Slide previewing "Sandtiger" and third-generation Opteron platform  (Source: AMD)
New eight-core "Sandtiger" set for 2009 on third-generation Opteron platform

AMD previewed its third-generation Opteron platform during the company’s Technology Analyst. The third-generation AMD Opteron platform is set for a 2009 debut with a new Sandtiger-core processor. AMD’s current Socket 1207 platform is the Opteron’s second-generation platform and designed to accommodate Opteron revision F, Barcelona and the 45nm die-shrink Shanghai processors.

Sandtiger ups the core ante with eight-cores. AMD will manufacture the octal-core Sandtiger on a 45nm fabrication process. Sandtiger introduces HyperTransport 3.0, or HT3, to AMD’s server and workstation platforms. The processor will have four HyperTransport links with a new Direct Connect 2 infrastructure.

Sandtiger will also support DDR3 memory. The third-generation AMD Opteron platform will be the first platform to support G3 Memory Extender, or G3MX, technology for larger memory capacities. The platform also supports PCI Express 2.0.

New server and workstation chipsets will accommodate the new platform. AMD makes no mention on socket compatibility of the third-generation Opteron platform, but AMD’s track record shows socket changes with a new platform.

Before Sandtiger, AMD has Shanghai up its sleeves. Shanghai will be the 45nm shrink of Barcelona. AMD has Shanghai on the roadmap for a 2008 launch to replace Barcelona. Shanghai will drop into existing second-generation AMD Opteron platforms.

Shanghai features minor improvements such as a 6MB L3 cache and IPC improvements. The core will continue to have 512KB of L2 cache per core with three HT1 links. Registered DDR2 memory continues to be the memory of choice for Shanghai.

Expect AMD to unveil its third-generation AMD Opteron platform with G3MX technology and Sandtiger core in 2009 and Shanghai around the second half of  2008.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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