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Monday, May 14, 2007
AMD Officially Releases The AMD Phenom Quad-core Processor

AMD today officially unveiled the upcoming AMD Phenom quad-core processor family name and publicly demonstrated the first all-AMD enthusiast platform, codenamed "FASN8."

The processors promise to deliver the ultimate visual experience, especially when paired with AMD?s new DirectX 10 ATI Radeon HD 2000 series, which began shipping today. AMD expects quad-core and dual-core AMD Phenom-based desktop systems will ship in the second half of 2007.

In a demonstration in San Francisco, AMD previewed an eight-core platform, codenamed "FASN8," pronounced "fascinate," to show the first AMD silicon-based next-generation eight-core platform. The demonstration platform includes two true quad-core AMD Phenom processors, the new DirectX 10 ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, as well as an upcoming AMD next-generation, high-performance chipset, due in the second half of 2007.

AMD Phenom processors will be designed to facilitate intelligent uses of energy and system resources that are reliable, virtualization-ready and energy efficient. All AMD Phenom processors will feature resources like an integrated DDR2 memory controller, HyperTransport technology links, and 128-bit Floating Point Units, for improved speed and performance in floating point calculations.

In Phenom processors, cores communicate on the die rather than through a front side bus external to the processor ? a feature that AMD describes as a "bottleneck", and it is supported in Intel products packaging two dual-core chips to form quad-core processors. Additionally, AMD?s Direct Connect Architecture on-chip ensures that all four cores have optimum access to the integrated memory controller and integrated HyperTransport links, so that performance scales well with the number of cores. This design is also highlighted by a shared L3 cache for quicker data access and Socket AM2 and Socket AM2+ infrastructure compatibility to enable an easy upgrade path.

For enthusiasts who demand high performance on their system, AMD Phenom FX processors are designed for systems that offer extreme megatasking capabilities. True quad-core platforms and octa-core platforms with the Dual Socket Direct Connect (DSDC) Architecture can provide enthusiast-class features and performance. Moreover, AMD?s quad-core processors and eight core solutions, with four processing cores on one die, coupled with the latest platform technologies, including the new ATI Radeon HD 2000 series, can deliver the ultimate enthusiast PC platform.

AMD?s open platform approach allows for AMD Phenom processors and platforms that are compatible with a wide range of solutions, including motherboard and chipset partners ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and NVIDIA.

AMD's rival Intel is also expected to deliver new quad-core chips later this year, and in 2008, it will introduce chips that incorporate the same integrated memory controller and point-to-point links as AMD's with its Nehalem generation of chips.

But AMD is desperate for the Phenom and Barcelona processors to arrive so it can stabilize its average selling prices. Barcelona will come first, scheduled for a "mid-2007" introduction with systems becoming available over the remainder of the year and into next year. The Phenom processors are scheduled for the second half of the year.

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