Building on its innovation leadership, partner support and customer success, AMD announced a wide breadth of initiatives targeted at extending its leadership across multiple facets of the computing ecosystem.
AMD released details around its next-generation microprocessor architecture; system-level technology initiatives that are designed to enable greater interoperability and value-added design opportunities for partners using AMD platforms; and advances in AMD's innovative manufacturing and process technologies. Additionally, AMD announced its plans for a new high-performance enthusiast platform. These announcements underscore AMD's track record of and focus on delivering the right technologies at the right time for the market.
"In 2003, AMD started down a path to reinventing the microprocessor industry with the introduction of our AMD64 architecture," said Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz. "And with unprecedented customer and market momentum, we are accelerating on that path with game-changing strategies to expand our capacity, extend our system-level performance and performance-per-watt leadership, and provide a simpler, more open and 'innovation-friendly' x86-based platform to those who want to collaborate in the development of differentiated, customer-centric solutions. Today's announcements represent AMD's future -- and a view into the great global corporation we are well on our way to creating."
President and COO Dirk Meyer said, "While we are extremely gratified by the customer acceptance and market success we have enjoyed, considering the environment in which we are competing, we remain focused and are steadily and methodically executing against our business goals. The advancements announced today demonstrate truly exceptional technology leadership in every aspect of our business. With the help of our partners and customers, we will accelerate our pace of innovation and maintain AMD's leadership."
AMD's announcements covered a wide array of technologies and markets, including server, desktop and mobile computing and from silicon to software. Key industry partners, including Alienware, Cray, HP, Rackable Systems, Sun Microsystems and VMware, participated with AMD executives in an analyst event to underscore the significance of AMD's initiatives to the broader computing ecosystem.
New Enthusiast Platform
Building on AMD's already recognized leadership among PC enthusiasts, AMD also announced plans for a new enthusiast platform codenamed "4x4" that will extend AMD's long-standing commitment to those consumers who demand the highest-performing PCs. The 4x4 platform features a four-core, multi-socket processor configuration uniquely possible via AMD's Direct Connect Architecture. The 4X4 platform will be designed to be upgraded to eight total processor cores when AMD launches quad-core processors in 2007. Project 4x4 represents system-level enthusiast enhancements and is designed for ultimate multi-tasking performance across gaming, digital video, processor-intensive and heavily threaded applications.
Chief Technology Officer Phil Hester outlined AMD's primary design directions for the future, and reiterated the company's commitment to system-wide innovation based on close collaboration with customers and partners. Hester unveiled AMD's next-generation architecture for server and desktop processors, a new chip design for future mobile platforms, and AMD's updated processor and platform technology roadmaps.
-- AMD's next-generation architecture for servers, workstations and desktops is planned to debut in mid-2007, and is expected to extend AMD's leadership in platform performance-per-watt as well as its leadership in critical enterprise application performance. Products will include a quad-core design for servers, workstations and high-end desktops, and a dual-core design intended for mainstream desktop markets. These next generation processors will be built using AMD's advanced 65nm Silicon-on-Insulator process, and include a broad range of functionality and micro-architectural improvements, including a unique new ability to dynamically alter the frequency of each core on the chip to match application workloads and thereby reduce overall power consumption. As a result, AMD expects to increase the performance-per-watt of today's AMD Opteron(TM) processor-powered servers by approximately 60 percent through 2007, and by approximately 150 percent through 2008.
-- AMD's new mobile design is planned for the second half of 2007, and includes key architectural advancements allowing for increased power efficiency and battery life in AMD processor-powered mobile platforms. One improvement increases the ability for future AMD dual-core mobile chips to dynamically power one or both cores on or off, and subsequently throttle the chip's HyperTransport(TM) technology bandwidth, depending on the notebook's current state and running applications.
In demonstration of AMD's open and collaborative approach to innovation, Senior Vice President, Commercial Segment Marty Seyer detailed three complementary strategic initiatives designed to accelerate industry-wide innovation on the AMD64 platform.
-- "Torrenza" represents the industry's first open, customer-centric x86 innovation platform, capitalizing on the Direct Connect Architecture and HyperTransport advantages of the AMD64 architecture to enable other processor and hardware providers to innovate within a common ecosystem. "Torrenza" will enable a global innovation community to develop and deploy application-specific co-processors to work alongside AMD processors in multi-socket systems. Seyer declared the first phase of "Torrenza" nearly complete via an earlier HyperTransport investment that enabled partner silicon chipsets. The next phase, announced today, will entail licensing of coherent HyperTransport to members of a global ecosystem; developments already in progress include support for an HTX expansion slot. Through "Torrenza," AMD gives OEMs new abilities to differentiate server and client systems through innovation on the AMD64 platform.
-- "Trinity" is AMD's strategy to uniquely link, through an open approach, security, virtualization and manageability technologies. "Trinity" is intended to enable greater flexibility and reduced costs associated with managing, securing and scaling commercial client and server platforms. Through "Trinity," AMD will provide open and extensible software tools to OEM partners, providing a framework for enhanced IT platform management and security. Elements of "Trinity" were available in recently announced socket AM2 client platforms, with additional roll-outs expected this year.
-- A project codenamed "Raiden" will build on "Trinity" to reinvent the commercial client experience. "Raiden" is intended to enable platforms designed to improve IT efficiency without compromising the expected end-user experience. "Raiden" will shift the focus from physical client computing to the delivery of client services with new levels of manageability and security. "Raiden" will support traditional PC clients, as well as new form factors inspired by such industry dynamics as software-as-a-service delivery models. AMD is collaborating with hardware and software ecosystem leaders to deliver these solutions to the commercial user base.
Manufacturing and Process Technology Leadership
AMD also updated its manufacturing and process technology direction -- building on the earlier news this week of the company's newest fabrication facility through a major transformation of its Dresden-based Fab 30, which will be converted to 300mm production in 2007 and named Fab 38.
Also today, AMD demonstrated 65nm products from its newest Fab 36 facility in Dresden, using 65nm process technology jointly developed by a team of AMD and IBM engineers in New York as part of AMD and IBM's successful process development and research collaboration. AMD also announced that its transition to 45nm technology is accelerating. AMD's plan is to begin initial volume production of 45nm 18 months after initial 65nm production, currently anticipated to be in the mid-2008 time frame.
AMD's state-of-the-art facilities use the company's patented Automated Precision Manufacturing (APM) and Continuous Technology Improvement (CTI) capabilities to enable a rapid transition to new technology generations and quickly achieve mature yields. AMD's focus on speed, accuracy, agility and efficiency via APM is being enhanced through the adoption of a lean philosophy to microprocessor manufacturing. This approach allows AMD to extend the benefits of APM to enhance processes, reduce waste and accelerate time-to-market for our customers.