AMD faithful and bargain hunters alike have a pair of new toys to play with starting today, as AMD launches two new processors for its socket AM3 platform, the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition and 945. Both parts boast compatibility with AM2+ (DDR2) and AM3 (DDR3) motherboards, while the Phenom II X4 955 BE supplants the AM2-based 940 as AMD's new flagship entry in its Phenom line.
Coinciding with the launch, AMD has also overhauled its Dragon Platform Technology, saying "every aspect of the platform has been improved and the overall value is impressive." And we'd have to agree, considering both new chips are being priced below $250.
Hit the jump to get all the nitty-gritty details on AMD's new AM3 processors and Dragon Platform refresh.
Intel this week slashed prices on several Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors by up to 20 percent. The chip maker also introduced a pair of new processors, the Core 2 Quad Q8400S and Q8400 for $245 and $183, respectively. This month's price cuts break down as follows:
Core 2 Quad Q9300: $213 down from $266
Core 2 Quad Q9550S: $320 down from $369
Core 2 Quad Q9400S: $277 down from $320
Core 2 Quad Q8200S: $213 down from $245
Core 2 Duo SP9400: $284 down from $316
Core 2 Duo SU9400: $262 down from $289
Intel's latest round of price cuts come well timed, as AMD today launched its AM3-based Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor. While the 955BE serves as AMD's new flagship part, the company is aggressively pushing the chip as the best quad-core in the market within its $245ish price range.
Having completed its metamorphosis into separate design and manufacturing firms, AMD probably feels as though a major weight has been lifted from its shoulders. However, the company still has some financial ground to make up. On the bright side, AMD's first quarter revenue of $1.77 billion remained flat (rather than tumbling backwards) compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. However, it also represents a decrease of 21 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008.
"AMD’s sequential microprocessor unit and revenue growth in difficult economic conditions demonstrate we can grow in an environment where customers are looking for maximum value," said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. "We delivered on a number of important priorities in the first quarter. We launched GLOBALFOUNDRIES, maintained our cadence of new product and platform introductions, and made solid progress on our restructuring activities. The result is a more nimble AMD, capable of achieving long-term success based on our strengths designing and integrating industry-leading computing and graphics technologies."
Despite turning in a $416 million first quarter loss, Meyer said AMD is "well positioned" as people have become more discerning for paying only what they need. Moving forward, the chip maker plans to switch over completely to 45nm this quarter and expects a positive cash flow for the second half of 2009.
If the latest web chatter turns out to be true, then Santa won't be stuffing any 6-core Intel chips in anyone's stockings this year. Instead, news site HKEPC tells us Intel's roadmap for for its 6-core Gulftown chip has been pushed back from Q4 2009 / Q1 2010 to sometime in Q2 2010.
From what we know so far, Gulftown will be worth the wait. Built around the Core i7 architecture, Gulftown will purportedly support HyperThreading, turning those 6 cores into 12. It will also come with two QuickPatch Interconnects (QPIs), 12MB of L3 cache, and hardware encryption support. Perhaps best of all, Intel's 32nm Gulftown likely serve as a drop-in replacement for LGA 1366 socket motherboards and work with current X58 chipsets.
IBM this week announced that members of its Bulk Process Alliance -- Globalfoundris, Chartered Semiconductor, Sasmung Electronics, ST Microelectronics, Infineon Technologies -- have begun jointly developing 28nm, high-k metal gate, low-power bulk complementary metal oxide semiconductor process technology (forgot about saying that three times fast, try doing it just once!).
"Clients can begin their designs today in leadership 32nm HKMG technology and then transition to 28nm technology for density and power advantages, without the need for a major redesign," IBM said. "By assuring a path from 32nm to 28nm technology, this migration methodology offers clients lower risk, reduced cost, and faster time-to-market."
The move to 28nm is an important one that purports to provide 40 percent better performance than current 45nm parts, while also reducing power consumption by 20 percent. Moreover the HKMG technology offers better power leakage characteristics for longer battery life, which added altogether will be a boon for mobile devices.
Believe it or not, your terrifically fast Core i7 fresh off Intel's assembly line contains DNA that dates back over three decades. The same is true if you roll with AMD's latest silicon, the Phenom II X4. We're of course referring to the longstanding x86 microprocessor architecture that has dominated the desktop and mobile scene since before some of you were even born, and will probably be a mainstay still yet for many more years to come.
Invented by Intel in 1978, the x86 architecture has evolved through the ages, not only getting faster, but increasingly flexible as more and more extensions and instruction sets accompany each new release. It's been a wild ride the past 30 years, and whether you lived through it all or have only recently picked up your first processor, we invite you to join as we look back at not only the most popular x86 CPUs in its history, but ones you may never even have heard of.
Buckle up, sit back, and join us after the jump for a look back at the x86 timeline.
For some time now Intel has been working on a Linux-based operating system (now in its alpha stage of testing), named Moblin. The goal of Moblin is to provide the Atom CPU a light and fast OS that is far less demanding than a full version of Windows.
According to those in the alpha test, Moblin can offer two second boot times (with some optimization). If all this were true, then it would give us the fastest booting OS available. Intel’s Open Source Technology Center director Imhad Sousou is very much on board as well, stating, “We think that two second boot is possible.”
A two second boot would provide an ideal platform for mobile systems (such as netbooks and MIDs) to operate on. For many, having a system in sleep mode (which drains the battery) is preferable to booting the system each and every time they want to use it. The concept of a two second boot would eliminate the need for this.
So, given the concept of a two second boot, would you be willing to ditch Windows and give Moblin a try? Let us know in the comments!
Call it spring cleaning or just the natural progression of things. Either way, it's out with the old and in with the new, says Intel, who updated its product portfolio this week. To make room for its Nehalem core-based Xeons, the chip maker informed its customers it is phasing out both 65nm Xeon processors built around Conroe, and its newer 45nm chips with a Wolfdale core.
Specifically, the company is taking its axe to the Xeon 3085, 3075, 3065, X3350, and X3320. Final shipments for these chips will take place in January 2010, with final orders being accepted up until October 9, 2009.
By getting rid of the its Core 2-based Xeons, Intel is making room for Nehalem-based Xeon chips, the first of which was introduced last week, 17 new chips in all.
How do you celebrate the 1-year anniversary of what's become one of the hottest selling chip series in recent history? Make it faster, and then show it off during a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing..
It was Intel senior VP and GM of the Ultra Mobility Group Anand Chandrasekher who gave the keynote, which included the first live demo of Intel's next-generation Atom-based MID platform, codenamed "Moorestown." The upcoming platform is due out in 2010 and consists of a system-on-chip that integrates a 45nm Atom CPU, graphics, video and memory controller, and I/O hub.
During the keynote, Intel also announced a pair of new Atom processors for MIDs. First on the lineup is the Z515, which incorporates the new Intel Burst Performance Technology (BPT) and runs at 1.2GHz. But of more interest in the Z550. This chip races along at 2GHz and supports Hyperthreading, and it does so at under 3 watts of power.
Going for a new look, Intel has rolled out redesigned chip logos for it's Core i7, Core 2, Centrino, Celeron, and Pentium processors. Intel's Xeon brand may also get a new logo at a later date, Intel said. Sporting a shorter frame than before, the new badges show a die shot in the upper right corner.
Effective immediately, Intel chip series also now include a star rating, with one star denoting the lowest performance and five stars the highest.
"So now when a consumer goes into a Best Buy store they can distinguish between Centrino, Core, Celeron, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad," said Intel spokesman Bill Calder
Calder also said Intel is in the process of shifting to a "pretty aggressive brand simplification plan," one which will put the chip maker closer ot its goal of moving to a single primary client brand in Core i7.
Are you digging the new logos? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.