver server and workstation dual-core chips in mid-2005 with desktop dual-core products following in the second half of the year at the Lehman Brothers T4 Conference.


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