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AMD Names the Next PC Computing Thrill Ride: The AMD Phenom™ Processor


AMD makes first public demonstration of all-AMD enthusiast platform codenamed “FASN8” —

— Industry’s only true x86 quad-core architecture paired with the ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 series to offer a phenomenal computing experience —

SUNNYVALE, Calif.--Delivering a four-core foreshadowing of innovations to come for PC enthusiasts worldwide, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today unveiled the upcoming AMD Phenom™ processor family name and publicly demonstrated the first all-AMD enthusiast platform, codenamed “FASN8.” The industry’s only true quad-core client processors are expected to deliver the ultimate visual experience, especially when paired with AMD’s new DirectX 10 ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 series, which began shipping today (see related press release: “AMD Introduces the ATI Radeon™ HD 2000 Series, Delivering The Ultimate Visual Experience™ for Desktop and Mobile Platforms”). AMD expects true 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. This platform illustrates AMD’s leadership in developing a single solution with increased levels of integration to boost real-world performance.

“AMD has always enjoyed a great bond with the enthusiast community, and the introduction of the AMD Phenom processor family will take our relationship to new heights,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s desktop division. “We continue to focus on listening to and addressing users’ evolving needs. AMD is confident the performance enhancements enabled by true quad-core client technology in computing-intensive environments will allow them to realize new possibilities and find new inspiration.”

Only AMD Delivers True Quad-Core
AMD Phenom processors will be uniquely designed to facilitate intelligent uses of energy and system resources that are reliable, virtualization-ready and energy efficient, driving optimum performance-per-watt. 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.

With the true quad-core design offered by the upcoming AMD Phenom processors, cores communicate on the die rather than through a front side bus external to the processor – a bottleneck inherent in other products that are 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 unique shared L3 cache for quicker data access and Socket AM2 and Socket AM2+ infrastructure compatibility to enable a seamless upgrade path.

“AMD’s quad-core processor rollout will put more computing horsepower at PC users’ fingertips,” observed Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. “Quad-core innovations come at a time when many users are finding that the combination of Microsoft Vista™, multi-threaded applications and DirectX 10 no longer delivers the crisp performance they experienced on last year’s fastest systems running last year’s software. The AMD Phenom processor’s ability to deliver significantly more performance within the same power and thermal envelopes as its dual-core antecedents should make this quad-core processor a fitting follow-on to earlier AMD dual-core processor offerings.”

AMD Phenom Processor Family
Enthusiasts, digital content creators and mainstream users alike are seeking more immersive, visual computing experiences – developing and navigating rich 3D worlds, finding new ways to create and share digital media and memories, and pushing the limits of productivity with intense multitasking. AMD Phenom processors are designed for the exceptional performance and capabilities customers want, employing state-of-the-art platforms and a next-generation processor architecture.

“Quad-core technology like the AMD Phenom processor family will enable Dell customers to enjoy their personal computers in entirely new ways,” said Neil Hand, vice president marketing, Dell’s Consumer Product Group. “With a quad-core CPU, the desktop PC can now truly act simultaneously as a server for home digital media devices, while keeping customers secure and productive in their mainstream use.”

“As we demonstrated with AMD in San Francisco, Nero is pleased to be on the leading edge, delivering applications that are optimized to take advantage of quad-core processors,” said John Tafoya, GM of Global Alliance at Nero. “The increased performance of AMD’s latest processors, coupled with Nero’s quad-core optimized applications is helping bring about Nero’s vision of a true ‘Liquid Media Revolution.’”

For enthusiasts who demand cutting-edge 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, to enable our customers to deliver professional-grade results. Moreover, AMD’s quad-core processors and unique 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 Phenom X2 and X4 processors will offer true quad- and dual-core advanced technologies for seamless multitasking and optimum energy efficiency.

“The quad-core architecture behind the AMD Phenom processor family correlates nicely with Alienware’s relentless push to provide customers with the most powerful, immersive experience possible,” said Frank Azor, senior vice president of Alienware’s Worldwide Product Group. “Quad-core performance helps optimize the productivity level of Alienware users while further heightening their gaming enjoyment.”

“Falcon Northwest understands what enthusiasts want and continually strives to deliver the ultimate gaming experience,” said Kelt Reeves, president, Falcon Northwest. “The advent of AMD’s quad-core processor technology represents an industry-defining change for multi-threaded gaming that spells immediate benefits in terms of absolute performance. By combining Falcon Northwest’s gaming prowess together with AMD’s commitment to performance and future platform offerings, including AMD Phenom processors and the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT, we are excited to help drive the future of multi-core computing.”

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.

Software developers express support for AMD true quad-core
With true quad-core processors, AMD expects to see performance enhancements in multitasking, computing-intensive environments, and multi-threaded applications, as well as gaming.

“Like AMD, we too envision quad-core technology as an enabler of a more immersive experience,” said Phil Taylor, senior program manager of Aces Studio at Microsoft Game Studios. “Multi-core technology is already opening up a new world of significant possibilities with the Service Pack1 release for Microsoft Flight Simulator X. SP1 contains multi-threaded code for terrain loading and in-flight generation of terrain textures; as well as for the batching of Autogen vegetation and buildings. This code is written to allow SP1 to use all available cores. We are excited about AMD’s upcoming quad-core technology, which we believe will further enable our mutual customers to dial up the visual details when using SP1 and see more of the highly detailed world contained in FSX.”

“AMD’s new quad-core technology should provide a great performance boost for today’s high-end PC games,” said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games Inc. “Our Unreal Engine 3 game technology can take advantage of four and even eight processor cores, improving performance by accelerating physics and AI calculations, and increasing the realism of the game environments our artists can build. Upcoming games like Unreal Tournament 3 will truly fly on these new CPUs.”

“Havok envisages quad-core technology as an enabler of more immersive technology,” said David Coghlan, VP of Development for Havok. “Havok’s product suite of Physics, Animation and Behavior has been designed to take full advantage of multi-threaded architectures to deliver more intense and realistic gaming experiences. We are excited by the possibilities for unprecedented performance levels in gaming offered by AMD’s upcoming quad-core technology.”

“Lionhead is excited with the possibilities that multi-core will bring to gaming and believe that AMD’s quad-core technology is another step in delivering the power we are looking for,” said Tim Rance, CTO of Lionhead. “We are eager to push the detail in our simulations ever deeper, make our physics more fine grained, our AI more emotional and our lighting more dynamic. All of this will enable us to deliver the mass-market experiences that our customers are looking for.”

“We are really excited about the upcoming introduction of AMD’s native quad-core solution,” said Markus Mäki, Development Director, Remedy Entertainment. “The technology behind Alan Wake is built to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and gamers with quad-core systems will have an even better experience. AMD Phenom processors should be a welcome addition for all gamers.”


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