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AMD plans to keep "Brisbane" around, releases new chips based on it

Things at AMD may have gone from bad to worse with the lackluster Phenom launch in late November.  Not only did Phenom fail to appeal to professional reviewers, but the company ended up removing one third of its CPU lineup just after the big day.

Last week AMD CEO Hector Ruiz vowed that the company would stop hemorrhaging cash and return to profitability soon.  "That is our number one goal right now," Ruiz said in a conference in Bangalore

Making a profit at AMD apparently means refocusing on its older K8 architecture.  The company will introduce eleven 65nm K8 processors over the next two quarters.  By comparison: AMD launched two quad-core K10 Phenom processors in November with three more scheduled over the next two quarters.  Two tri-core Phenom processors will follow in March 2008.

Essentially, AMD will move any remaining Athlon 64 processors from the 90nm node to the 65nm node, with a few new frequency and TDP variations.

The AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ will be the first to jump on the new 65nm K8 bandwagon with a 65W TDP. The previous Windsor-based chip of the same featured an 89-Watt TDP. AMD will also add 100 MHz to the core frequency of the Athlon 64 X2 5600+, now rated at 2.9 GHz. Total L2 cache will be halved in the move to the Brisbane core, and the updated Athlon 64 X2 5600+ chips will feature only 1MB of L2 cache. Availability of these processors is scheduled for Q1 2008.

AMD's higher-end Athlon 64 X2 6400+ and Athlon 64 X2 6000+ will both be discontinued.

AMD will also update its "Energy Efficient" series and will release three new chips, the AMD Athlon 4850e, Athlon 4450e, and Athlon 4050e in Q2 2008. All of the new offerings will be based on AMD's Brisbane core and will feature a 45-Watt thermal envelope. AMD's current energy efficient "BE-2xxx" series will be phased out at that time. Respectively, the new chips will run at 2.5GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.1GHz.

All new Brisbane chips will be based on the Socket AM2 interface.  These processors are compatible with AMD's AM2+ socket designated for Phenom processors.


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FINALLY
By anubis44 on 12/5/2007 11:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
This is the first really promising CPU news out of AMD since the release of the A64 X2 core. F I N A L L Y. There's nothing wrong with a company recognizing that one of their engineering teams has made a miscalculation. Same thing happened to Intel with the Pentium D. The way forward for Intel was not to build on the Pentium IV core, but to go BACK to the Pentium III core (which their Israeli team did with the Tulatin and subsequent excellent Pentium M chips), which led to successor Core and Core 2 chips.

AMD should go back to the A64 core and work on ways of improving it in much the same fashion. The K8 core was and still is incredibly elegant. I'm not a chip designer, but I'm pretty sure a rethink of the K8 core is the way forward, at least for the desktop and lower end server chips. The K10 core is awesome conceptually, but it is starved for Lvl2 cache, and Lvl 3 cache has too much latency. AMD needs to go to .45u in order to realize the full potential of the K10 core by giving it the kind of cache Intel is able to give it's Penryn processors, which are .45u.




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