by Anton Shilov
08/18/2004 | 04:06 PM
Two of the world’s well-known developers of central processing units makers, Advanced Micro Devices and Freescale, a subsidiary of Motorola, are expected to detail their dual-core AMD64 and PowerPC processors at Fall Processor Forum in early October.
AMD, Freescale Talk Multi-Core
Fall Processor Forum, former Microprocessor Forum hosted by In-Stat/MDR, will take place in
Public discussion may mean that dual-core technology and strategy for both companies is finalized and is on-track for production. Furthermore, give in-depth orientation of the event, both chip developers are likely to reveal some general information about organization and architecture of dual-core processors.
Other companies, such as AMCC, ARM, Broadcom, Faraday, Fujitsu Limited, IBM, PMC-Sierra, Renesas, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, Transmeta Corp., VIA Technologies, Xilinx and some others will also make presentations covering their latest or upcoming products.
Multi-Core Chips Coming from Everywhere
Traditional microprocessors and personal computers have always had only one processing engine, or core. While single-core central processing units packed with advanced capabilities and operating at high speed delivers enough performance to the vast majority of today’s applications in desktop segment, servers and powerful workstations, which have to handle many operations at once need more than one processing engine to execute two or more threads simultaneously.
With applications for desktops becoming more complex, require more processing power and execution of multiple treads of code instantly, the number of computing engines per personal computer is needed to be increased. While in servers and workstations manufacturers bump the number of chips per computer, desktops are far more cost-sensitive and the majority of PCs are shipped with only one central processing unit inside. While there are some technologies, such as Intel Hyper-Threading, that emulate two processing engines within one microprocessor, they are hardly as efficient as a real system with 2 processors.
A more or less cost-effective way to improve performance of central processing units and personal computers without serious boosting clock-speeds of the chips or increasing the number of CPUs within the system is to pack two processing engines into a single package.
Nowadays all leading makers of processors have announced plans to supply, or already deliver processors with more than one core. IBM has been supplying its Power4 and Power5 products with two cores for a while and targets to produce chips with two processing engines for Apple’s future workstation and also chips for Microsoft’s Xbox 2 console with three cores. Besides, IBM is working with Sony on the Cell processors that are also expected to feature more than one core. Sun Microsystems is on-track to release its multi-core, multi-threaded server products code-named