AMD to Boost Single-Threading Performance on Multi-Core Chips, Say Sources

AMD to Launch “Anti-Hyper-Threading” Shortly

by Aleksey Razin
06/22/2006 | 02:39 PM

Advanced Micro Devices may offer gamers something, which significantly boosts performance of single-threaded games with its new central processing units (CPUs) in socket AM2 form-factor, the sources claim.


In April 2006 some rumors emerged that AMD was working on the technology designed to boost performance of single-threaded applications on multi-core processors. According to certain sources familiar with AMD plans, the company is going to offer their own technology that will work in an opposite way to what Intel Hyper-Threading does: it increases performance of dual-core chips in single-threaded applications. If the latter splits resources of a single physical processor core, then AMD’s new know-how will allow combining the resources of the two physical cores to speed up the processing of tasks that work in the most optimal way on single-core CPUs, according to sources.

According to sources, it would be possible to double the number of decoders this way so that the “combined: CPU will process 6 instructions per clock cycle. This thing only can become a pretty decent response to Conroe processors and it should be expected that this technology would debut closer to July 24, the day of the Intel Core 2 for desktops launch. But the feature should require synchronization of chips’ L1 cache in general along with some other capabilities. Perhaps, the new technology will simply overclock the processor and disable the second core in certain situations.

The corresponding functionality has already been built into dual-core Athlon 64 X2 processors for Socket AM2 form-factor, the sources claim. To activate it customers will “only need to update the processor driver and the mainboard BIOS,” they say. Microsoft Corp. will reportedly even release a corresponding patch for the operating systems that will allow recognizing two cores of the Athlon 64 X2 as a single one.

According to sources and alleged preliminary test results, the CPU will be able to switch into this “combined” mode dynamically, depending on the type of the application. There is no secret that a lot of tasks still benefit from single-core CPUs more than they would from the dual-core processors working at lower nominal frequencies.

It is remarkable that at the same time AMD will also push forward their 4x4 platform for enthusiasts who cannot imagine their life without multi-tasking and absolutely extreme performance. It seems that these two completely different initiatives will be positioned in different market niches. At least the owners of socket AM2 Athlon 64 X2 will be able to put two cores into a single virtual one for free if we do not consider downloading the new BIOS and OS driver that much of a trouble.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.