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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 Turismo on 3/20/2007 3:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with most of your analysis of AMD. Your analysis is very thorough and informative, it is a pity more people do not post with such skill.
I whole heartedly believe that AMD is far from finished and that within a few months will show signs of vigor once more. AMD has seemingly always been on the very cusp of innovative activities, and until recently, Intel would simply follow AMD's lead. AMD has a history of being "on its last breath", so I am not concerned about the rhetoric or hysteria being bandied about currently.
Simply put, AMD's current development projects (e.g.- Torrenza,Fusion,etc.) show very innovative and pro-active solutions to modern computing needs and wants. Intel has a history of offering ill-performing products coughed up by a bloated R&D department content with mediocrity. Until Paul Otellini took the helm as CEO in 2005, Craig Barret (1998-2005) put out what? P4 w/ Netburst and the PIII. One good, one bad. As of the end of 2006, Intel has 94,200 employees and per employee revenue of $378,981. AMD had 16,000 employees and per employee revenue of $466,938. Which company does better on a per employee basis?
So, from 2000 to 2006 P4 won the race to nowhere, which allowed AMD to introduce a better chipset. AMD saw an opportunity and capitalized on it. They offered better performing and more efficient CPU's. If there is no competition in the marketplace, what real incentive would Intel have to come up with C2D? They may have, they might not have. Without the "push" from AMD to make a superior product, would C2D be in its current form (cache size, bus speed, etc.)? I doubt it. We would have some new iteration of the P4 with some slight tweaks, some spit & polish and a fancy ad campaign from Intel to top it off.
In ending, AMD is far from done and we can expect some very positive things from them in the near future.


"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

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