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AMD plans 12-core server chip for 2010
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Wed May 07, 2008 6:56 pm Reply and quote this post
AMD today shed light on its upcoming server workstation roadmap,revealing details on its first six-core processor, expected to bereleased next year, and a 12-core offering, due by 2010.
The upcoming dodeca-core chip will use AMD's next generation socket platform, dubbed "Maranello."

In the second half of '09, AMD plans to begin production of a 45nm,6-core server processor, code named "Istanbul." The processor will fitinto current Socket 1207 platforms.
"It will use existing chipsets, memory systems, same power, samecooling," said Randy Allen, AMD's veep of server and workstation ops ata roadmap briefing today in San Franciso. "It's exactly the same modelwe've had in terms of being able to take Barcelona and put it intoexisting platforms. We'll be doing the same thing with Shanghai."
Shanghai, AMD's first 45nm server processor is still on schedule tobegin production during the second half of this year. Allen said bothShanghai and Istanbul will utilize AMD's coherent HyperTransport 3.0technology for inter-processor communication. Additional featuresinclude an increased shared Level-3 cache from 2MB to 6MB, and core andinstruction-per-clock enhancements.
Two years hence, AMD is gunning to use the third-generation Maranello socket for a new six-core and 12-core server chip lineup.
The 2010-destined six-core "Sao Paolo" processor and 12-core"Magny-Cours" will incorporate DDR3 memory and an additionalHyperTransport 3.0 link. Magny-Cours will use two six-core die in amulti-chip package.
Those counting will note a distinct lack of 8-core offerings in AMD's roadmap to match what Intel has been rumbling about.
Allen argued that while the vast majority of server workloads willsee good scalability using two-, four-, and six-core chips for servers,the benefit of adding cores past that will dwindle until softwareworkloads run more parallel.
"The more cores you put in there, the slower you're going to have torun it within a fixed power envelope," said Allen." "If you're going toadd additional cores, you have to be very convinced that the majorityof applications you're running are going to be able to take advantageof those additional cores. If they aren't able to do so, you'reactually taking a step backwards."
Allen said AMD's 12-core offering will properly satisfy users with the kind of parallel workload that can use it.

AMD is on target to ship its first 45-nm server chip, codenamedShanghai, in the latter part of this year, which would be about a yearafter Intel shipped its first products using the next-generationmanufacturing process that makes it possible to shrink transistor size.Shanghai will be a four-core processor that delivers 25% betterperformance than the company's current 65-nm quad-core Opteron,formerly known as Barcelona. Shanghai also will ship under the Opteronbrand.
Shanghai will use up to 20% less power during idle time thanBarcelona and have 6 MB of L3 cache, which is twice the overall cacheof its predecessor. In addition, Shanghai's support of DDR2-800 memorytranslates into a 10% boost in bandwidth.
Nevertheless, the Shanghai design is "incremental in nature"from Barcelona, which represented a platform overhaul for AMD, RandyAllen, AMD's VP for servers and workstations, told reporters during ateleconference. Shanghai will use the same Nvidian nForce 3600/3050 andBroadcom HT-2100/1000 chipsets as Barcelona, and fit into the samemotherboard socket, so computer manufacturers and corporate customerscan reap the performance benefits without major changes in currentsystems. "The platform won't need to be touched," Allen said. "Justdrop in the new processors and update the bios."
The platform change will occur with the release of the 12-coreMagny-Cours and six-core Sao Paulo, both set for the first half of2010. Magny-Cours will comprise two integrated six-core chips. Up untilthis product, AMD has placed all cores on a single die. The new productwill have 12 MB of L3 cache, while Sao Paulo will have 6 MB of cache.Both will use version 3 of the HyperTransport technology, which willdeliver a 4x performance boost in bidirectional data movement.
Both chips will run on AMD's next-generation platform,codenamed Maranello. In addition, the processors will use new chipsets:the AMD RD890S, the RD870S, or the SB700S.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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Fri May 09, 2008 1:38 pm Reply and quote this post
Although I like how AMD seems to be going more advanced, I find it rather pointless that they're making a 12 core processor.  Even 4 is more than enough for a simple server, and waaaay more than enough for gaming.  If you really want that much power, you'll buy a multi-CPU mobo and put quad cores in that.

AMD seems to be doing great thigns lately but they have a lot of priority issues.

Contributed by schmidtbag, iVirtua Leading Contributor
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