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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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By someguy743 on 12/5/2007 12:48:07 PM , Rating: 6
I hope AMD and IBM and their other partners have been working as hard on their 45 nm (and beyond) technology as Intel has. Intel has had 100s of PhD engineers and scientists working on their new 45 nm technology. It took a lot of brainpower from a bunch of people over the past few years to get this new Penryn technology to market. I think the whole industry has known about using hafnium for the dialectric for a good while. It's the "metal gates" that are the true "secret sauce" in the new Penryn chips. Intel is keeping that "metal gate" technology a big secret for sure. Gotta have the new metal gates in order for them to work just right with the new hafnium dialectric.

This article by one of the key Intel engineers describes how Intel did it.

The guy who wrote it is named Mark Bohr. I wonder if he's related to the famous quantum physicist genius Neils Bohr. If so, he probably has the good genes for doing the kind of stuff that AMD and Intel do. The stuff these engineers do these days is true Einstein level stuff. Way over my head, I know that.

Check out this article also.

"But was Intel first to 45 nm? Perhaps Matsusheta/Panasonic's newest process deserved an earlier mention, but I think it has, or will, become accustomed to occupying Intel's 45-nm shadow. In terms of size and transistor density, Panasonic's UniPhier IC achieved a true 45-nm technology and put it into the market earlier than Intel. Panasonic Blu-Ray players with the technology appeared on the market in early November. By implementing immersion lithography, Matsusheta/Panasonic has achieved the smallest minimum metal patterning that we have seen to date, at 67-nm M4 half-pitch. However, the gate stack technology is traditional and well behind Intel's. The 36-nm poly gates are not designed for best performance but rather for squeezing two parallel H.264 decoders onto a single piece of silicon.

Perhaps surprisingly, Panasonic achieves tighter metal pitches than Intel. While Intel might be proud of extending dry litho to 45 nm, it cannot match the dimensions from Panasonic's fab, which is running immersion tools now. For example, the UniPhier device displays a minimum pitch of 138 nm up to metal four. Compare that with Penryn's metal-two pitch of 158 nm."

Maybe AMD should have been partnering with Panasonic instead of IBM. Panasonic actually beat Intel to 45nm, but their gate stacking technology isn't as good as Intel's. Maybe AMD has mastered their immersion tools by now and they're getting close to matching Intel on their gate stacking technology. Let's hope so. I want to continue buying high quality/high performing AMD products in the years ahead ... hopefully a LONG TIME. Customers all over the world want the competition. Better products sooner at better prices.

AMD and IBM better find an answer for Intel's tri-gate technology. Intel is really piling on the pressure for AMD these days. It's starting to look like Intel is the schoolyard bully for the whole semiconductor industry ... stealing the smaller kids' lunch money. AMD and IBM need to hire more geniuses to invent their way out of this nightmare of competing with Intel.

Intel is just getting rolling with Penryn's new dialectric and metal gates. In 2010, they'll have this tri-gate technology out that is supposed to be better than IBM's FinFET technology ... which I assume AMD will probably use. AMD better invent something better than tri-gate or the nightmare of competing against Intel might continue for another decade.,126044-page,1/ar...

By thartist on 12/5/2007 3:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't you send it to them? They have been showing that they are not quite capable of a clear thinking by themselves these days, so they might surprise you and the rest of the world (i pray!) and actually do something that doesn't turn out a flop or a disaster.

Maybe too wet but, what do you lose?

By StevoLincolnite on 12/6/2007 10:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
Who brought the Encyclopedia in here?

Seriously a great and informative post, worth +6 and beyond.

By Clauzii on 12/6/2007 3:11:18 PM , Rating: 2
XXXelent post! 6+!

Here is Mark Bohr on the 45nm:

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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