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Phenom, to deliver a phenomenal computing experience

AMD today officially announced its new Phenom processor brand for its next-generation Barcelona architecture. The new Phenom branding will find its way on AMD’s next-generation Stars family of desktop processors. Phenom processors will coexist with AMD’s current Athlon 64 and Sempron processors; however, Athlon 64 processors cater towards entry-level while Sempron caters towards value consumers.

Last week, AMD demonstrated its Phenom processor in a Quad FX configuration for a total of eight-cores in a system. AMD has dubbed its next-generation Quad FX platform FASN8, or “fascinate.” The next-generation FASN8 platform forms around AMD’s upcoming RD790 chipset paired with dual Phenom FX processors. With a pair of AMD ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT’s in the FASN8 platform, the system is able to deliver over a teraflop of computing power in a single box.

“AMD has always enjoyed a great bond with the enthusiast community, and the introduction of the AMD Phenom processor family will take our relationship to new heights,” corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s desktop division Bob Brewer said. “We continue to focus on listening to and addressing users’ evolving needs. AMD is confident the performance enhancements enabled by true quad-core client technology in computing-intensive environments will allow them to realize new possibilities and find new inspiration.”

Expect AMD to introduce its Phenom processors and accompanying RD790 platforms in time for the Christmas shopping season.

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Keep them happy
By crystal clear on 5/14/2007 8:25:59 AM , Rating: 1
AMD finds ways to keep OEM/ODM & others happy-how ?

Part of AMD's strategy in keeping computer makers, and motherboard manufacturers happy is an easy upgrade path to Phenom. Phenom dual- and quad-core processors will support AMD's current packet and socket configuration for motherboards, called AM2, along with any chipset currently used with AMD products.

About the same time Phenom ships, AMD will release a new configuration, AM2+, that will contain enhancements specific to the quad-core design, David Schwarzbach, marketing manager for AMD's desktop division, said. The company also will ship a new chipset, called the 790. Enhancements in AM2+ include the ability to allocate power and memory to individual processors, depending on their needs in accomplishing particular tasks.

In upgrading a motherboard for Phenom, however, OEMs or power users will need to upgrade the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). AMD is offering what it calls a "hybrid BIOS" that can be used with AMD Athlon and Phenom. This is expected to be the option most companies use. A BIOS specific for Phenom will be released with AM2+ configurations, along with a new motherboard reference design, codenamed Wahoo.

Improvements in Phenom in comparison to older AMD chips include a doubling of the floating point unit to 128 bits, and a shared L3 cache reserve, which means it can be used dynamically be each of the cores.

AMD currently offers a socket platform called QuadFX for inserting two duo-core chips on a motherboard. The platform, as part of AMD's easy upgrade strategy, also will support two quad-core chips. AMD plans to ship a socket platform specific to Phenom, codenamed FASN8, which will ship at the same time as AM2+.

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