The Demo: Phenom at 3.0GHz, Today

Clock speeds have been a major blemish for AMD's Barcelona thus far. At Computex, we couldn't even get our hands on a chip that ran faster than 1.6GHz, and AMD just recently announced it would launch in August at 2.0GHz and below. With Intel pushing 3GHz today on 65nm, AMD needs to do more to compete, as it isn't competing against a low IPC chip like the Pentium 4 any longer.

In a demonstration designed to prove that Phenom isn't broken, AMD featured a quad-core Phenom X4 processor, with standard cooling, running at 3.0GHz. While Phenom won't be anywhere near that clock speed when it launches at the end of this year, AMD expects to be at 3GHz within the first half of 2008.

It's a nice demo, at least we know that the architecture isn't broken, but the time frame is still troubling. Luckily for AMD, Penryn will only be available as a high end Extreme part in 2007, buying a little more competitive time.

The 3GHz Phenom had a somewhat talented backup singer: AMD also showcased three Radeon HD 2900 XTs running in CrossFire mode.

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  • flashbacck - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    Whoever decided those acronyms were necessary should be fired. Reply
  • fzkl - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    Like mentioned, the obvious great benefit of having low power x86 chips on mobile phones is the software aspect. PC applications can now run on phones reducing aspirin needs for developers. However, what does this mean in terms of security? Can we see mobile phones needing frequent patches, antivirus, firewalls like in the case of desktops?

    If this were to be the case we would have successfully made a simple device like the mobile phone(in usage terms) a high maintenance product which a layman might have trouble with.
  • sheh - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    x86 doesn't imply any OS or API. Linux, which is commonly used today on all kinds of devices, can work just as well on x86. Conversely, nothing prevents virus writers from writing viruses for Linux running phones.
  • beyoku - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    what happened? Was this article recelty pulled off or something?
  • Guuts - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    Looks to me like he's trying to get the images working... Reply
  • erwos - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    Fusion looks like it'll be a fantastic chip for UMPCs and laptops. Hopefully they'll manage to squeeze more than CPU one core on there, too. Bobcat looks similarly fun - x86 phones! VIA was also discussing this idea, and I could really go for it.

    That said, AMD is really under-delivering with Barcelona - I suspect the next few years will be pretty rough. Intel has set a low ceiling price for the Barcelonas ($270 - same as the Q6600), and that's not going to be good for AMD's margins.
  • mlau - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link


    x86 Phones!

    Embedded is ruled by ARM, Freescale, mips and sh derivates; amd and intel are going to have a tough time getting a super-ugly system like pc-x86 (with it's
    legacy baggages "bios", "acpi" [you know, the stuff windows requires to run], ...) into that space.
  • Spoelie - Friday, July 27, 2007 - link

    you do not need to have those things to run an x86 cpu

    loot at EFI for example, in use by apple on their x86 based macs = no more bios.
  • qpwoei - Sunday, July 29, 2007 - link

    The real problem with x86 is that it's inherently not power efficient. To get good x86 performance requires lots of transistors and lots of power due to complex decoders and schedulers. A much simpler architecture like ARM requires very few transistors to run efficiently (at the expense of slightly less compact executable code), and is much more suited for battery-powered devices.

    Not to say that there won't be x86-powered devices in the future, just that I don't expect them to really gain much of a foothold in any place where battery life is important (eg: phones).
  • ss284 - Thursday, July 26, 2007 - link

    Return of the Jedi Reply

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