Monday, July 7, 2008

AMD Readies K8-Class Processors for Low-Power Systems – Pictures

Market sources recently revealed that Advanced Micro Devices readies low-power, low-cost central processing unit (CPU) to compete against Intel Atom processor on the market of ultra low-cost personal computers (ULCPC). Apparently, certain partners of AMD are already testing such a processor.

Based on “spy-shot” pictures of a 3.5” mainboard sent to X-bit labs, initially AMD’s 8W chips based on K8 micro-architecture in ball-grid array (BGA) packaging will be available for small form-factor industrial PCs, where Intel Pentium M and Intel Atom chips are already present alongside with relatively outdated AMD Geode microprocessors.

The K8 BGA microprocessors from AMD will have thermal design power of 8W, whereas the AMD M690E + SB600 chipset will have thermal design power of 8W + 2W~3W. Therefore, the whole system will have thermal design power of just about 20W, which is quite similar to a combination of Intel Atom N-series processor (2.5 – 4W TDP) and Intel 945GC chipset (15.2W – 22.2W).

According to media reports, the new AMD processor for ULCPCs will sport 64-bit K8 micro-architecture-based processing core, 64KB L1 instruction cache, 64KB L1 data cache, 256KB L2 cache as well as single-channel DDR2 memory controller. The central processing unit is projected to operate at 1.0GHz. AMD plans to ship the product in ball grid array packaging, which is ideal for low-cost, low-power and small form-factor systems. The chip is made using 65nm process technology.

Images of the 3.5” mainboard for industrial computing with “engineering sample” processor along with AMD M690E core-logic that is compatible with various latest AMD chips that use HyperTransport bus as well as ICS951464 main clock synthesizer chip for K8/AMD 690-based systems proof that there is a K8 processor in BGA packaging on the pipeline and that the only question is when it becomes available.

Advanced Micro Devices did not comment on the news-story.

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