Advanced Micro Devices has placed technology roadmaps that describe the company’s future plans and directions on its web-site recently. Among the main things scheduled to be introduced in the next couple of years the company lists processors with four cores in 2007 and extensions to AMD64 instructions.
AMD already planned to start sampling of its quad-core microprocessors in 2007 with volume production scheduled for later date, however, recently decided to speed-up the roadmap and introduce such chips commercially in two years from now. It is unclear which manufacturing technology is to be used to make quad-core chips, but it is highly-likely that it would be 65nm fabrication process.
The multi-core server processors expected to be introduced in 2007 will also support shared level-three cache, a type of memory that operates faster than system memory, but slower than level-two cache, which has not been used on AMD processors since 1999 and AMD K6-III chip. Additionally, server processors from AMD are to gain FB-DIMM support also in 2007, a year after the whole lineup of the company’s chips transits to DDR2 memory.
Also in 2007 the Sunnyvale, California-based company plans to introduce AMD64 instruction extensions which are likely to provide higher performance and continue evolution of the x86 architecture in general. Currently AMD is tight-lipped over the planned enhancements.
Finally, AMD’s processors are also expected to get HyperTransport 3.0 bus, which is believed to be faster version of the currently users HyperTransport 2.0 interconnection.Among the short-term plans of AMD sources familiar with the company’s name dual-channel DDR2 memory support, virtualization and security capabilities in addition to advanced thermal management and advanced power management features. Chips with such functionality are expected to emerge in 2006.