AMD lets slip a few tidbits about new CPUs

AMD was a big presence at Quakecon this year, making the most of its sponsorship of the event. The folks from AMD were keen to emphasize the company’s commitment to gaming, reminding the world of its efforts to work with major game developers like id Software and Crytek, and also talking up the suitability of Opteron systems as game servers.

We took the opportunity to pry into AMD’s plans for the immediate future. Among the tidbits we unearthed is word that AMD will be filling out its line of Socket 939-based processors with lower-cost products, leaving Socket 754 to the low end and the Sempron. We couldn’t get them to commit to a specific timetable for the introduction of these new parts, but I’d probably expect them in the next few months.

AMD still says it’s progressing well on its transition to a 90nm fab process (indeed, it seems the first 90nm mobile parts are now shipping). Unlike Intel, AMD will not be trying to produce a significantly redesigned chip as its first 90nm part; the first 90nm processors from AMD should be very similar to its current CPUs. The company continues to maintain that the power and thermal characteristics of its 90nm processors are quite decent.

Also, interestingly enough, the first 90nm parts from AMD will not be high-end parts. Instead, AMD will transition its less expensive, higher volume products to 90nm first. This move makes sense from an economics standpoint, but it also raises questions about whether the move to 90nm will allow significantly higher clock speeds than current 130nm Opterons and Athlon 64s. We’ll see.

Comments closed
    • TO11MTM
    • 16 years ago

    Prescott is not necessarily a valid indicator of 90nm thermal performance. Again, look at Dothan for a better indicator… As It’s not a radically reworked system like the Prescott is.

    • Delta9
    • 16 years ago

    It probably is being released in the low end first because it uses the .09 version of the Winchester? core that only has 512K L2 cache on it instead on 1mb. If it’s smaller at .13 than most current chips, it will be even smaller at .09. The new process makes alot of lower speed bin A64s and Semprons alot less expensive for AMD to produce if the new manufacturing process has flaws still that need to be worked out.

    • ExpansionSSS
    • 16 years ago

    90nm = overclocking king ?

      • Decelerate
      • 16 years ago

      If they have mastered the heat issues that Intel has so miserably failed in, probably.

      But if physics doesn’t want anyone to, no one will be able to.

        • BabelHuber
        • 16 years ago

        I’d bet money that they’ll clock higher. The real question is how much faster they will be. 3GHz? 3.5GHz? We’ll see.

          • wierdo
          • 16 years ago

          doubt it’ll be that high, but still, they should get a couple of speed grades out of it at least I’d expect. The die size is relatively not as large as the competition, the thermal issues should be a bit more manageable I hope.

        • TO11MTM
        • 16 years ago

        Heat issues in 90nm seem to be exaggerated. Dothan processors run at lower power than their predecessors… at least from everything I’ve read. Mind you, it’s not like the change from 180 to 130 nm… I’d say it’s more of a thermal slope than a thermal wall. 😉

          • Buub
          • 16 years ago

          l[

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 16 years ago

            yeah they are still

            • Forge
            • 16 years ago

            Hey mang, just because it’s thermal throttling under light loads and default clocks while in an approved case means nothing!!

            Everything is fine here, move along!

    • GodsMadClown
    • 16 years ago

    It’s very smart to move the volume products to 90 nm first. While it’s not clear what clock scaling might be like at 90 nm, it’s a sure bet that you’ll be able to get more chips per wafer at 90 nm. The more chips/wafer benefit dovetails very nicely with the volume processor market strategy. It’s all about the shareholders. AMD is maturing, and they need nice stable profit growth, not cowboy risk-taking.

    • Krogoth
    • 16 years ago

    It looks like AMD has taken a move from Intel’s playbook with their the transition from 0.18 to 0.13. Intel first tested the 0.13 process on the P3 Tutitans(sp?), before utillizating on the P4(Northwoods).

      • Sargent Duck
      • 16 years ago

      Normally I wouldn’t care, and I’m not usually a grammer nazi, so forgive me.

      Tulatin

        • rxc6
        • 16 years ago

        Actually, it is Tualatin

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