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AMD bumps up quad core road map

Posted: 17 Nov 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:amd? quad-core? 65nm?

Advanced Micro Devices plans to move to quad-core processors by 2007 and will for the first time release a reference platform for notebook computers, company executives said at its annual analyst conference in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday.

Phil Hester, corporate vice president and CTO, said by 2007 AMD will introduce processors that will contain at least four cores and scale to up to 32 sockets. The processors will be coupled with chip sets that contain L3 cache; an improved memory technology, presumable Fully Buffered DIMM (FBDIMM); and Hypertransport 3.0 that will include support for fault tolerant I/O.

AMD had said previously it expected to release a quad-core part by 2008. Intel, on the other hand, recently released a roadmap that called for quad-core in 2007.

Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64, said he believes if AMD "gets aggressive" it could release quad-core in 2006. "It depends on how quickly they can bring up the 64nm processes," he said.

AMD recently opened a new fab in Germany and will use it to scale down from existing 90nm process to 64nm. Brookwood said AMD was able to move to a 90nm process in the fourth quarter 2004 and release dual-cores by the second quarter 2005.

Hester said next year AMD plans to move to DDR 2 memory in its mobile and desktop platforms. The dual-core Turion should be sampling largely in the first quarter 2006 and in production by the second quarter 2006.

By 2007 the company expects to offer quad core, improved cache performance, a new wireless technology, most likely Wi-MAX.

Along with that new technology, Marty Seyer, senior vice president of business and performance computing in AMD's Microprocessor Solutions Sector, said AMD will offer a mobile platform to OEMs and systems builders to help speed time to market. That platform will include chipsets with integrated graphics from ATI and Nvidia as well as I/O. Executives said the platform will be "open" and will include a variety of manufacturer choices.

AMD executives painted an optimistic picture of for 2006, projecting growth at twice the speed of the market. "AMD only has about 10 percent of the market," said AMD Chairman, CEO and President Hector Ruiz. "We have tremendous growth potential ahead of us."

The chip maker's focus will be claiming more share of the commercial market, companies with more than 100 employees. To that end, AMD recently launched a channel program for integrators and a stable image platform. Executives characterized the programs as "significant" but declined to specify projected spending on the programs in 2006.

- Kristen Kenedy


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