AMD May Be Closer to 45nm CPUs Then We Think

AMD's roadmap for CPU production has shown steady progression in the company's goal of shrinking die sizes from 90nm to the eventual goal of 35nm in the next few years, but will that move be made soon enough to keep AMD's offerings comparable to Intel's? A great deal of debate has been centered around whether AMD or Intel will move into the production of smaller, more efficient die sizes first, but AMD may be closer to shrinking it's CPU dies then it seems. Recently AMD's Senior VP, Marty Seyer, alluded to the successor of the 65nm Barcelona core, the Shanghai. The Shanghai core is intended to be AMD's first 45nm processor and is also slated for production as early as Q2 of 2008.

Shanghai is apparently more than just a cache-bump. AMD's documentation explicitly claims Shanghai will be the company's first 45nm processor. However, with a die shrink additional cache is one of the immediate architecture options as the smaller node allows for more transistors to fit on the chip die. Shanghai features 6MB of L3 cache. Barcelona, the 65nm quad-core next-generation Opteron from AMD, is expected to launch this summer with 2MB of L3 cache. L3 cache on the K8L architecture is shared over all four cores, yet each core has an independent L2 cache as well.

Right now Shanghai is rumored to have the exact same architecture as the soon to be released Barcelona core with the only variation being die size.

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