AMD ANALYST DAY had a bunch of new tidbits, and in no particular order, here is a bunch of new information. We hope it will bring you peace in this time of universal brouhaha.
The new names are Persues, Kodiak, Swift, Shrike, Leo refresh and Cartwheel refresh. Embedded in those names are a bunch of new bullet points, chips, chipsets and a new term, APU. Lets get started with the term, APU.
APU stands for Accelerated Processing Unit, and the first one is Swift. You might have heard of it earlier as Fusion, and it is set to come out in the latter half of 2009. What it is, is a 'stars' core with the new northbridge from Griffin, a GPU and PCIe on board. Basically, it is a system on a chip, but unlike other SoCs, it is aimed at the high end, not the low.
Probably the next most important part is Perseus, the shatteringly dull corporate desktop platform. It has a Toliman or Kuma CPU, a RS780/SB700 chipset, and supports Hybrid Crossfire. Perseus is MS broken OS logo compliant, and hopefully will be Energy Star 4.0 and DASH 1.0 ready.
The next generation is called Kodiak, and it hits the streets in mid-2009. Again, it is a long-term, stable corporate desktop that has Propus, Heka and Regor as the CPUs, but duals are not on the option list. It uses an AM3 package, but the southbridge is interestingly listed as SB700+, not SB700. Interesting tidbit there. Other than that, little has changed.
Cartwheel is much the same, a 2008 consumer desktop, and is replaced by Cartwheel refresh in the spring of 2009. It has most of what Perseus/Kodiak does, but the refresh offers a SB800 instead of a SB700+. Don't get all that excited here unless you buy your PCs from Best Buy.
You know about Spider, it is a purchasable platform, more or less depending on Phenom, but it gets replaced by Leo in mid-2008, and Leo gets refreshed in early '09. Leo replaces Phenom with Deneb and Propus, 3 and four core only, and SB600 gives way to SB700. Basically, a new CPU and a new SB.
The Leo refresh is a little more interesting. Contrary to the name, it adds more than Leo did. The package goes from AM2+ to AM3, and that means DDR3. The chipset goes from 7xx to RD8xx with a SB800, and the GPUs go from R6xx to R7xx. By far the most interesting point, possibly of the whole day, is the lone bullet point that says IOMMU I/O virtualisation.
This is a huge deal, for those of you who don't understand virtualisation, it is the last major stumbling block to virtualising everything is a system. It means you will be able to virtualise PCIe cards, video, and other things that must be emulated today. If it is done right, you will be able to use virtualisation on a gaming/multimedia desktop. This can't come soon enough.
Last, but far from least, we have Shrike, the follow-on to Puma. It is the 2009 AMD laptop base platform, and it again has some very interesting bits if you read between the lines. First, it says it has a gen three stars core and one GPU core. Ram is DDR3, it plugs into a socket with a new name, FS1, and is built on 45nm technology. The southbridge goes from 780M/SB700 to 'next generation southbridge', and graphics go from M8x to M9x. It also adds UWB for connectivity, whatever that is defined as.
The open question here is if it is Fusion/Swift/APU? Is the GPU on die or on package? Is it even on package? It may look a lot like Swift, but the timing says it is not all there yet, so we would guess that it is a proto-fusion part that AMD keeps trying to convince us is something more than packaging tech. If Intel can sell that line for Nehalem, we guess AMD can as well.
Stepping away from platforms, we come to CPUs. The real news here is Montreal,. It is four and eight cores, and the time-line has it in 1H/09. They list 1M L2/core, a doubling of Shanghai, and 6-12M of L3. Shanghai is listed as 6M, so Montreal looks like two Shanghais on an MCM. Another curious point is that Shanghai is listed as using RDDR2 along with Barcelona, but Montreal uses plain old DDR3.
Shanghai also has a curious bullet point of "1 PC enhancements" whatever that means, and Montreal lacks it. Montreal also ups the HT3 link count from Shanghai's three to four. This strongly supports the MCM theory, with each core connected by an on-package HT link, that would eat two of the six leaving four.
Even more interesting is that the chipsets go from Broadcom and NV on Barcelona and Shanghai to 100 per cent ATI on Montreal. The listed chipsets are RD890S and RD780S teamed up with SB700S. Isn't that a turn of events, but you can hardly blame them after Broadcom's woeful attempts at a chipset and NV's heat problems.
The socket also changes, as you would expect with the HT link count. It goes from Socket F to Socket G3 "Piranha". All of this is a massive power shift, don't underestimate the effects that it will have on the server landscape, both good and bad.
Overall, there is a lot coming, most of which is variants on the current lineup. Between the lines, there is a lot of good stuff, I/O virtualization and the server chipsets being the big ones, as well as the APU category. The news was of course overshadowed by the financial woes, but if AMD can deliver, they certainly will have some good products in the 9-18 month range. µ
Not the biggest fish out there
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Duo attempted to infiltrate the network between January and March this year