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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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RE: AMD's new Sempron
By 91TTZ on 12/6/2007 7:54:06 AM , Rating: 2
You are comparing apples to oranges. AMD is struggling with integrating a memory controller into a die with more than two cores

I don't think the problem is with integrating a memory controller into a die with more than two cores, I think the problem is just the more general problem of having multiple cores on one die. That's why Intel does it on multiple dies- to increase yield. Intel is known for its yields and increasing yield (and profitability) seems to be a very high priority for them when designing a CPU.

If you notice, AMD announced that it will be selling tri-core CPUs. They're not doing this just because they think a 3 core CPU is a neat idea, they're doing it because they have tons of 4 core dies with a bad core on them.

It was the same reason that Intel made the 486SX years ago- it wasn't that they thought that consumers wanted a 486 without a math coprocessor, it was because they had lots of 486DX dies with a bad coprocessor on them. Instead of scrapping those chips, they disabled part of the die and were still able to sell them, just for a slightly lower price.

RE: AMD's new Sempron
By Martimus on 12/6/2007 12:56:06 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, but the integrated memory controller keeps AMD from being able to slap two dies on a single chip. Nehalem is a huge change for Intel, as they will be going through the same things AMD is with this problem. I expect them to fix them faster than AMD has (or hasn't I guess), but don't be surprized if the chip gets delayed. The closest chip to Nehalem's architecture is Barcelona/Phenom, and that has had nothing but issues.

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