In late 2009 or 2010 AMD will release 45nm server processors with six and twelve cores. The latter chip is actually a processor with two six-core dies, not that we have any problems with it but it's pretty funny considering the firm used to bitch on Intel when they did a similar trick instead of creating a "real" quad-core CPU like AMD did.
In a briefing today (May 7), AMD said it will ship in early 2010 its Magny-Cours processor. It will use two six-core die of a 2010-class design called Sao Paolo liked via a novel interconnect the company would not discuss.
Randy Allen, general manager of AMD's server and workstation division, said the company rejected the approach Intel took to linking two die on a chip. The method it came up with achieves "nearly monolithic levels of performance," he said.
AMD claims its Barcelona server CPU has an average 13 percent performance advantage over Intel's chips, in part because Barcelona packs all four cores on one die while Intel's parts link two die in a package.
The current road map showed no new core designs. AMD has discussed a new high performance core called Bulldozer as well as a low power core, but neither appeared on the server road map through 2010.
The next step for AMD is its move from 65nm to 45nm process technology. A four-core server CPU dubbed Shanghai now sampling and set to ship before the end of the year will be among the first parts made in the 45nm process.
Shanghai will deliver a performance boost of about 20 percent over Barcelona thanks to the new process as well as a doubling of overall cache size and a move to 800 MHz DDR-2 memory.
In late 2009, AMD plans to ship Istanbul, a newly disclosed six-core processor, also made in 45nm, and likely to deliver a 20 percent performance boost over the Shanghai design. Analysts expect the 45nm technology could help AMD reduce silicon costs and get back to profitability after several loss-making quarters.
The 2010-class Sao Paolo will add to the six-core Istanbul design support for DDR-3 memory and support for four links of AMD's HyperTransport version 3.0 interconnect. Sao Paolo will also include a new probe filter to increase performance by reducing coherency traffic on the device. Alan said Sao Paolo will likely have a smaller than 20 percent performance increase over the 2009 Istanbul chip.
In 2010, AMD will introduce its own core logic chip sets for the server processors. They will support the 5 GHz version of PCI Express as well as a new spec for I/O virtualization over Express. Currently AMD servers use chip sets from Broadcom or NVidia.
The first six-core server processors (Dunnington) from Intel will be available in Fall 2008. More info at EE Times.