AMD Phenom processor - the first real quad-core processor

Posted on Monday, May 14 2007 @ 13:12 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Together with the launch of the Radeon HD 2000 series, AMD issued a press release about their upcoming Phenom processor. This chip is codenamed "FASN8" and according to AMD it will be the first true quad-core processor. This processor will arrive in the second half of 2007 and is aimed at PC enthusiasts.
In a demonstration in San Francisco, AMD previewed an eight-core platform, codenamed “FASN8,” pronounced “fascinate,” to show the first AMD silicon-based next-generation eight-core platform. The demonstration platform includes two true quad-core AMD Phenom processors, the new DirectX 10 ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, as well as an upcoming AMD next-generation, high-performance chipset, due in the second half of 2007. This platform illustrates AMD’s leadership in developing a single solution with increased levels of integration to boost real-world performance.
Here's some more info from the press release:

Only AMD Delivers True Quad-Core
AMD Phenom processors will be uniquely designed to facilitate intelligent uses of energy and system resources that are reliable, virtualization-ready and energy efficient, driving optimum performance-per-watt. All AMD Phenom processors will feature resources like an integrated DDR2 memory controller, HyperTransport™ technology links, and 128-bit Floating Point Units, for improved speed and performance in floating point calculations.

With the true quad-core design offered by the upcoming AMD Phenom processors, cores communicate on the die rather than through a front side bus external to the processor – a bottleneck inherent in other products that are packaging two dual-core chips to form quad-core processors. Additionally, AMD’s Direct Connect Architecture on-chip ensures that all four cores have optimum access to the integrated memory controller and integrated HyperTransport links, so that performance scales well with the number of cores. This design is also highlighted by a unique shared L3 cache for quicker data access and Socket AM2 and Socket AM2+ infrastructure compatibility to enable a seamless upgrade path.

“AMD’s quad-core processor rollout will put more computing horsepower at PC users' fingertips,” observed Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. “Quad-core innovations come at a time when many users are finding that the combination of Microsoft Vista™, multi-threaded applications and DirectX 10 no longer delivers the crisp performance they experienced on last year’s fastest systems running last year’s software. The AMD Phenom processor’s ability to deliver significantly more performance within the same power and thermal envelopes as its dual-core antecedents should make this quad-core processor a fitting follow-on to earlier AMD dual-core processor offerings.”

AMD Phenom Processor Family
Enthusiasts, digital content creators and mainstream users alike are seeking more immersive, visual computing experiences – developing and navigating rich 3D worlds, finding new ways to create and share digital media and memories, and pushing the limits of productivity with intense multitasking. AMD Phenom processors are designed for the exceptional performance and capabilities customers want, employing state-of-the-art platforms and a next-generation processor architecture.

“Quad-core technology like the AMD Phenom processor family will enable Dell customers to enjoy their personal computers in entirely new ways,” said Neil Hand, vice president marketing, Dell's Consumer Product Group. “With a quad-core CPU, the desktop PC can now truly act simultaneously as a server for home digital media devices, while keeping customers secure and productive in their mainstream use.”

“As we demonstrated with AMD in San Francisco, Nero is pleased to be on the leading edge, delivering applications that are optimized to take advantage of quad-core processors,” said John Tafoya, GM of Global Alliance at Nero. “The increased performance of AMD’s latest processors, coupled with Nero’s quad-core optimized applications is helping bring about Nero’s vision of a true ‘Liquid Media Revolution.’”

For enthusiasts who demand cutting-edge performance on their system, AMD Phenom FX processors are designed for systems that offer extreme megatasking capabilities. True quad-core platforms and octa-core platforms with the Dual Socket Direct Connect (DSDC) Architecture can provide enthusiast-class features and performance, to enable our customers to deliver professional-grade results. Moreover, AMD’s quad-core processors and unique eight core solutions, with four processing cores on one die, coupled with the latest platform technologies, including the new ATI Radeon HD 2000 series, can deliver the ultimate enthusiast PC platform. AMD Phenom X2 and X4 processors will offer true quad- and dual-core advanced technologies for seamless multitasking and optimum energy efficiency.

“The quad-core architecture behind the AMD Phenom processor family correlates nicely with Alienware’s relentless push to provide customers with the most powerful, immersive experience possible,” said Frank Azor, senior vice president of Alienware’s Worldwide Product Group. “Quad-core performance helps optimize the productivity level of Alienware users while further heightening their gaming enjoyment.”

“Falcon Northwest understands what enthusiasts want and continually strives to deliver the ultimate gaming experience,” said Kelt Reeves, president, Falcon Northwest. “The advent of AMD’s quad-core processor technology represents an industry-defining change for multi-threaded gaming that spells immediate benefits in terms of absolute performance. By combining Falcon Northwest’s gaming prowess together with AMD’s commitment to performance and future platform offerings, including AMD Phenom processors and the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, we are excited to help drive the future of multi-core computing.”

AMD’s open platform approach allows for AMD Phenom processors and platforms that are compatible with a wide range of solutions, including motherboard and chipset partners ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and NVIDIA.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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