AMD reveals new roadmap

Company predicts a collaborative multicore, multisocket future

Steve Malone
5 Jun 2006

AMD is planning to finally break open Intel's grip on the x86 market for desktops and servers. The company plans to introduce new ranges of multicore and multisocket designs and has invited the industry to join it in creating a more open ecosystem based on AMD technology.

Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz told analysts that the company wanted to create a 'more open and innovation-friendly x86-based platform to those who want to collaborate in the development of differentiated, customer-centric solutions'.

AMD is already getting close to its plan to create a competition of equals in the x86 processor market - some measures the company has achieved its goal with a 48 per cent market share in multicore processors

The company is pressing ahead with its advantage in the multicore market. Promised for 2007 are quad-core processors for servers, workstations and high-end desktops, and a new dual-core design intended for desktops based on 65nm production processes.

The new multicore design will include the ability to dynamically adjust the frequency of each core on the chip to match application workloads and thereby reduce overall power consumption. This ability will also be extended to the company's notebook range of processors by the end of 2007.

AMD, already the modder and enthusiast's chip of choice, has revealed plans for a new platform codenamed '4x4' that will feature a four-core, multi-socket processor configuration via AMD's Direct Connect Architecture. AMD says that the 4x4 platform will be designed to be upgraded to eight total processor cores when it launches quad-core processors in 2007.

With the help of IBM, the company is also eating away at Intel's biggest advantage in chip manufacture by declaring that the transition to 45nm technology is accelerating. AMD plans to begin initial volume production of 45nm devices 18 months after initial 65nm production. The current date is expected to be around the middle of 2008.

Alongside the processor roadmap, AMD also made a series of other announcements that are intended to increase the market penetration of its processor ranges. Building on the Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport architectures, AMD has developed the 'Torrenza' project which will allow third party companies to develop application specific co-processors, such as graphics, for its architecture in multi-socket systems.

What is particularly interesting is that AMD is offering to licence HyperTransport technology to other companies so they can develop compatible products.

Two other initiatives, codenamed 'Trinity' and 'Raiden', have also been announced. Trinity will link security, virtualisation and manageability technologies together while the project Raiden will focus on improving IT systems' efficiency without making an impact on the end-user experience, through better manageability and security.

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