AMD Promises Sixteen-Core Microprocessors in Two Years

AMD Plans 12-Core “Magny-Cours” Chip in 2010, 16-Core “Interlagos” Scheduled for 2011

by Anton Shilov
04/23/2009 | 11:06 AM

As AMD Opteron turns six years old, Advanced Micro Devices is gearing up to start shipping six-core flavor of its server processor for revenue in several weeks time. In addition to making a rather symbolic announcement on Opteron’s sixth birthday, AMD also revealed its new server roadmap that includes twelve-core processor in 2010 and a chip with whopping sixteen cores in 2011 along with brand-new DirectConnect Architecture 2.0 server architecture.

 

The new DirectConnect Architecture 2.0 (DCA 2.0) has a number of benefits, including dual or quad-channel DDR3 memory controller, which enables unprecedented bandwidth (up to 51.2GB/s per socket in case of PC3-12800 memory); four HyperTransport links per processor, which allows to connect additional accelerators to a processor; AMD-V 2.0 virtualization technology that allows to run more virtual machines per server and virtualize more applications, something particularly important at the dawn of cloud computing; AMD-P 2.0 power trimming technology that promises to further increase performance while maintaining the same power consumption.

AMD completely understands that far not everyone needs extreme amount of processing engines or additional expandability, therefore, starting from 2010 there will be two platforms for different types of servers: one – featuring one or two processors – aimed at file and print servers, email servers, Web servers, high-performance computing clusters and so on; another – featuring two or four chips – designed for enterprise-class machines that run databases and other tasks.

In 2010 AMD will bring two platforms onto the market targeting two different market segments and designed for different types of microprocessors:

Next year AMD plans to release its AMD Opteron 6000 “Magny-Cours” processor with eight or twelve cores made using 45nm process technology as well as AMD Opteron 4000 “Lisbon” chip with four or six processing engines.

In 2011 the Sunnyvale, California-based chip designer will refresh the Maranello server platform with AMD Opteron 6000 “Interlagos” processor with twelve or sixteen cores and San Marino platform with AMD Opteron “Valencia” chip with six to eight cores. Both code-named Interlagos and Valencia will be made using 32nm process technology and will be based on code-named Bulldozer micro-architecture.

Based on an image provided by AMD as well as the fourth HT link found in the new chips, the high-end 6000-series will consist of two dies found in 4000-series on the same piece of substrate.