Chipzilla says it’s close to ramping 32nm process technology to manufacture the 32nm Westmere version of Nehalem. The company demonstrated a working 32nm Westmere processor for the first time today, smugly noting the firm was well on track with its ‘Tick-Tock’ model.
Usually when Intel shrinks their processors they don’t add any new features to the processor themselves, but this time not only did we get a die shrink but there are new microcode instructions for encryption and decryption slapped on for good measure.
With this move to 32nm Intel is continuing to shrink its transistor size by 50% every two years. Westmere-based processors will push the current Nehalem processors into the mainstream allowing even more affordable high performance processors for everyone.
Word reached us a bit ago that Nvidia is definitely working on an x86 chip and the firm is heavily recruiting x86 engineers all over Silicon Valley.
Seems like an odd thing for Nvidia to do but with the recent dreams of building a GPU into a CPU it is something many of people have predicted.
The worry of course is that Nvidia doesn’t have a license to the x86 instruction set and from what I’ve read there is little chance that any company who could license it to Nvidia would license it. Now obviously this is a rumor and the idea that Nvidia would blatantly ignore the law is a little silly but weirder things have happened in this crazy place we call the technology sector.
AMD today announced wide availability of five new 55 watt ACP quad-core Opteron processors. The 45nm CPUs operate from 2.1 to 2.3 GHz. Also, AMD announced two new 45nm Opteron SE processors (2.8 GHz) operate in the 105 watt ACP range for higher-end performance.
Two new quad-core Phenom II processors, aimed at high-end desktop PCs, were announced by AMD at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The chips succeed the Phenom processor the company launched in 2007, and come two days after AMD announced the new Athlon Neo processor for small laptops.
AMD on Monday catered to the budget set with a new, faster version of the Athlon X2. The 7000 series is the first based directly on the “Stars” architecture used for Phenom chips and carries both a 2MB smart Level 3 cache absent on previous Athlons and a faster 3.6GHz HyperTransport bus (up from 2GHz), all of which are said contribute to better performance per clock.
Sources familiar with AMDs future processor plans said on Wednesday that the chipmaker plans to release dual-core CPUs based on the K10 micro-architecture under the AMD Athlon X2 brand-name.
The new processor, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6500+ will be released in early September. It will run at 2.3GHz with 1MB of L2 cache, 2MB of L3 cache and have a dual-channel DDR2 memory controller. It will have a thermal design power of 95W and should be compatible with the majority of AM2+ motherboards.
The 6500 is based on the Kuma code-name design and will feature an unlocked multiplier allowing enthusiasts to easily overclock.
Aside from the Athlon 64 X2 processor, AMD also plans to release AMD Phenom X3 8750 (2.5GHz), 8550 (2.2GHz) 8450e (2.1GHz), and 8250e (1.9GHz), all with 3 cores on September 2.
A screenshot of the Snow Leopard system requirements has shown up online and includes the following:
An Intel Processor
An internal, external, or shared DVD drive
At least 512MB of RAM
A built-in display or a display connected to an Apple-supplied video card supported by your computer
At least 9GB of disk space available, or 12GB of disk space if you install developer tools
Read that first one again, this means that PowerPC processors aren’t being supported in Snow Leopard.
I’m not surprised that they are doing this, by the time Snow Leopard is released the newest computers with PowerPC are going to be roughly 3 years old. It isn’t like Apple won’t support 10.5 any more, Apple still supports OS X Tiger and Leopard will be support for many months after the release of Snow Leopard.
In case you haven’t heard already Nvidia is planning to get into the CPU market and word recently came out saying that they would actually have two lines of CPUs that should be coming out on or shortly after June 3rd.
No one at the Inquirer was actually invited to this week’s reviewers day which means that they didn’t sign the NDA, I’m not sure how they ended up getting the information but the new CPUs are the Tegra APX 2500 and CSX 600/650.
The Tegra APX 2500 is aimed at handheld devices and comes in a 144mm squared package and can do 720p encoding and decoding at 14MBps. The processor supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and can do AA and AF.
The CSX 600 and 650 is aimed at systems that are between handheld and laptop size that run Windows CE (the processor isn’t x86). The chip has 256K of L2 cache and can be die stacked to keep the footprint small. This one runs at 700-800MHz and will support 1080p at 24fps.
More information about these CPUs should trickle out as more and more journalists come out of NDA but this is a pretty good start.
AMD has announced new 45-Watt energy efficient processors.
AMD Athlon X2 BE-2400 2.3GHz priced at $104 AMD Athlon LE-1620 2.4GHz priced at $53 AMD Athlon LE-1600 2.2GHz priced at $47 AMD Sempron LE-1250 2.2GHz priced at $53 AMD Sempron LE-1200 2.1GHz priced at $48 AMD Sempron LE-1100 1.9GHz priced at $37 (pricing in 1,000 units for processor-in-box)
I think that this along with the 3-core processors from AMD are all examples of how they really are trying. I’m not sure exactly whether or not 45W desktop processors will really help them but I think that the few that are tech savvy enough to really think about how much power your processor uses would be interested in the processors.
AMD is planning to launch a three-core processor family in the first quarter of next year. The processors will be 65nm Agena based processors with one of the 4 cores disabled. There will be two models at launch, Phenom 7700 clocked at 2.5GHz with 512KB of L2 cache per core and 2MB of L3 cache, the second is the Phenom 7600 clocked at 2.3GHz also having 512KB of L2 cache per core and 2MB of L3 cache.
The processors should be launching around March and later on we will begin to see three-core 45nm processors.
I think that AMD is smart to have this type of game plan, the marketing possibilities of a 3-core processor would be pretty amazing. I think that just the name “tri-core” just sounds really cool. I love the fact that AMD is taking a more interesting approach to making processors, I also think that if AMD can take the momentum of having a “true quad-core” processor and run with it, they will start to catch up with Intel.