IDF Day 3: AMD and Intel's Dual Core Demonstrations; The Race to Dual Coreby Kristopher Kubicki on September 10, 2004 7:22 PM EST
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Dual Core AMD Solutions
AMD's dual core announcements were actually made slightly before Intel's and in more public fashion.
The hinge of AMD's dual core strategy revolves around the "System Request Interface", or SRI. The SRI simply acts as an arbiter between the core and the crossbar switch - which in turn controls the memory controller and HyperTransport resources. Like Intel's solution, cache (L1, L2 and L3) are not shared between cores. New AMD servers will have dedicated memory banks per socket, although each memory bank can be accessed globally by any of the other CPUs.
AMD's dual core implementation required no hardware upgrades other than a BIOS flash on the servers running dual core processors. One four socket HP Proliant DL585 server ran Windows 2003 (32-bit) while the other four-socket machine ran a RedHat Linux variant on the 2.6 kernel. However, details of the demonstration - particularly clock speed - were not clear. The important thing to remember for both the AMD and Intel demonstrations is that upgrading to dual core processors requires only a BIOS update from hardware available today.
Things we do know do know about Eygpt/Italy/Denmark are listed below:
- Codename: Egypt (8 socket), Italy (2 socket), Denmark (1 socket), Toledo (Desktop)
- Process: 90nm SOI
- Strained Silicon
- Operating Wattage: Unknown
- Clock Speed: Unknown
- Launch H2'05
Unfortunately, AMD would not quote on exact thermal or clock speeds for either machine. We were generally under the impression they were running at lower clock speeds, however Pat Patla, AMD's Director of Server Marketing, was quick to point out that both systems were running in standard hardware configurations without additional cooling and shipping dual core product should be rated at the same wattage as single core solutions. Again, the large message behind AMD's dual core push was not thermals or clocks, but that the technology exists today and that deployment will not be hindered by core logic or motherboard changes.
The AMD roadmap has also been slightly updated to reveal the presence of the dual core chips form AMD.