Print 64 comment(s) - last by podknocker.. on Aug 24 at 4:34 PM

The first native x86 quad-core processor is finally taped out

With the news of AMD's DDR2 Opteron launch, AMD managed to squeeze in one tidbit of information definitely newsworthy: quad-core Opterons have been taped out. AMD's Executive Vice President Henri Richard had previously dubbed these native quad-core design as the K8L architecture.  Internally at AMD, this architecture is known as Greyhound.

The company's press release claims "AMD plans to deliver to customers in mid-2007 native Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors that incorporate four processor cores on a single die of silicon." For a little historical perspective, AMD's dual-core Opteron was taped out in June 2004, and then officially introduced in late April, 2005.

The press release further adds that the quad-core Opteron will be compatible with the dual-core DDR2 Opteron motherboards.  The news of backwards compatibility with existing DDR2 Opteron motherboards is in line with AMD's previous announcements on its other platforms.  On roadmaps earlier this year the company also claimed that AM3 processors would be compatible with AM2 motherboards.

Intel has recently accelerated its quad-core plans; the company recently announced that quad-core desktop and server chips will be available this year.  Intel's initial quad-core designs are significantly different than AMD's approach.  The quad-core Intel Kentsfield processor is essentially two Conroe dice attached to the same package.  AMD's native quad-core, on the other hand, incorporates all four cores onto the same die.  AMD countered Intel's accelerated roadmap by claiming the new quad-core processors would be demonstrated this year.

However, absent from AMD's quad-core announcement is any news of non-native quad-core processors.  Non-native quad-core Opterons, previously dubbed Deerhound, existed on AMD's roadmap as late as May of this year.  These 65nm processors were essentially two 65nm dual-core Opterons on the same package, but AMD has made virtually no comment on any 65nm dual or single-core processors since the AMD Analyst Day on June 1 of this year.  AMD still plans to introduce 65nm dual-core processors for desktops this year.

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By MadAd on 8/24/2006 3:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
oh quad core (yawn) yeah thats really useful- now if they made it a triple core with the 4th a parallel processor then id be made up.

and if dual core is anything to go by, we might get applications to use quad core by, oooh, 2010 perhaps?


RE: fandabydozy
By podknocker on 8/24/2006 4:34:13 PM , Rating: 1
Well, you may scoff at all this multicore 'nonsense', but I run the Enterprise Desktop Edition of Linux and this is a deeply multithreaded Operating System. A lot of my software, especially the graphics stuff, would be amazingly fast over 16 or 32 cores.

Many games run on Linux and more and more software is written to reap the benefits of parallel processing these days. It won't be long until most software, including games, is recompiled to take advantage of multiple socket computers and their associated multiple cores.

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