by Anton Shilov
08/15/2006 | 11:55 PM
Advanced Micro Devices, the world’s second largest maker of x86 central processing units, said Tuesday it had completed design of its first quad-core processor. The announcement means that the company will get the first chips with four processing engines in a several weeks time.
“AMD also announced the completion of the design, or tape-out, of its native quad-core AMD Opteron processors,” a statement by the company reads.
AMD is behind its own track in case of quad-core microprocessors. Earlier this year the company planned to demonstrate its quad-core chips on the socket F platforms during the launch of dual-core AMD Opteron processors with DDR2 memory support. However, the company only has managed to complete the design of the quad-core central processing unit so far.
“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 in a conference call.
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.
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.