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"Torrenza" systems will accept both multi-core, accelerators, or "Fusion" processors
AMD sheds more light on accelerated processing projects

This week at CeBIT 2007, AMD revealed more details about its "accelerated computing" platform, codenamed Torrenza. AMD's goal behind Torrenza is to create a platform where application-specific processors can interact cost effectively and offer better performance than a general purpose CPU, while remaining compatible with off the shelf platforms.

AMD guidance revealed this week that future processors will also have integrated "accelerators" embedded into them. A Torrenza system will have at least two sockets, and both will accept accelerators and accelerated CPUs.

One accelerated-processor project on AMD plate, slated for 2008 under the codename Fusion, and combines a dedicated GPU or GPU accelerator onto the same package or even the same silicon die as the main CPU. AMD has already set the ground-work for Fusion processing with its Stream Computing initiative -- utilizing ATI-based graphics adaptors for heavy number crunching. 

Other Torrenza ready projects are also coming to light.  Clearspeed announced its CSX600 math-coprocessor plug-in last year, with the stated intention of creating a socket plugin version for Torrenza.  Los Alamos National Labs is currently building the world's fastest supercomputer, Roadrunner, with Opteron and Cell processors on the Torrenza platform.

Torrenza is not just locked within the compounds of the CPU sockets. According to AMD, Torrenza systems will accept accelerators in a PCI-Express interface too, allow for multiple application specific accelerators to access system memory and processor functions directly.  Mercury systems announced a PCIe plug-in accelerator late last year.

While Torrenza is well on its way to seeing daylight, Intel is also working on its own open architecture platform. Notorious for keeping its CPU platform a closely guarded technology, Intel indicated that it was working on a competitive technology to AMD's HyperTransport, dubbed CSI, allowing direct CPU and memory access.

Intel guidance suggests the company will announce its Torrenza competitor sometime in mid-2008.

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By kilkennycat on 3/18/2007 10:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Night to you too...

Don't forget to pick up some Cryo-cooling and some AMD stock on the way out.

AMD may have ambitions in the direction of full-integration of CPU and high-end graphics cores, but they do not have the process technology to curtail the consequent heat-generation, and will not for quite some time. IBM has not yet announced a large-scale working RAM on their 45nm process... the first step in process validation. Intel had their 45nm RAM ~ December 2005 and full processor functionality ~ December 2006. Intel's hafnium-gate process is expected to waste 20% less of the total power in transistor leakage compared to their 65nm process.

The keys to the large-scale integration game are held by those who come up with excellent large-scale production yields in power-conserving process-technology. Intel currently holds all those keys. And they are showing significant interest in moving to much higher levels of multifunction integration.

The reasons why Intel will be aggressively cutting prices through 2007 is three-fold; 1. excellent 65nm yields, 2. "assist" in extending AMD's cash crunch by ensuring that AMD cannot rapidly recover development costs by charging premium prices for their next gen-CPU parts, (with nVidia already putting pressure on development-cost recovery in AMD's Dx10 GPU business..) 3. significant confidence in a smooth and rapid transition of the existing designs to the higher-performance and more cost-efficient 45nm process. All part of the current Intel 'tic-toc' approach to process and device development.. first transition existing successful designs to the new process (with only minor architectural tweaks) and rapidly ramp yields...e.g:Penryn on 45nm... then crank out brand-new architectures ( inc. multifunction-integration..) on that now-mature process. Rinse and repeat for the next process iteration.

By Tom Tom on 3/22/2007 7:54:02 AM , Rating: 2;jsessioni...

You may be underestimating how far along IBM and AMD are with 45nm.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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