San Diego and Toledo are two names that you'll hear a lot about, and not just because they're quite nice places to take a holiday.
They are the codenames for the dual-core chips that AMD have lined up for the second half of 2005, which use a 90nm SOI process. These dual-core parts will be top of the line, and will replace the Athlon 64 FX as the enthusiast processor choice, but are likely to arrive slightly later than Intel's first implementation of the dual-core platform. Single-core San Diego chips will take the place of the current Socket 939 Athlon 64s, and these will add in SSE3 support.
The Sempr0n will get a new core late in 2005 too, in the form of Palermo. Interestingly, these roadmaps show the Socket 754 Sempr0n as carrying on way into 2005, so it appears AMD isn't quite ready to kill that form factor yet. The other name to watch out for is Venice: it seems that low end Athlon 64 parts will get their own core as we go into next year, so they can punt themselves down the river quite independently of their big brother. It will also be 90nm, marking a top-to-bottom integration of that process throughout AMD's new lineup.
On the motherboard front, Q1 sees availability of Via's K8T890 and Nvidia's nForce4 chipsets, finally. These PCI Express systems have all the high-speed goodness of their Intel brethren, but lack support for DDR2. That is coming later on in the year. The nForce 4 will, of course, support SLI, the uber-performing dual-card setup from Nvidia.
For those of you who like a little bit of integrated graphics with your Athlon 64, you're in luck. Interestingly, the roadmaps put RS482 - the successor to the current Radeon Xpress 200 chipset from ATI - at around the middle of 2005, and we expect an updated graphics core from the X300-class graphics that is in that chipset currently. Via will be releasing the K8M890 at the start of 2005, which will include DeltaChrome graphics from its baby company, S3, but there's no sign of anything from Nvidia.
The roadmaps are conspicuously bare for the late 2005 timeframe, suggesting that there is lots that is still unannounced or not discussed. We have very hairy moles working overtime to bring you that information as soon as we get it. µ
Win PC Japanese language site
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ