AMD Multi-Core Processors
Providing Multiple Benefits For The Future
variations this year. In 2007 the chipmakers
expect to introduce several multi-core
chips, beginning with quad-core offerings.
We discussed Intel’s multi-core proces-
sors in the January 2006 issue of CPU
(page 50). This month, we’ll focus on what
AMD has planned for 2006 and beyond.
In April 2005, AMD released its first
dual-core chip aimed at the server and
workstation market, the Opteron proces-
sor. There are several Opteron dual-core
90nm processors ranging in clock speeds
from 1.6GHz to 2.4GHz.
hard hat area | white paper
y now you probably have heard of
dual- and multi-core processors.
Both AMD and Intel released
dual-core chips in 2005, and both have
plans to release dozens more dual-core chip
Direct Connect Architecture vs.
Direct Connect Architecture lives up to its name by providing a
direct connection between the processor, the memory
controller, and the I/O area to improve overall system
performance. AMD has used Direct Connect Architecture
for the past few years in its single-core chips.
But now AMD has extended the use of Direct Connect Architecture to
connect the cores on a dual- or multi-core chip die and to connect each
core to its memory controller. ▲
When using a dual-processor x86 legacy architecture,
however, two processors then have to share the same
memory control hub, which creates bottlenecks in data
transfers at the FSB. The two processors aren’t connected,
either, which can lead to latency problems.
With multi-core architecture, each core on the chip has its own memory con-
troller, which significantly improves memory performance. Using Direct Connect
Architecture to make a connection with the memory controller eliminates most
bottlenecks and makes multitasking easier. Also, connecting the processor cores
together lets data flow freely and reduces latency problems.
As with other families of AMD processors, a larger model number
for an Athlon 64 X2 dual-core chip equal