The Stars family includes the upcoming Agena FX, Agena, Kuma, Rana and Spica cores. AMD
will be introducing plenty of architectural changes with the upcoming Stars
family. Stars family processors will switch over to AMD’s previously announced
HyperTransport 3.0 architecture. Previously, Star processors have been referred to as Revision H or K8L -- if that's not confusing enough, AMD calls the architecture of the Stars family Greyhound. While Stars family processors use the
HyperTransport 3.0 protocol, it will be backwards compatible with
HyperTransport 1.0 systems.
HyperTransport 3.0 is expected to provide twice the amount of bandwidth between
the processor and chipset. It will also allow the processor and internal north
bridge to operate at different frequencies as well. With HyperTransport 3.0,
the north bridge can operate at 75% of the maximum clock frequency of the
processor. AMD roadmaps claim the greater bandwidth of HyperTransport 3.0 is
important for PCIe 2.0 and upcoming multi-GPU, integrated graphics and
In addition to HyperTransport 3.0, Stars family processors feature a
128-bit floating point unit for each CPU core, DDR2-1066 support, SSE4A instructions
and a split power
plane. Split power planes allow the processor and internal north bridge to
operate at different voltages and speeds. The advantages of split power planes
are it allows the north bridge speed and voltage to never change during
Cool’n’Quiet power saving measures. With split power planes the Stars
processors require separate PLLs for the processor and internal north bridge.
Stars family processors will use socket AM2+, with the exception of the Agena
FX. Nevertheless, Stars family processors will be backwards
compatible on socket AM2 motherboards, though performance is sacrificed by
falling back to HyperTransport 1.0. AMD's documentation no longer refers to AM3; it appears AM2+ is the expected socket AM3.
Beginning in Q3’2007 AMD is expected to release its first Stars
quad-core processors. The new quad-core processors are based on AMD’s Agena
and Agena FX cores. Targeting AMD’s 4x4 platform is the Agena FX
core. Agena FX will only be available on Socket 1207+ and offer dual
processor functionality. The vanilla Agena core will be available on
single processor socket AM2+ platforms.
Agena FX and Agena based processors offer identical features. New
to the Agena FX and Agena cores is a shared L3 cache. 2MB of L3
cache will be shared between all four processor cores. The L2 cache will be 2MB
as well. Clock frequencies of 2.7 GHz to 2.9 GHz are initially expected. The
HyperTransport 3.0 frequency for Agena FX and Agena cores is
expected to be clocked at 4000 MHz. Agena FX and Agena core
processors will be manufacturing using a 65nm process and carry 125W TDPs. The
first Agena FX and Agena based processors are expected to arrive
AMD will be releasing new Kuma core dual-core processors in Q3’07 as
well. The new Kuma core processors feature HyperTransport 3.0 clocked at
4000 MHz, 1MB of L2 cache and 2MB of shared L3 cache. Kuma processors
are expected to arrive in 2.0 GHz to 2.9 GHz frequencies for socket AM2+. TDP
for Kuma core processors is expected at 89W and 65W.
Single-core products won’t be left out of the Stars family either. AMD
will release single-core Rana and Spica cores towards the end of
2007. Rana core processors will be replacing Orleans and Lima
Athlon 64 single-core processors while Spica will be replacing
single-core Venice Athlon 64 and Manilla Sempron processors.
AMD’s roadmap doesn’t reveal too much on Rana and Spica.
Nevertheless, Rana and Spica will feature HyperTransport 3.0 and
socket AM2+ compatibility.
quote: Having a graphics card and a GPU on the CPU (which is the idea, I think) would still require the same bandwidth as it does without the on-die GPU (give or tak
quote: Was hoping that they'd have ramped up development process and have AM3 and K8L out by the end of 2007
quote: I do believe that AMD has more up its sleeve than it is letting on. For example if you can get HT3.0 to work all the way to the GPU on an ATI graphics card then you will definitely see a performance boost over the competitors.
quote: I just can't believe that AMD is actually going to allow a full year to go buy before they produce something significant to compete against Intel C2D
quote: the poor performance of 65nm revealed today
quote: As to K8L, well, I'd expect to be enjoying a Penryn by that time anyway
quote: I believe the notion was towards the fact that the article here, "AMD 65nm Product Plans Unveiled" showed no advantages to the 65nm process over the current 90nm.
quote: But then there's the fact that the fastest 65nm part is going to be slower than the fastest 90nm for at least 3 months - a supposed Q2'07 release for 2.8GHz 65nm part.
quote: K8L has always been slated for Q3 2007 for the Desktop arena, Barcelona which is the DP/MP variant of K8L will be released in Q2 2007 most likely
quote: Intel didn't gain much performance either with the 65nm NetBurst derived products either. Though power consumption has been trimed down quite a bit
quote: For Intel's Penryn that will be different, there they will likely use the added headroom of the 45nm envelope to provide some additonal clockspeed in addition to the larger 6MB of LV2 cache withtin the same thermal envelope as Merom
quote: I expect that by the time 45nm rolls around for AMD Intel's going to be pushing 32nm
quote: That's if you believe AMD's timeline... which has never been correct when describing their process nodes
quote: AMD has to amortize the cost of 65nm equipment first before jumping to the next node
quote: Huh? When were they wrong on process nodes?
quote: Actually, they don't...I think you're forgetting that they are building new Fabs for those nodes (no changes needed to existing equipment, it will be new equipment).
quote: They were wrong almost every time. Let's look at a 2003 article:
quote: Yes, Fab 38 is planned, but the capital isn't there, particularly after the ATi acquisition
quote: If you look at AMD's 10-K filing, spending on process tech capital equipment is very much dependent upon IBM
quote: They were hoping to be on 65nm by Mid 2006 as late as Mid 2005
quote: Intel is releasing 45nm Yorkfield Q3 2007. By Q4 it should be decent amount of 45nm processors.
quote: Intel has kept all its schedules last year or so except for itanium. They infact pulled forward release of MCW and Clovertown/Kentsfield
quote: Ummm...Prescott was quite delayed, and Cloverton (no "w") and Kentsfield are EXTREMELY low volume parts...
quote: And Prescott has nothing to do with this as Prescott DOES NOT fall into the last year
quote: I don't know what to say on Clovertown's low volumeness, as it is being intorduced in SKU's that range in 455 to 1172 US. So I doubt the limitedness of Clovertown
quote: I guess I didn't see (or understand the reason for) the limitation of 1 year...oops.
In the future, I agree...but not this year.
C'mon CP, you know as well as I do that there are still several months of qualifying needed before Cloverton is ready for mass sales...
The whole point I was making is that it's very easy to push a part forward if you don't need large volumes! Heck, I would bet that AMD could release K8L in January at very low volumes...but that would merely be a PR stunt as the platforms started to be qualified in August and they will need to ship in high volume from day 1 as replacement parts for existing systems (I also expect Cloverton to be shipping in high volume by then as well, but that's Q2 07).
quote: The Athlon 64 does not seem to need that much cache or to use that much hypertransport bandwidth.
quote: Sounds like catch-up and not anything new
quote: AMD's had it On-die since A64
quote: Well think about something here... It isnt games that are cpu to gpu bandwidth limited or to other system resources.
quote: So why else would you add more "horsepower" to the HTT 3.0?
quote: Vista anyone? LOL.