AMD restates dual-core CPU scheme

Double-die Opterons, Athlons in 2005

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AMD has re-iterated its plan to ship dual-core Opteron chips next year.

The move was signalled way back in September 2003 at the launch of the Athlon 64, but what with Intel talking up its own dual-core release schedule, AMD server and workstation VP Ben Williams this week stressed again his company's own scheme.

Interviewed by IDG Net, Williams said AMD will say more closer to the release date. And he wouldn't say when or whether the Athlon 64 line will go dual-core.

Actually, he doesn't need to - the signs are already there. The Athlon 64's on-die North Bridge already supports connections from two cores - dubbed 'CPU 0' and 'CPU 1' in AMD's documentation - and has done so from a very early stage of its development, according to company insiders.

AMD founder Jerry Sanders said last September that multi-core Athlon 64s were an "inevitability", a fact reprised by CFO Fred Weber a month later.

Weber also said that the next generation of AMD's 64-bit architecture, codenamed 'K9', will begin sampling during the second half of 2005.

Sanders' comment followed Intel's announcement earlier in September 2003 that dual-core Itanium and Xeon chips would ship in 2005. The chip giant also indicated that it would offer dual-core Pentiums too.

Last week, the company admitted it was "accelerating" that plan, and had cancelled next-generation single-core Pentiums and Xeons - codenamed 'Tejas' and 'Jayhawk', respectively - to make room for an earlier dual-core roll-out. ®

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