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AMD clears fog from roadmap

Quad-core CPUs in 2007, next-gen architecture in 2008

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AMD has re-iterated its plan to offer quad-core processors by 2007. The chip maker also said it will migrate to a new version of its HyperTransport-based Direct Connect Architecture the year after.

AMD CEO Hector Ruiz first floated the quad-core CPU 2007 ship date back in April this year, but the company didn't formally add the technology to its public roadmap until yesterday after CTO Phil Hester mentioned it at the company's annual analyst conference.

Hester also pointed to chipsets containing L3 cache, which also harks back to Ruiz' April prognostications - he too hinted AMD might one day return to the chipset market. AMD has "shared L3" down on its roadmap for 2007, alongside further extensions to the AMD64 instruction set - or extensions to the extensions to the x86 instruction set, as we guess they'll be.

Further out, the company claims, expect to see its Direct Connect Architecture 2.0 in 2008, along with "greater than eight-way computing". Hester said the quadies will scale up to 32 sockets.

AMD also confirmed it will move to DDR 2 SDRAM during the next 12 months, across its desktop, server and mobile processor line-ups. The latter will also get dual-channel memory support, the company added. AMD is already known to be supporting DDR 2 courtesy of its upcoming Socket F and Socket M2 processor interconnects - presumably the mobile version will also take the memory bus from 64 bits to 128.

AMD also confirmed the Opteron CPUs will get virtualisation technology, aka 'Pacifica', sometime in the next 12 months. So will the Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon 64 FX lines - the latter will also go dual-core in the same period, the company said. ®

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