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AMD Releases Image of Phenom/Barcelona Die

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the can't-get-much-dorkier-than-that dept.

AMD 129

MojoKid writes "A few weeks ago, AMD released information on new branding for their desktop derivatives of the Barcelona core, now dubbed the Phenom FX, X4 and X2. If you're unfamiliar with Phenom, the processors will be based on AMD's K10 architecture. They've been tight lipped about specifics, but we know that it will feature a faster on-die memory controller, support 64-bit and 128-bit SSE operations, and they'll be outfitted with 2MB of on-chip L2 cache (512KB dedicated per core) in addition to 2MB of shared L3 cache. This week, instead of revealing some more of the juicy details regarding those enhancements, AMD just sent over a tasty photo of a Phenom die. At least it's something."

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129 comments

PENIS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361805)

IN YOUR BUTT

Butt of my gun? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363353)

IN YOUR BUTT


Or is that just your dad's face... who married a woman that had a face that made me shudder, lips like fishhooks, and a nose just like a rudder?

Maybe if I kissed her and held her tenderly, there's no sea monster big enough to ever frighten me.

First Core (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361807)

duh

wow a photo (5, Insightful)

jonathan DS (1110515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361813)

can you see how fast it is? How about some specs we understand?

Re:wow a photo (5, Funny)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361829)

well marketing now tells us the number of cores is the only important factor in performance. this has 4, most desktop pc processors are 2 right now, that makes it exactly twice as fast as current processors.

Re:wow a photo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361847)

so right you are!

Today's processor marketing explained to geek (3, Funny)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362045)

sed " s/number of GHz/number of cores/ " marketing.txt

Re:Today's processor marketing explained to geek (2, Funny)

pakar (813627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362409)

So soon we will have 10^9 cores..

Don't even wanna think about the overhead for checking locks :)

Coming soon.... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19367719)

Featuring next year, an AMD sponsored article called the "The multi-core myth", AMD processor beging being branded with a N-code in their name (letter "N" + a number) which they pretend is only unit-less number to tell apart models of processors, but which incidentely is very close to the perfomance of an Intel with that number of cores.

Then, as part of their Torenza initiative and GPU onboard of CPU, AMD introduces processors with a huge amount of vector stream-processing units. It is supported by Linux even before hitting the market (thanks to previous work on Cell) and is immediately adopted by the scientific community.

Intel announces that their separate line of GPUs on PCIe is no more while simultaneously scraping their "Intel Core Treisdeka-duo 32" cooking-ware... oops.. processors and droping the "Core" name, and promise to release newer CPU based on an older technology and featuring massive amount of stream processing units, called "Intel Hub Trio".

Marketing for next decade :

" s/number of cores/number of steam processing vector units/ "
Wash, rince, repeat.

Re:wow a photo (0)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362173)

Number of cores never seems to equal the same multiplication of performance......so yea. It's still better but not multiple.

Re:wow a photo (3, Interesting)

Jacer (574383) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362235)

I understand your cynicism. Especially considering how a lot of processor intensive applications that most consumers use (games and other multimedia, and to a small margin running outlook, internet explorer, and MSN messenger together) get absolutely no benefit from SMP. However, as multi-core chips are rapidly becoming the defacto must have for everyone, I think developers are going to start coding to take advantage of this. We've already heard plenty of rumors about offloading most/all of the physics processing onto a chip that does it's computations in matrices rather than in any sort of linear fashion, streamlining the process both in method of computation and by freeing up your cpu cycles any number of other tasks (potentially an increase in game artificial intelligence, so it behaves less predictably, maybe do away with all of the nested tree structures and boolean choices) The only potential problem is increasing the complexity of development. Applications to take full advantage of all the new widgets will also take exceedingly more development time, support time, QA time, ect which will (alm0st) inevitably lead to a rise for consumers.

Re:wow a photo (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364319)

Especially considering how a lot of processor intensive applications that most consumers use (games and other multimedia, and to a small margin running outlook, internet explorer, and MSN messenger together) get absolutely no benefit from SMP.

Don't underestimate how well supported SMP is already. It's true that there aren't that many single applications that get a linear speedup to 4 cores, but dual core processors have been common for a while now. All of the new games support multiple cores - they have to, neither the PS3 and XBox360 has one simple processor. All of the media encoding applications support 4+ cores. Some video playback programs support multiple cores. And, as AMD and Intel love to remind us, if you run more than one program at a time *that* can use multiple cores.

Re:wow a photo (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19367917)

Anybody who encodes audio and video will love quad core. Xvid 1.2+ supports parallel encoding, and sweet jesus does it do it quickly on the proper machine. I can encode a 90 minute film to 1400MB Xvid w/multi-pass encoding in about 45 minutes on a stock E6600. On my stock AMD64 3000+, the same operation takes about 150 minutes.

Re:wow a photo (0, Flamebait)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363061)

well marketing now tells us the number of cores is the only important factor in performance. this has 4, most desktop pc processors are 2 right now, that makes it exactly twice as fast as current processors.

But they might be right. I but I need 8 cores.

  • one for AV scanning
  • one for firewall
  • one for MS updates
  • one for tool bars
  • one for worms
  • one for bots
  • one for ripping while I use
  • one to do some of my work

Re:wow a photo (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366641)

Don't worry the "Ocho" is due out soon

Re:wow a photo (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363837)

They also told us that it has a fast memory controller and large I/O words. Those matter too.

Re:wow a photo (3, Funny)

luder (923306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361967)

Well, if I understood correctly, it still has overheating issues, as they're only capable of delivering a photo of a dead processor. Also, on a side note, isn't it funny that there's a website specially dedicated to hot hardware?

Re:wow a photo (2, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362261)

Frankly - who cares? It will be fast enough, no doubt. Speed is not the #1 characteristic of CPU anymore.

It isn't? (1)

Xocet_00 (635069) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363045)

In all honesty then, what is?

Memory! Lots of Memory. (1)

triso (67491) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365703)

In all honesty then, what is?
Memory capacity, greater than 4 GB.

Re:wow a photo (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362449)

can't fap to specs (well you can, but it's not very fun)

MMMM... Breakfast is computing (2, Funny)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362855)

These multi-core CPUs are a great direction for the industry. The real question is, when is the 10 CPU processor coming out?

I think this will be a great option for people who get in early at the office. The original Pentium is able to cook an egg on top of the CPU. With 4 cores comes complete breakfast for one person: 2 eggs and 2 toast. I suppose the real key is a workgroup CPU with 10 cores would be useful each is used to cook in total 4 eggs, 4 toast and 2 cups of coffee (you do have to feed your co-worker ... I think).

Re:MMMM... Breakfast is computing (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365277)

The Sun Niagara, which has 80 cores, has been on the market for several years now.

Re:MMMM... Breakfast is computing (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366407)

Err... I think you mean 8, with four threads per core. To the OS it looks like a 32-way machine on one chip. It's Intel that has been in the news again recently about its 80-core research chip. And then there's those GPUs with 128 cores on them that you can program in C. [nvidia.com]

Re:MMMM... Breakfast is computing (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19367453)

You are correct. My apologies.

Yeah, this qualifies as second worst Slashdot news (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363963)

... item ever, after the big reset button which was posted this very day aswell.

Maybe it's time to shut down Slashdot?

Hype it up (4, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361849)

I know that this is just a ploy to build up hype for the new processors... I just hope that the processor performs up to expectations.

AMD really needs to respond to the Core 2 Duo's with something that tells the world that they are still in the race. I really don't want to see Intel become the unchallenged winner of the silicon wars... it would hurt us users in the long run.

I fear that it is a real possibility however. The cost of fabs, R&D, and marketing have grown so much in the last few years that it would be VERY difficult for any newcomer to compete with Intel unless they managed to develop a completely different and low cost way to manufacture their chips... or they are very heavily backed.

Re:Hype it up (1)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361887)

"I fear that it is a real possibility however. The cost of fabs, R&D, and marketing have grown so much in the last few years that it would be VERY difficult for any newcomer to compete with Intel unless they managed to develop a completely different and low cost way to manufacture their chips... or they are very heavily backed."

AMD is not a newcomer. And the speed "crown" has passed between AMD and Intel a couple of times since the K6 and probably will again.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it appears to me that neither Intel nor AMD are ill equipped to compete, in the long term of course.

Re:Hype it up (4, Informative)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365021)

The only reason that AMD is still alive is that Intel made a series of blunders. Intel went exclusively with the expensive RAMBUS technology, kept the northbridge off-chip, chose clock speed over processing power. During the same period AMD integrated the memory controller, developed hypertransport, and emphasized processing power over clock speed. As a result, for several years AMD maintained a small performance advantage and slowly gained market share. Because Intel maintains a superior process technology, AMD's advantage was only a small one. Intel is much larger and can afford the huge expenses invloved in keeping the process advantage.

Now that Intel is mostly past its blunders, it still has the advantage of superior process and is likely to maintain that advantage. Unless AMD can pull more rabbits out of its hat, its goose is cooked. I want AMD to regain the performance lead, but I don't think it's going to happen.

Re:Hype it up (-1, Flamebait)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361919)

Ok.. let's split this in statements and see what information or insight it brings us:

I know that this is just a ploy to build up hype for the new processors... No way!
I just hope that the processor performs up to expectations. Someone who hopes for it to fail?

AMD really needs to respond to the Core 2 Duo's with something that tells the world that they are still in the race. That was really insightful, totally didn't expect that coming

I really don't want to see Intel become the unchallenged winner of the silicon wars... likewise: very interesting material!

it would hurt us users in the long run. wow!

I fear that it is a real possibility however. !!!

The cost of fabs, R&D, and marketing have grown so much in the last few years that it would be VERY difficult for any newcomer to compete with Intel no one even realized that, it's good someone reiterated it here for us

unless they managed to develop a completely different and low cost way to manufacture their chips... or they are very heavily backed.by .. aliens right? alien technology or something.


In recap: thank you very much, you did it again, Captain Obvious!

Re:Hype it up (1, Offtopic)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362021)

I think the Nintendo Wii will do better than the 360 and PS2, even though the specs are lower. Microsoft and Sony were both reaching for performance but they forgot all about the fun!

Re:Hype it up (0)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362373)

I think the Nintendo Wii will do better than the 360 and PS2, even though the specs are lower. Microsoft and Sony were both reaching for performance but they forgot all about the fun!

Microsoft, Sony, RIAA, MPAA, SCO are evil!
Google, Linux, GNU, EFF, Apple are not evil!
Copyright infringement is not theft!
DRM can't work, it'a a bunch of ones and zeros!

Re:Hype it up (2, Funny)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362775)

Yup, that is why I buy AMD CPU's...they are so fun!

Re:Hype it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362079)

Not everybody in slashdot knows how silicon industry works.
Some of us actually welcome people like the grandparent who puts the news into perspective.
Although for someone it may be obvious information, for other people it's not.

Re:Hype it up (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362341)

Not everybody in slashdot knows how silicon industry works.
Some of us actually welcome people like the grandparent who puts the news into perspective.
Although for someone it may be obvious information, for other people it's not.


Orly :P Let's recap what he said in short: ..:: Chapter 1: Obvious statements ::..

The image is part of a press release.
Since AMD currently has worse chips, what AMD needs to do is have better chips.
If AMD dies, Intel becomes a monopolist. Monopoly is bad.
It's very expensive to start a chip business in your garage nowadays. ..:: Chapter 2: Hopes and Fears ::..

He hopes AMD's chip is very good.
He fears if it's not, AMD won't take the lead.
He fears if AMD keeps underperforming, it may go bankrupt (now, that's actually a bunch of bull, but I won't refute it since I'm lazy).
He fears all of this is "very real possibility".

It's not his fault really, it's the moderators. Anyone of us is free to come here and compile a list of crap and post it. Hell, even the GNAA do it, and they never had anything interesting to say so far. But if moderators keep modding pedestrian observations of this kind, people will just lean to posting more of it. I remember there used to be some interesting stuff in the comments before, people came here to read the comments.

Re:Hype it up (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362457)

Actually, this would be AMD's late response to the Core 2 Quad. Given that Intel is going to be slashing those prices again in July [hkepc.com] , AMD needs to be ready with something faster and/or cheaper to stay in the race.

Seriously, a super-clockable Q6600 for $266 bucks ? Hello!

AMD is playing catch-up right now, but Intel is doing what little it can to block the opposition by eliminating the price gap. AMD really needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat this time, or they will be left sitting on the bench until their next breakthrough.

Re:Hype it up (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362585)

Where is it $266? The Q6600 at the local shop here in Ottawa is $670 CAD [currently on sale for $639]. I'll wait until I can actually find one for around $266 USD.

Also keep in mind that the AMD design is a true quad-core. They didn't just hack two dual-cores together over an FSB. This is a true quad-core (e.g. the L3 is shared between all four cores) over a higher speed internal bus, attached with it's own memory controller, etc....

Will the average OpenOffice or Firefox user notice the difference between the Q6600 and Barcelona? Most likely not. But if you're doing number crunching [say media filtering, encoding, chemistry, etc] the AMD design will likely pay off better.

Tom

Re:Hype it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362911)

I guess you missed the part about the $266 being what the price will be after the price cuts next month?

Re:Hype it up (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365007)

I guess I forgot that it's currently not next month. I'll hold my breath for the price cut.

Tom

Obligatory... (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363399)

$670 CAD is $266 USD

Re:Obligatory... (1)

murray_420 (624319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364443)

Actually by end of year they expect the Canadian Dollar to reach parity with the US Dollar. (Currently US dollar is $1.0604 Canadian)

Re:Hype it up (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365709)

There have been four references to the performance of Barcelona lately. Three are pretty much in agreement that single threaded performance will be from 0%-12% faster than the equivalent clock speed K8. These can be found in the form of SPEC published by AMD, the 16 core 1.8GHz K10 demonstration using POVRay (where it wasn't 2x as fast as an 8 core K8 machine at the same clock frequency and the 8 core Intel Woodcrest, which you can already buy, was faster than it, as shown in an Intel response specifically to the AMD POVRay demonstration), and an NDA leak from one side that said they've been seeing up to 12% improvement. Another was the press expo where someone commented that "H.264 encoding was done in almost realtime" but that is too vague to be useful. If it were "close" to realtime, it'd be about 6x as fast as today's machines so there was something going on there (maybe the stack of the latest gen - to-be-released ATI video cards doing the work, who knows).

Re:Hype it up (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365721)

Clarification to the above... 0%-12% faster than an equivalently clocked K8 in integer and x87 loads. There hasn't been anything really out yet for SSE that we've seen and a lot of work and resources were put into K10 to make SSE faster.

Chip fly-over (1)

Asgerix (1035824) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361867)

I wish there was an application - sort of like Google Earth - where you could zoom in on the die and do a 3D fly-over.

Re:Chip fly-over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361935)

Teh master control program keeps scuttling our cameras. Obviously a coverup

Re:Chip fly-over (1)

WhodoVoodoo (319477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361949)

There is; it's called "Photoshop". Remember that at this point in the game, a die is flat =)

The advantages of four cores on a single die (5, Insightful)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361901)

On-chip connectivity can be much broader and lower-latency than off-chip connectivity. The two-dual-core in one package "quad cores" of Intel have to talk via the off-package north bridge. As you can see from the AMD Barcelona/K10/10h snapshot, the cores live together on a single piece of silicon.

The space between the the cores is a very broad crossbar, allowing fast inter-core synchronization/cache-coherency. The uniform block at the edge of the chip, outside the cores, is the L3 cache shared by all four cores. Each core has its own L1 and L2 cache. This design is nicely symmetric: each core has equivalent resources. It should do very well on heavy-duty symmetric multiprocessing applications.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361945)

On-chip connectivity can be much broader and lower-latency than off-chip connectivity. The two-dual-core in one package "quad cores" of Intel have to talk via the off-package north bridge. As you can see from the AMD Barcelona/K10/10h snapshot, the cores live together on a single piece of silicon.

According to Intel engineers though, communication between the chips was never a bottleneck, so the avantages of one vs the other design are questionable. I'm not a processor engineer, but that holds true everywhere: throwing resources in improving something that's not a bottleneck.. actually does NOT help performance. Logic 101.

And BTW:

AMD just sent over a tasty photo of a Phenom die.

All right! So I can print is and try it on a compatible motherboard, right? Right..

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (4, Insightful)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361997)

According to Intel engineers though, communication between the chips was never a bottleneck
What a load of crap. For quite a few applications, it definitely is a bottleneck. If you have single-threaded tasks that sit happily on their own processor and do not intercommunicate, then, yeah, it does not matter much what connectivity the cores and dies have. But in the real world, multi-threading and SMP tasks do need to intercommunicate, often heavily so. Also, processes will often migrate from one core to the next because the core it was running on before is in use. At that moment, fast inter-core synchronization of the caches is very helpful.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (2, Interesting)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362407)

Actually even if all cores are on the same silicon, inter-core communication is not as good as it could be. This artical has some interesting information on the topic:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/dualc ore-dtr-analysis_12.html [xbitlabs.com]

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362809)

Anandtech says otherwise:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx? i=2419&p=3 [anandtech.com]
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx? i=2484&p=4 [anandtech.com]

The xbitlabs guy definitely misinterpreted some of his results (particularly the interaction between bus speed and cache-to-cache latency), and his code may have been buggy.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19367101)

um not ALL SMP apps have to 'heavily so'. It depends on exactly what the application is doing. For example to use a current example from the real world. Folding does not need heavy intercommunication. Otherwise our networks would be saturated. It is a 'here is a chunk of data go process for a while tell me when you are done and what happened'. Those sorts of SMP apps need some com up front but become less chatty after awhile with small peaks here and there. Apps that are tightly bound could become VERY chatty for example a physics thread with a graphics thread. Those will talk between each other quite a bit.

I see this 'multi' core junk a small bump in the real world. It will probably top out at 16-32. As past that it becomes rather cumbersome in memory bandwidth. At least not without going to so sort of crossbar memory switching. The real future lies in SoC. You know getting all those expensive separate packages into 1 die at low voltage. If I was nVidia I would be wondering who to partner with... I had my money on AMD and Intel has said no way. So it will either be IBM, Sis, or Via. Northbridge and southbridge should be coming into the cpu soon... Should be interesting...

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362991)

They lie. I write multi-threaded code. My threads pass a lot of data back and forth. I try to keep it to a minimum but minimum is still a lot. Not only that but when threads do pass data between code it is often a critical path for the program. One thread is waiting on the other so it will effect the performance of the system.
Here is logic 101.
Your latest product has a weakness.
do you.
1. Admit the weakness and loose sales?
or
2. Downplay that weakness and say it is never a problem.

Intel might be right. The inter chip communication is never a bottle neck because memory access bottle neck is the real limiting factor. Any data heavy tasks that would be bottlenecked by the inter chip communications are already bottlenecked by memory access so it is never a problem.

The real truth is that very few programs are multi-treaded heck even FlightSim X had to be patched to take advantage of multiple cores. So yea it is a freaking lie.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19364765)

>1. Admit the weakness and loose sales?

Goddamned right you do! You tell those salespeople: "Here's the problem, and here's how to spin it." Then you cry Havoc, and set loose the Dogs of Sales.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (4, Interesting)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362069)

The single die - four cores processor architecture from AMD could be a result of their collaboration with Sun which already has 8 cores in a single die general purpose processor UltraSparc T1 for more than a year. It's surprising though that the two chip makers, Intel and AMD, still lag behind Sun in terms of cores per die.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362323)

The number of cores per die is limited by two things:
  1. Number of transistors per die.
  2. Number of transistors per core.
Sun can put more cores on a die by having fewer transistors per core, it's as simple as that. Sun is bucking industry trends quite heavily at the moment (see here [informit.com] ) by reducing the amount of die space take up by cache. Intel are right at the opposite extreme, with well over 50% of the Itanium die taken up with cache. Modern x86 chips are sitting at around the 50% mark. Intel could easily make a quad core chip with no cache for the same price as their dual-core chips, but performance would be much worse. They could make a single core chip with 50% more cache for the same price, but, again, performance would be worse.

Exactly what the best trade-off is depends on your workload. Sun are aiming at the web-app server market. It's a good business decision, since this is a rapidly growing area. It's also one of the easiest workloads to run, since it's inherently massively parallel; each web-app typically has a few tens to a few thousand users per server. If one thread in a T1 has a cache miss, then there are a huge number of others that are able to take advantage of the processing resources. Intel and AMD have to support a lot of legacy single-threaded code. A cache miss in one of these is expensive. Main memory accesses are of the order of 100-200 cycles, and so a cache miss every 100 cycles would cause a 50% performance reduction. For the T1, with its 8 contexts per core, it would cause a negligible performance reduction overall, as long as the other threads still have work to do.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362615)

I also get the impression that Sun's dies are a lot larger too. Big-iron chips tend to be that way. That's part of why those systems are very expensive. So that's another reason why one shouldn't compare the technology between the consumer to small iron market and the big iron market, they are different markets.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19364719)

Sun's big iron these days?!? AHAHAAAAHAAAAHAAAAA!! Earlys 90s their ads were about down-sizing, then they switched to right-sizing, and now they're big iron?! And that means it's ok now when their processors suck donkey balls? PAH!

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

thanasakis (225405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19367037)

Correction, it is 4 execution threads per core. The next gen model will be 8 per core (e.g. 64 exec threads), but I don't think you can buy that one yet, maybe later this year.

Also, the reason that they are ahead of Intel and AMD at this point is probably the fact that they decided to go multicore several years ago when others were trying to squeeze insane MHz out of their chips. If I remember correctly, a lot of folks in slashdot were laughing at this so-called throughput computing strategy, but it turns out that Sun was correct.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (2, Informative)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362953)

Sun put eight in-order single-issue integer only cores on a single die. AMD is putting eight full superscalar cores with branch prediction, virtualization extensions, vector units, blah, blah, etc, etc. Very different design philosophies producing chips with very different aims.

Sun's foray into more traditional processor designs - the Rock - isn't expected to ship until 2008 and will feature only four cores.

The only designs actually on the market with eight traditional cores would be the IBM POWER4 and POWER5 lines, but those are dual core dies in a multi-chip module, reminiscent of the Intel scheme.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364877)

Sun's foray into more traditional processor designs - the Rock - isn't expected to ship until 2008 and will feature only four cores.
Wrong! Rock has 16 cores. Read http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/date/20070410 [sun.com]

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362599)

In an ideal world, yes. In this non-ideal world, AMD still has to surmount the fact that they are still a fab generation behind. If AMD can't get a clock that is close 3GHz rather than the 2.5GHz I seem to recall AMD reps throwing around, I don't think the same-die advantage will be enough help. Right now, there is no "true" four core x86 on a single die, and there are still a lot of uses for Intel's Core Quad chips, without an AMD competitor in this sector, the advantage still goes to Intel vs a product that's still in process. You should also keep in mind that Intel is not that far behind in getting four cores on one die.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363117)

AMD has been a fab generation behind for years, and still spanked Intel prior to the Core 2 release. And there's far more factors than just clock speed, number of cores and number of dies. Intel's replacement for their aging frontside bus is years behind; the first chip they announced would use it (Whitefield) was canceled back in 2005, and now they're promising it will debut in the later half of 2008. An integrated memory controller, which AMD has had since 2001, will debut at the same time. Using a dedicated L2 cache and adding an L3 cache has the potential to reduce cache contention. More advanced hardware virtualization (including I/O virtualization) could improve performance in consolidation (one of the areas that heavily parallel designs make the most sense).

Of course it's all speculation one way or another until real hardware leaks out. And of course subsequent releases from Intel may well erase some of AMDs advantages. But the converse is also true.

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363675)

Currently both Amd and Intil produce using 65nm, so how can AMD be behind now?

Re:The advantages of four cores on a single die (0)

Ochiix (1110571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363401)

Intel vs AMD architecture:
Intel works with a long "pipeline" system that breaks up a command into a large number of short commands (memory moves, compares, etc) and can be on the order of 52 stages. Once this pipeline is loaded with commands (say 52 of them) it will seems to be executing a command every clock cycle; however the time to process a single command is longer

AMD works with a shorter pipeline of longer tanks (say 20 stages) so a single command will execute faster but under heavy loads it can seem to take longer to execute.

As a side note SUN works with a large number of simple cores because their systems are tailored to a large amount of parallel processing.

AMD chip porn:
For those that do not know what they are looking at here is my best guess.
The squares are memory cells: the dull ones are high speed buffers and the shiny ones are cache. The cache in the middle is the L2 discussed earlier in the article (16k blocks I think) and the blocks at the bottom of the image are the L3 cache (16k blocks). The block size depends on where you draw the border between blocks as the bars in the cells are the buses so a "block" could be made of four visual blocks to allow for faster access (reduce distance between cell and bus)

On chip vs Off chip memory:
One issue that arises with off chip memory is clock speed options. Due to the speed of light a 3.3 Ghz signal has a 10cm wavelength, and according to Nyquist we should sample at twice that so really only 5cm is usable with perfect electronics. This does not take into account settling times and the power this would require to move a voltage that fast (will spare you the math). There is also all the buffering and caching hardware required to communicate off chip not to mention issues of synchronizing the two devices (clock jitter between devices, etc). The reason this is not always an option is because memory is large and real estate is precious.

Direct links to JPEGs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19361955)

Coloring in skills (1)

snoggeramus (945056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361961)

Personally I'm quite impressed they can color in something that small!

and socket type? (3, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361973)

And it will probably require ANOTHER slot type and force me to upgrade my motherboard yet AGAIN!

Geeze...please let me keep my motherboard for 6 months!

Re:and socket type? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362001)

No it doesn't require a new socket. The socket is still AM2, so you can keep your mainboard. The boards, that do come out now are AM2+ boards, they offer a new power saving tech for the Phenom's, which will save you about 10% power consumption.

Re:and socket type? (5, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362059)

Indeed so. Anyone having bought or buying an AM2/AM+2 desktop motherboard can drop in Phenom processors. When you have a performance AMD 4x4 (1,207-pin Socket F) board with FX processors, you can drop in the new quad core FX chips as well. Similarly, when you have a DDR2 Opteron server/big-iron, you can also upgrade.

That makes the current AMD platforms attractive: you can buy a cheap Athlon X2 chip to get good performance now, and later upgrade to a Phenom chip and get excellent performance and four-way multiprocessing. I plan to wait with my upgrade until the price comes down a bit.

Re:and socket type? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363549)

Yeah whatever. Remember socket 940?
That was the high-end socket for K8, for Opteron/FX chips, while Athlon64 took the cheaper socket 754.

Then AMD marketing wonks decided to invent socket 939 to differentiate the market further and isolate desktop and server platforms. (And don't fall for the marketing BS. For the last time, no, 939 doesn't have anything to do with unbuffered RAM. Sockets have nothing to do with that. Unbuffered support is purely a function of the new CPUs' fixed memory controller. Older K8 revs had horribly unstable first-generation memory controllers that couldn't drive multiple DIMMs without registered memory.)

The net result was anyone with a desktop socket 940, such as the ASUS SK8V, got the shaft. You had to start buying more expensive Opterons instead of newer FX CPUs. And then, quite strangely, Opteron 1xx migrated to socket 939 exclusively so you had to buy Opteron 2xx even for a single-CPU system.
And with socket 939 getting all the attention, companies like ASUS abandoned BIOS updating for the socket 940 desktop boards. You can't even use a dual-core CPU on them, let alone any newer K8 rev.

I predict the same fate for AM2. DDR3 is on its way, after all. Then the AMD marketing wonks will force a new socket on us and you AM2 users will be out in the cold. I'm waiting this time. Sweet revenge.

Re:and socket type? (5, Informative)

Josef Meixner (1020161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362039)

In every press release [amd.com] AMD stated it will run in AM2 sockets. If I remember correctly it will not be able to use the new hypertransport links, support for the new power saving functions (it can switch off complete cores if they aren't needed) in AM2 sockets, it will need AM2+ for that. Sorry, I am far too lazy to search for a reference for those last bits of information, it is something I read in a magazine (paper version).

Re:and socket type? (1)

minorproblem (891991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362143)

Who upgrades just their processor anymore anyways, most of the time its just not worth it. Ussually easier to just upgrade everything at once. If your going to be running a bleeding edge processor why would you want to run it with an old video card and only 1 gig of ram that probably isn't the right speed for it.

Re:and socket type? (1)

ceeam (39911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365305)

I think AMD would've stick with 939/940 sockets if memory manufacturers would not switch to cheaper (but otherwise the same performance) DDR2 memory.

a mobile version? (1)

Vo1t (1079521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19361989)

Any info on a mobile version of Barcelona ? I think that AMD should follow Intel in the sense of making an uber cool mobile processor first (that motivates squeezing the most from one Watt) and then give it full throttle for a desktop version. Just like it was done with the Core.

Re:a mobile version? (5, Informative)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362097)

For mobile, AMD has gone a different route for now, they have reworked the K8 for extremely low power: http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=39 894 [theinquirer.net] . The two cores and memory controller get independent voltage planes. And the cores can clock up and down independently. It makes good sense: for mobile, low power is crucial.

Many of the high-end features (double FPU units, hypertransport interconnects, and so on) of the Barcelona design are not required for a laptop, and add power draw caused by static leakage, even when not in use. In due time, though, AMD will no doubt rework the K10/Barcelona core into a mobile design. Probably they will release a moderately power mobile Barcelona version before that, for high-end workstation type laptops.

WTF? (4, Funny)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362029)

Photos of processor dies? WTF is this? Some kind of porn for uber-geeks?

Shhhhh! (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362189)

Some of them are busy fapping to the pic right now, so hush. You'll spoil the mood.

Re:WTF? (1)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363603)

You must have missed Intel's marketing campaign after the C2D launch - CPU die pics were in every other subway in Manhattan. At least AMD only sticks them in press releases for now.

K9/K10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362267)

Apparently AMD does not call the current generation (X2) K9, but rather dual-K8. Rumor has it that this is because K9 sounds like "canine." However, K10 (although it may sound like "kitten") seems to be an official name for the successor of the K8 (sounds like "Kate," so I don't really think that there is much to the "canine"-rumor).

Yeah, could be interesting for anyone who is interested in nomenclature/major version numbers, I guess. Maybe that would be just me :(

Danger! Danger! (3, Funny)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362325)

Now that AMD released high-res pictures of this core, Epson can use their transistor printers we have read about and start selling this CPU ahead of AMD. Good job, AMD!

More (and some better) pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19362769)

This site [amd-bilder.de] has a lot of pictures (click "AMD Processors and Wafers"). Some of the high-res versions might be CMYK instead of RGB, meaning most browsers won't display them directly. There are also a bunch of pictures from other processors here [amd.com] . In fact, here [amd.com] are the Phenom pictures - just not surrounded by ads.

Nooo... Not a new hype word!!! (2, Funny)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362901)

Okay I really like my AMD system but they need to be slapped hard for inventing a new goofy marketing term.
MEGATASKING.
Dude if you have over a 1024 tasks running at once you need to run some malware clean up software.

Neg, that would be kilotasking (1)

Xocet_00 (635069) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363073)

Megatasking would be 1,000,000+ processes at once.

Re:Nooo... Not a new hype word!!! (2, Funny)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363747)

Okay I really like my AMD system but they need to be slapped hard for inventing a new goofy marketing term.
MEGATASKING.
Dude if you have over a 1024 tasks running at once you need to run some malware clean up software.


My friend, you fail to appreciate the lunacy of the intricacies of marketing. That which you have described would, in fact, be merely kilotasking.

Re:Nooo... Not a new hype word!!! (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364637)

Dude, that was my webserver being hit by Slashdot.

whip (2, Funny)

Jeek Elemental (976426) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362907)

put the photo in L1 cache to send a not-so-subtle message to your cpu

AMD slideware (1)

kemo_by_the_kilo (971543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19362915)

if you RTFA....
aw great now i have to protect my computer from AMD slideware....

Finally (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363119)

they'll be outfitted with 2MB of on-chip L2 cache (512KB dedicated per core)


It's about effing time... maybe chip manufacturers have finally clued in that cache is the single biggest characteristic of a processor that affects (NOT impacts) performance. I have seen far too many 2-3GHz chips crippled by insufficient cache over the years, but hey, it was $20 bucks cheaper and the same speed so it must be a better deal right? Too bad that this will probably not make the market and the cache will be cut back to 64KB per core to shave a few dollars off the price and suck more people in to buying crippled gear...

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19363949)

You think 512kb per core is a lot of L2 Cache? The Core 2's - or at least, some of them - have 2MB per core.

Re:Finally (2, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364177)

It's about effing time... maybe chip manufacturers have finally clued in that cache is the single biggest characteristic of a processor that affects (NOT impacts) performance.

Tell me about it. Those jackass chip hackers at Intel and AMD have been ignoring my advice for years in favor of their own cost/benefit analysis and engineering tradeoffs. If only they'd listen to us expects on Slashdot, there's no telling what they could accomplish!

Everyday Computing (0)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19363587)

So that must be the one we all need to buy, the Sempron. Megatasking might hurt someone and sounds like a war crime.

Brilliant to market the new stuff only to weirdos :)

Well then, (2, Insightful)

TheCreeep (794716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364167)

Why don't they just release the CPU? I mean they have it working, they tested it and stuff.
I'm not trolling, I'm just curious to find out what changes a processor goes through in it's last months before being launched.

Re:Well then, (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365163)

Two things come to mind. One is, AMD wants to make ultra-sure that there isn't some as-yet unnoticed mistake that will cause a product recall. The second is that there's a delay between the time somebody says "go" and packaged chips can be put into computers, most of which is the several weeks it takes to process wafers.

speed (1)

itzdandy (183397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366419)

though AMD has lost a bit of thunder recently with the core2 line kicking butt, this multiple core phase the industry is moving towards is going to help AMD. They made a decision to change the bus for multi-core systems a while ago and this chip is the first one to really show off that bus. I think that Intel will have faster individual cores for a while and barcellona wont challenge that but AMD has a much better multi-core multi-processor bus so multi-core scaling will be much much better for AMD. an 8 core AMD will likely stomp an 8 core Intel chip though the Intel chips will be better per individual core.

I just hope that AMD can make a big enough improvement on their cores before Intel can get thier cpu to cpu speeds up to par. I have an Intel dual CPU/dual core Xeon server at work that is fast but i cannot tell the difference in most things between a single 2core and the dual 2core setup because of the week bus.

to clarify for those not up to speed on the current platforms, AMD has a high speed dedication point to point bus for each CPU and each CPU has a direct dedicated link to its own memory while intel has a fast shared bus that can get saturate especially when only running at 533 or 800 mhz giving AMD the advantage in that regard.

Re:speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19367179)

I just hope that AMD can make a big enough improvement on their cores before Intel can get thier cpu to cpu speeds up to par
Seems like AMD has about 1 year to do it, as Nehalem [anandtech.com] will make the design changes to match AMD.

Re:speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19367183)

Yes, but by the time 8 core processors are out, Intel will already be using its next generation CSI interconnect technology. Thus, AMD's advantage in this department will peter out before it really matters.

What is with the rinky dinky cache? (1)

tek_heretik (1077399) | more than 7 years ago | (#19368289)

I wound up buying a CD2 E6700 cuz it has the shared 4MB cache and it smoked the top-o-the-line AMDs too. I am sorry but I have found that in AMD's quest to be fast, their CPUs are not as stable as Intel's. My C2D compresses, encodes, encrypts, etc. like wildfire (in combination with a 3 drive Raid 0), runs cool, uses little power and doesn't crash. I can't say I have had the same luck with AMDs in the past. >:-/ Also, more cores does not translate into more performance unless they are actually utilized, for example, the new quad C2s have little performance increase (for J. Sixpack running everday OS and apps) over their dual core predecessors. >:-/
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