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45nm desktop processors run up to 3GHz

Posted: 12 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:45nm processors? desktop 3GHz? design processor 45nm?

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the second processor design to come out of its new 45nm process technology. The Phenom II is a quad-core family of desktop processors running up to 3GHz with up to 8Mbytes of on-board cache.

AMD officially rolled out its first 45nm CPUs just weeks ago. The Shanghai processors are quad-core chips aimed at PC servers.

Archrival Intel Corp. already rolled out its second-generation of 45nm chips, starting with desktop versions released in mid-November. The Core i7 CPUs are Intel's first to use an AMD-like architecture of having on-board memory controllers and high-speed processor interconnects.

The AMD Phenom II chips provide up to 20 percent improvements in performance over the original 65nm Phenom CPUs, which ran at up to 2.6GHz. The boost comes from faster data rates, doubling of total cache, improvements in instructions per clock and use of DDR3.

'Spoiler product'
AMD is positioning its parts as having roughly similar performance to Intel's latest desktop chips at significantly lower costs.

"This will be a great spoiler product, well positioned against Core i7," said Simon Solotko, senior brand manager in AMD's desktop division. "There's no good reason to spend hundreds of dollars more on a platform," he added.

AMD is pricing the 3.0GHz Phenom II for $275 and a 2.8GHz version for $235. The chips are expected to appear in systems at the CES this month.

The competing Intel Core i7 chips include the 965 Extreme Edition, a 3.2GHz part with 8Mbytes L3 cache aimed at enthusiast systems and costing $999 and a low-end 920 part running at 2.66GHz and selling for $284. They are already shipping in several OEM systems.

The CPUs initially come in versions supporting the company's AM2+ socket for DDR2 memory. Later this year, AMD will ship versions for its AM3 socket for DDR3 memory.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times





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