Though leaks of the product have been circulating around the web for months now, today AMD is officially announcing their Phenom brand of processors based on their next generation K10 CPU core architecture, code named Barcelona. The chip is built on AMD's 65nm process and is comprised of up to 4 32/64-bit capable CPU engines on a single die. In addition, each core will have one of four Hypertransport links supporting it with AMD's Direct Connect Architecture that has higher throughput over traditional Front Side Bus architectures.
In addition to a faster on-die memory controller, the chip will support 64-bit and 128-bit SSE operations and come with 2MB of on-chip L2 cache (512KB dedicated per core) and 2MB of shared L3 cache. So while Intel is beefing up their cores with up to 8MB of shared L2 cache currently for Kentsfield and 12MB L2 for their upcoming Penryn chip, AMD is still conserving die area it seems, with only 4MB total on-chip cache. Regardless, since Barcelona will have faster on-off chip access with four serial HT links at its disposal, it's conceivable that these deficiencies can be mitigated somewhat.
As you'll note in the above AMD slideware, Phenom processors will come in a variety of flavors, including an enthusiast class Phenom FX, the high-end Phenom X4 and mainstream Phenom X2. The X2 obviously signifies a dual-core chip, while FX and X4 denote quad-core architectures. Finally, through what AMD is calling their DSDC (Dual Socket Direct Connect) architecture, the new platform will enable 8-way octa-core system designs for the enthusiast and profressional workstation markets.
Phenom FX, X4 and X2 processors are expected to be available toward the end of '07.
Official PR -
AMD makes first public demonstration of all-AMD enthusiast platform codenamed "FASN8".
Industry's only true x86 quad-core architecture paired with the
ATI Radeon(tm) HD 2000 series to offer a phenomenal computing experience.
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - May 14, 2007 - Delivering a four-core foreshadowing of innovations to come for PC enthusiasts worldwide, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today unveiled the upcoming AMD Phenom(tm) processor family name and publicly demonstrated the first all-AMD enthusiast platform, codenamed "FASN8." The industry's only true quad-core client processors are expected to deliver the ultimate visual experience, especially when paired with AMD's new DirectX 10 ATI Radeon(tm) HD 2000 series, which began shipping today (see related press release: "AMD Introduces the ATI Radeon(tm) HD 2000 Series, Delivering The Ultimate Visual Experience(tm) for Desktop and Mobile Platforms"). AMD expects true quad-core and dual-core AMD Phenom-based desktop systems will ship in the second half of 2007.
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. ...