Wednesday, September 3rd 2008

AMD Desktop Roadmap for 2009 Reveals no Surprises

Without doubt, AMD needs something revolutionary to pull it out of the mess it set itself in. AMD's first reaction to the Conroe onslaught was to lower prices and build up a "Smarter Choice" repute, though with successive price cuts from Intel and down-scale products based on the Core architecture coming out by the fortnight, and the transit to 45nm fab process, there's been an increasing need for AMD to get back to the drawing boards with their CPU division.

From what looks like an excerpt from an AMD company slide, can be seen AMD's CPU plans for 2009. The chart broadly shows that K10 architecture is here to stay. Throughout the year, desktop CPUs based on the K10 architecture feature in the roadmap, with no signs of their "truly next-gen" architecture. AMD completes its transit to the 45nm silicon fabrication process and will finally embrace DDR3 system memory standards. To begin with, the fact that the Deneb core's entry slightly steps into the 2008 column shows that the Deneb core-based desktop CPU could release sometime towards the very end of this year. Sources note that two models based on the Deneb core could be out by the end of this year. It supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory standards and socket compatible with current AM2+ and future AM3. From what's known so far, AM3 is the same 940 pin design that adds pins for the DDR3 memory interconnect between the CPU and the memory.

Deneb as we know is the K10 based quad-core 45nm derivative with 6 MB L3 caches. While Deneb aims to provide AM2+ and AM3 socket support, AMD will launch another quad-core chip core called Propus. This core lacks a level 3 cache, and is exclusive to the AM3. Presumably, it becomes exclusive since it might lack DDR2 memory controllers that Deneb and its predecessors had. Propus is aimed more to be a value offering, but hey, AMD's CPU lineup itself is basing heavily on the value moniker.

Towards mid-2009 a high-end Deneb FX chip is planned. The roadmap shows it to be exclusive to AM3 requiring DDR3 memory. Although it was indicated earlier about big plans to port this core to socket 1207 and possible DSDC based multi-CPU ganging, it's evidently out of the desktop roadmap, at least for 2009.

Moving on to triple-core and pretty-much the same form of variation as that between Deneb and Propus can be seen with Heka and Rana cores, with Rana lacking the L3 cache. These cores come in quick succession after Propus. There's a dual-core part on the chart called Regor as well. These 45nm AM3 supportive chips feature 1 MB L2 caches per core.

Moving on the thermal characteristics and the lineup looks largely the same except for that the highest offerings are rated at 125W followed by 95W chips and some Propus based parts being rated at even 45W. This is in comparison to current 65nm chips using the 140W, 125W and 95W ratings with some Agena parts being rated at even 65W. So there is a reduction attributing to the fab process transit, possibly higher clock speeds, though it isn't significant.

Finally, what's CPU talk without platform talk? Current 7-series chipsets find successors in the form of RD890 for the high-end and RS880D for performance thru mainstream segments. Current SB 750 southbridge chips are their sidekicks. RS880 and RS880C are the more mainstream thru value desktop platforms using the SB710 southbridge chips. The 8-series core logic exclusively supports the AM3 socket.

On the whole it doesn't look like there's something revolutionary though everything depends on how the Deneb core shapes up as it will without doubt be the torch-bearer for AMD in 2009 in its quest for a respectable market position. AMD plays a vital role in both CPU and consumer graphics segments in making sure innovations at humane prices are delivered to the consumer, from whichever market player products come from. Let the game begin.


Sources: Multiple articles from Expreview
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45 Comments on AMD Desktop Roadmap for 2009 Reveals no Surprises

#1
Viscarious
I dont know what to say. The whole next year looks like nothing is going to improve besides DDR3 and a 300mhz gain from current phenoms.

I wish AMD didnt merge with ATI. If that never happened, then maybe AMD would have focused more on their CPUs then GPUs.
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#2
farlex85
Well I must say that's quite disappointing. I just don't see how a revised phenom is going to compete w/ nehalem. And they're only offering one chip to do it? Are they giving up, think that this the denrab is just gonna be that spectacular, or what? Or are they just settling into the bargain end? I just hope either they are hiding something in hopes of surprising intel, or the denrab is just all kinds of wonderful. I can't buy computers in a world where intel charges $500 for a mid-range chip, and I'd really rather not buy in one where they charge $1000+ for an unlocked multi.........
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#3
Viscarious
I completely agree. I buy AMD cause their chips are cheap and they DO provide plenty of performance for everyday uses. Intel is ahead and are better with overclocks but no one really needs 4ghz processors. However, I want something new from AMD. Get off the KX/KXX architecture and move on, IMO.
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#4
mcloughj
any confirmation of the Deneb 4GHZ numbers that were flying around last week?
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#5
farlex85
by: mcloughj
any confirmation of the Deneb 4GHZ numbers that were flying around last week?
Not yet, but if that roadmap is right it really better be 4ghz stock and fast core for core or they are dead in the water.
Posted on Reply
#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: mcloughj
any confirmation of the Deneb 4GHZ numbers that were flying around last week?
No. We're yet to see what clock speeds those 125W chips are clocked at.
Posted on Reply
#7
dani31
They just need to climb again in the high-end cpu market even if they do not steal the crown from Intel. They did so to Nvidia with their HD4800 series and worked out.


And I think that they have the potential.
Phenom was rushed to the market with a ton of problems. Now it's becoming mature, they have a working southbridge for it, and hopefully the transition to 45 will help power and speed.
For the transition to DDR3 they also should have enough competencies since memory management has been a strong point for AMD since forever.
ATI should also be integrated by now.
Posted on Reply
#8
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
This is amazing for AMD i mean iv never seen their old arch pass the 3ghz limit w/ ease.....but idk im sre intel has the answer eiher i7 wont be challanged by these new chips or they will drop proces and push out a few more extreme series cpu's like rebranded E7200's or 85-8600's clocked up to 4 GHZ either way clock for clock i just dont know if it will happen. but i have faith inamd does anyone know what their arch is called is it k10? or do they have a cooler name for it?
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#9
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I like seeing how you all are naysaying AMD for this. You always want new and revolutionary. Get off your damn high horse. While it may not be new, it does look like the new chips are sooner. There is really no sense in getting off the KX/KXX architecture if its still good and working for them. If going by what you all say, starting over on something new, they would be dead ducks, so to speak. They are progressing nicely and as Dani31 says, the phenom is maturing and alot of the kinks are being worked out. I dont need them to be better than Intel at anything. I need them to offer good value and performance, and damn it, they have done it! (/end rant)


This is not to say I wouldnt mind seeing them steal the crown...but if they do, you can believe the era of $1000+ chips would be back and probably even higher. The new chipset and the influx of the 750 SB is wonderful news.
Posted on Reply
#11
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
by: WarEagleAU
I like seeing how you all are naysaying AMD for this. You always want new and revolutionary. Get off your damn high horse. While it may not be new, it does look like the new chips are sooner. There is really no sense in getting off the KX/KXX architecture if its still good and working for them. If going by what you all say, starting over on something new, they would be dead ducks, so to speak. They are progressing nicely and as Dani31 says, the phenom is maturing and alot of the kinks are being worked out. I dont need them to be better than Intel at anything. I need them to offer good value and performance, and damn it, they have done it! (/end rant)


This is not to say I wouldnt mind seeing them steal the crown...but if they do, you can believe the era of $1000+ chips would be back and probably even higher. The new chipset and the influx of the 750 SB is wonderful news.
you knw i didnt mean to start a rant and i dont think i was naysaying them im absolutely excited for the era of 4ghz cpu's if this s true not only do i think amd has the first but the performance will be amazing. ill probably get one.i mean i wsnt knocking them but in the sense of beating intel (not assuming that is the focus) if this doesnt work i think the easiest way for amd o pull out is to totally change the arch or at the very least find a way to do more cycles per clock
Posted on Reply
#12
farlex85
by: WarEagleAU
I like seeing how you all are naysaying AMD for this. You always want new and revolutionary. Get off your damn high horse. While it may not be new, it does look like the new chips are sooner. There is really no sense in getting off the KX/KXX architecture if its still good and working for them. If going by what you all say, starting over on something new, they would be dead ducks, so to speak. They are progressing nicely and as Dani31 says, the phenom is maturing and alot of the kinks are being worked out. I dont need them to be better than Intel at anything. I need them to offer good value and performance, and damn it, they have done it! (/end rant)


This is not to say I wouldnt mind seeing them steal the crown...but if they do, you can believe the era of $1000+ chips would be back and probably even higher. The new chipset and the influx of the 750 SB is wonderful news.
What does this have to do w/ being on a high horse? :confused: All I want is reasonable prices for all. You can say AMD is doing that fine right now, but in my mind they aren't, b/c the performance is far enough behind intel's that their only procs that are worth a purchase are the very low end ones where intel does not occupy the market. Every other chip I can find an intel chip that offers more for the same price. That's why intel is charging ridiculous prices on some of their chips right now, they are essentially competing w/ themselves. Sure most everything for everyday users it doesn't make a difference, but I'm not an everyday user, and I want more than everyday performance. If they can evolve the K10 w/ this one denrab chip series to be competitive enough to compete w/ a whole slew of new chips from intel that are more efficient than core 2, then great, that would be nice. I don't see it though, and I think they'll need much more. /rant :D
Posted on Reply
#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: WarEagleAU
This is not to say I wouldnt mind seeing them steal the crown...but if they do, you can believe the era of $1000+ chips would be back and probably even higher. The new chipset and the influx of the 750 SB is wonderful news.
When AMD held the crown, it did sell its best chips for $1000+ :)
Posted on Reply
#14
Viscarious
Yea, I remember those FX chips being stupidly expensive.
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#15
NinkobEi
so, I guess buying a processor right now and buying one next year at the same time will get you the same performance. sigh...gotta say I'm a bit disappointed. unless these new chips are for bargain-basement prices then I dont see a reason to stick with amd (that hurts to say). I guess amd just has a lot of proc stock they need to get rid of.
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#16
johnnyfiive
K10 value ftw. I'm saving for a Deneb CPU right now. A possible 4GHz STOCK clocked Quad Core in my rig? YES PLEASE.
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#17
KBD
Yea, the roadmap is not encouraging to say the least, especially for those of us who are fans of AMD. However, I'm still hopeful that there is more to AMD than this, afterall they did put out roadmaps before and not always stuck to them. A lot can change in a year, or even 6 months. Plus we don't know what else are they working on besides the declared roadmap. If memory serves me correctly intel was working on Core 2 in parallel to their Pentium 4 & D platforms. Who knows, AMD may be doing something similar and just put out this plan to make intel believe that they are not making much progress.

But if they do follow this plan to the letter they will be relagating themselves to the 2nd place for quite some time. The new Deneb will prolly beat Conroe, Wolfdale and Yorkfield but Nehalem is a different story. In this case, they will occupy the niche of value oriented but not very high performance CPUs, just like VIA occupies the niche of low power, low performance CPUs.

I'm also kinda dissapointed that they won't be putting out a new Southbridge for Am3, SB750 is great but in a year it will be considred old tech, hell, Intel spews out a new ICH every time they have a new chipset out, why cant AMD do that?
Posted on Reply
#18
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: KBD
I'm also kinda dissapointed that they won't be putting out a new Southbridge for Am3, SB750 is great but in a year it will be considred old tech, hell, Intel spews out a new ICH every time they have a new chipset out, why cant AMD do that?
There's nothing much to advance with the southbridge, except maybe miniaturizing them to a newer fab process to cut power draw. 7-series chips are based on the 65nm fab, run cooler than most chipset designs out now. SB750 is adequately equipped to deal with it. We don't use RAID setups with >6 drives or 12 USB ports, etc.
Posted on Reply
#19
KBD
by: btarunr
There's nothing much to advance with the southbridge, except maybe miniaturizing them to a newer fab process to cut power draw. 7-series chips are based on the 65nm fab, run cooler than most chipset designs out now. SB750 is adequately equipped to deal with it. We don't use RAID setups with >6 drives or 12 USB ports, etc.
So i guess they can do an 8 series southbridge on the 45nm process to further maximize efficiancy. Intel will prolly have that on X58 boards and if not it will be on later chipsets. This will just allow AMD to keep up a bit better.
Posted on Reply
#20
erocker
I am thouroghly dissapointed. I think AMD should just concentrate on the server market and start making money again.
Posted on Reply
#21
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: KBD
So i guess they can do an 8 series southbridge on the 45nm process to further maximize efficiancy. Intel will prolly have that on X58 boards and if not it will be on later chipsets. This will just allow AMD to keep up a bit better.
X58 is accompanied by ICH10R (?) Last I heard that was 65nm.
Posted on Reply
#22
KBD
by: erocker
I am thouroghly dissapointed. I think AMD should just concentrate on the server market and start making money again.
Problem is, with this kind of roadmap they'll get their asses kicked on the server side as well, afterall server CPUs are variants of the desktp CPU architecture. What they need to do is stop beating the dead K10 horse and work on making k11 as powerful and efficent as they can.
Posted on Reply
#23
erocker
by: KBD
Problem is, with this kind of roadmap they'll get their asses kicked on the server side as well, afterall server CPUs are variants of the desktp CPU architecture.
Yep! That's why they should concentrate just on servers.
Posted on Reply
#24
KBD
by: btarunr
X58 is accompanied by ICH10R (?) Last I heard that was 65nm.
yea, i wasnt sure if it was 65nm, but the next one prolly will be and thats what i said. Bottom line is they should do every little thing they can to try to narrow the gap or stay in the lead and that includes a new 45nm southbridge.
Posted on Reply
#25
Abu Assar
new naming scheme ?

the current phenom x4 already maxed out the naming scheme , being at 9950 I wonder what is the name of the next denebs ?!

will they start adding prefix letters like intel's QX - Q - E ...

or will they continue from 10000 :shadedshu

what do you think ?
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