by Anton Shilov
07/21/2006 | 11:11 PM
UPDATE: Adding comments from Marty Seyer made earlier this year.
Advanced Micro Devices said during its second quarter of fiscal 2006 conference call that it would not launch quad-core processors till the middle of next year, but will showcase such chips by the end of 2006. This confirms earlier unofficial information that there are no quad-core chips in AMD’s roadmap till 2H 2007.
“Leveraging the scalability of the Direct Connect architecture, we also plan to demonstrate our next generation microprocessor core in a native quad-core implementation before the end of the year,” said Dirk Meyer, AMD’s president and chief operating officer.
Earlier it was reported that the first quad-core chip from AMD is code-named Deerhound, which will be intended for socket F infrastructure and will have shared level-two cache along with dual-channel registered DDR2 memory controller. The new chip is expected to use the new code-named K8L design, which features some improvements, according to Mr. Meyer.
“We have a new core under development. The first instantiation of which will be in a quad-core form, to be launched roughly mid ‘07. What I said is we will demonstrate that by the end of the year,” said Dirk Meyer, when asked to clarify the production schedule of the quad-core chips.
Earlier the company planned to showcase quadl-core microprocessors in the middle of the year, particularly, in August, when it is expected to introduce its new server platform and socket F infrastructure.
“When AMD rolls out dual-core processors with built-in virtualization hooks midyear, the company also aims to demo quad-core processors running on its current server platform,” Marty Seyer, a senior vice president of AMD, said in an interview.
The chipmaker now claims that the chips will be showcased by the end of the year without giving any particular timeframes, which may signal that the company currently has no quad-core chip samples mature enough for public showcase.
A slide from AMD presentation. Click to enlarge
According to AMD, K8L includes a quad-core design for servers, workstations and high-end desktops, and a dual-core design intended for mainstream desktop markets. These next-generation processors will be built using AMD’s 65nm Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) fabrication process, and include a broad range of functionality and micro-architectural improvements, including a new ability to dynamically alter the frequency of each core on the chip to match application workloads and thereby reduce overall power consumption.
AMD’s larger rival Intel Corp. recently said it would commercialize its first quad-core microprocessors as early as by the end of this year, about six months ahead of AMD, which is likely to add competitive pressure on the world’s second largest supplier of x86 microprocessors. But AMD believes that Intel’s approach to put two dice on a single slice of substrate to build a quad-core processor is inefficient and AMD’s “native quad-core” design will provide better performance and scalability for servers.