The Intel Developer Forum doesn't officially start until later today, but we hit the ground running with a handful of meetings shortly after landing in San Francisco.  The first on the list was AMD, who have made it a habit of coming to just about every IDF to keep some balance. 

If you're expecting something earth shattering from AMD or finally some specifications for their 2007 CPU lineup, you'll have to wait longer.  AMD tells us that after Socket-AM2 and its mobile/server variants are launched then they will begin talking about their new architectures.  We've tried to get more, sooner, but haven't been successful yet.  Now on to what we were able to see. 

Socket-S1: Mobile DDR2

The first topic of the meeting was AMD's dual core Turion, which now officially has the name Turion 64 X2.


The Turion 64 X2 will be using AMD's new Socket-S1, the mobile version of Socket-AM2.  The 638-pin mobile Socket-S1 has a dual channel DDR2 interface like the 940-pin desktop AM2 socket.  You may be wondering how AMD was able to cram more than twice the data pins in a 638-pin package as they did with the original Socket-754 Athlon 64s, the answer is that the first generation of AMD's Athlon 64 was a bit over-designed for its needs.  We've heard that around 10% of the pins on the original Athlon 64s were unnecessary, so with some tweaking it's not too far fetched to see a dual channel memory controller implemented in fewer pins. (Note: the original article incorrectly stated that Socket-S1 uses 754 pins, AMD provided us with incorrect information and has since updated us). 

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AMD has finally narrowed down the Turion 64 X2 launch to Q2 of this year, whereas in the past they had only mentioned a mid-year release. 

AMD's Turion 64 X2

The platform AMD was demonstrating the Turion 64 X2 on was one of their mobile reference platforms.  AMD currently offers OEMs reference Turion platforms based on both ATI and NVIDIA chipsets, some of which AMD claims offer 5+ hours of battery life.  The idea being that OEMs who don't want to invest their own time and resources into engineering a Turion platform can simply borrow from AMD's reference design.  Obviously the reference design isn't going to produce the most unique notebook ever, but it's a starting point. 

A big theme for AMD recently has been their collaboration with partners such as ATI and NVIDIA, instead of competing against them for chipset market share.  It's a position that AMD can take since they don't manufacture their own chipsets, however it is difficult to say if AMD would be singing the same tune if they had the same manufacturing capacity as Intel.

Socket-AM2: Desktop DDR2
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  • brownba - Wednesday, March 8, 2006 - link

    why wouldn't AMD move to LGA for all their new sockets?
  • Egglick - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    The recommended specs for the AMD Media PC are so overkill it's laughable.
  • goz314 - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    ho hum. I'm really excited at this product line-up. Can you tell?
  • Questar - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    Yeah. AMD needs their own forum, instead of trying to do damage control at IDF.

    But then considering that AMD is years away from having anything new to market, I guess they have to do something.
  • JackPack - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    It's almost as if AMD were showing off contraband in those dark hotel suites and meeting rooms.

    If they're financially limited, restrict travel for employees or something.

    But don't show off Opterons and Socket F like that. It's not surprising that they have an image problem and the general perception is that they have a "cheaper" product.
  • KorruptioN - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    Motherboard AMD Live! Ready (Socket AM2 / up to 95A)

    95W, not 95A. Not even the PCP&C 1KW behemoth PSU can put out 95A, heh. The Turion64 X2 looks very appealing.
  • JackPack - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    It's 95A. Think about it for a little.
  • alpha88 - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    Right, 95 amps at 1.4 volts is ~135 watts.
  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    I thought Socket S1 had fewer than 700 pins, around 638? The article currently says 754, which is the current low-end A64/Sempron pin count.

    It is possible that AMD has changed things though - maybe they realised they needed dual-channel DDR2 in the laptop and the S1 that I'm thinking of didn't support it.
  • Rock Hydra - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    The article did mention though, that S754 had unused pins, so I'm sure they tweaked it like stated in the article.

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