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AMD 880G Chipset Detailed

Following AMD's launch of the 890GX chipset which marked the entry of certain new features native to the chipset, the company is readying a slightly scaled-down version of it aimed at more mainstream consumers, business PC users, as well as HTPC and home PC users. The AMD 880G succeeds the 780G is being a mid-range integrated graphics chipset that supports a range of new features using the SB800 series southbridge chips.

While the 880G is based on essentially the same chip (RS880) as the 890GX, certain features such as ATI CrossFire are disabled, and board makers are directed to use this chipset on micro-ATX form-factor designs. The 880G northbridge packs an RV620-core based ATI Radeon HD 4250 IGP which supports DirectX 10.1, with 40 stream processors, and DDR3 SidePort memory support apart from the usual UMA. The IGP supports native HD video decode features, as well as HDMI with on-chip 7.1 channel audio. While the chipset supports one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 link for discrete graphics, it also gives out PCI-Express 2.0 x1, x4 lanes from the northbridge. Additional controllers such as USB 3.0 can benefit from a direct PCI-E 2.0 path. The SB800 class southbridge has a native 6 channel SATA 6 Gb/s controller complete with RAID support.


Phenom II X6 Series Details Surface, Slated for May 2010

AMD's upcoming six-core desktop processor, codenamed "Thuban" is on course for a May 2010, suggests a report. The series is likely to receive the brand name Phenom II X6. There are four models planned for release within Q2, 2010. The Thuban core is AMD's desktop implementation of the Istanbul core, in the socket AM3 package, supporting dual-channel DDR3 memory. It is a monolithic multi-core design with six x86-64 cores, each with 128 KB of L1, 512 KB of L2 cache, and a 6 MB L3 cache shared between the six cores. Just as with K10 dual, triple, and quad core processors where AMD used a HyperTransport interface clock speed of 1800 MHz (3600 MT/s), or 2000 MHz (4000 MT/s), the new processor will take advantage of HyperTransport 3.x interface, with a HT speed of 2400 MHz (4800 MT/s). Thuban will be built on GlobalFoundaries' 45 nm node.

The table below lists out details of the four planned models. The model number of the top part isn't known. Most likely it is a Black Edition part, which comes with an unlocked BClk multiplier. It operates at 2.80 GHz, with a TDP of 140W. A step below is the Phenom II X6 1075T, which has an expected TDP of 125W, the 1055T is a notch below, and 1035T being the cheapest part. The exact clock speeds of the latter three models isn't known as yet. A month ahead of releasing these chips, AMD will announce the AMD 8-series chipset platform, led by 890FX (high-end, best for CrossFireX), 890GX (performance integrated graphics with CrossFire support). The AMD SB800 series southbridge chips will feature native support for SATA 6 Gb/s. Its on-die SATA controller gives out six SATA ports complete with RAID support. Some existing AM3 motherboards based on 7-series chipsets may also support Phenom II X6 with a BIOS update.

Source: OCWorkbench

ECS AMD 890GX Motherboards Pictured

Two of ECS' upcoming motherboards based on AMD's 890GX+SB800 chipset, supporting socket AM3 processors have been pictured: the A890GXM-A Black Series, and the IC890GXM-A. The two are ATX motherboards which build slightly on the chipset's features on offer.

The A890GXM-A Black Series is the higher-end part aimed at overclockers and performance users. It has an elaborate heatsink that covers the 890GX northbridge and CPU VRM area, which makes use of a heatpipe for uniform heat dissipation. It is marked with "Six Core CPU Support", indicating that it is ready for AMD's upcoming "Thuban" six-core desktop processor. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots to support dual-channel memory. DDR3 memory with speeds over 1800 MHz are supported by overclocking.

ASUS M4A89GTOD PRO RS890 Motherboard Pictured

At the ongoing CES event, ASUS displayed some of its upcoming motherboards which included the M4A89GTOD PRO, an ATX form-factor model based on the AMD 890G chipset. The AMD 890G seems to be a successor to the AMD 790GX, in being a performance integrated graphics part. It integrates a DirectX 10.1 compliant IGP while supporting discrete graphics with 2-way ATI CrossFireX.

The M4A89GTOD PRO comes with an expansive feature-set thanks to the AMD 890G. The more interesting component being the AMD SB800 southbridge chip, which is on its way to being one of the first PC motherboard chipsets to natively support SATA 6 Gb/s. The chip doles out six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, while doing away with its on-die IDE controller. An external JMicron-made storage controller compensates with an IDE connector, a SATA 3 Gb/s port (colored black) and perhaps an eSATA port (at 3 Gb/s speeds), too.

AMD Preparing ''Thuban'' Desktop Six-Core Processor

AMD is planning to create a desktop implementation of its Opteron "Istanbul" monolithic six-core processor. Codenamed "Thuban" (named after a star in the Draco constellation, which means Dragon), the new processor will be based on the socket AM3 package for compatibility with existing and future desktop core logic. It features six cores, 9 MB of total cache (6 x 512 KB L2 + 6 MB L3). Thuban is aimed to make for AMD's high-end desktop processor, as the company prepares to face competition from a near-complete lineup of processors based on the Nehalem/Westmere architectures from Intel. It is expected to be the posterboy for AMD's "Leo" high-end consumer desktop platform that succeeds its current Dragon platform.

Some of the key components that make up AMD Leo platform are the upcoming AMD 890FX and 890GX chipset, companion SB800 series southbridge chips, and members of AMD's Evergreen family of DirectX 11 compliant graphics processors. On the software front, AMD will give its Fusion and Overdrive utilities some big updates. The SB800 series southbridge chips will feature native support for SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0; connectivity is further enhanced by integrated Broadcom MAC Ethernet interfaces. While the Leo platform is expected to launch almost simultaneously with the 8-series chipsets, the six-core Thuban processor on the other hand comes later. It is due only in Q3 2010. Thuban will have come out an year after its enterprise implementation in the form of Opteron "Istanbul".

Sources: X-bit Labs, VR-Zone

AMD RS880 Details Trickle in

AMD processors finally get to address DDR3 memory on the new AM3 socket. Compatible processors under the Phenom II and Athlon X3, X4 banners that come in AM3 socket packages, will run initially on updated AMD 7-series chipset variants, and later be succeeded by the the company's RD890 and RS880 chipset cores. HKEPC compiled some information on the RS880 core logic. The "RS" prefix for AMD GPG chipsets mark the presence of integrated graphics. Based on the performance efficiency of the RSx80 dice, they're branded into the mainstream RSx80 product (eg: RS780 for AMD 780G), RSx80C for a value product (eg: RS780C for AMD 740G) and a high-end RSx80D (eg: in AMD 790GX).

The RS880 will use feature-set refresh, though will embed a rather dated RV620-class graphics processor. The IGP will have DirectX 10.1 API compliance. Specifications-wise it is identical to the RS780, both sport 40 stream processors, 8 texture address and 4 texture filtering units, though the core speed on the RS880 is expected to be significantly higher. The feature-set refresh, as stated earlier, includes support for Universal Video Decoder 2 (UVD-2), in addition to 100% hardware acceleration for VC-1, H.264 and MPEG-2 bitstream decoding. Also provided is video dynamic-contrast. The IGP supports HDMI with audio routing, and DisplayPort. The chipset will be released in Q3 2009. Like the current RS780, the RS880 will be manufactured on the 55nm node of TSMC. It will be used on motherboards with companion SB710 or SB800 southbridge chips.

Source: HKEPC

AMD Chalks-Out Chipset Launch Schedule for 2009

The year 2009 could be very decisive for AMD, with a fleet of desktop processors awaiting launch within H1, 2009. The company will also be preparing supportive core logic for compatibility with AM3 socket CPUs. Listed, are the highlights for the chipset division's product plans, as compiled by industry observer DigiTimes:
  • The introduction of a value-oriented IGP chipset in January 2009, the AMD 760G, based on the RS780 architecture. This is expected to replace AMD 740G. It offers a DirectX 10 IGP without support for UVD, Hybrid Crossfire or DisplayPort. To be accompanied by AMD SB710 southbridge.
  • The introduction of high-end AMD 790FX and 790GX chipsets that have been upgraded with native AM3 socket support, in May or June. To be accompanied by AMD SB750 southbridge.
  • The company will introduce the RX780-based AMD 770, which also gets its share of changes that bring in AM3 socket compatibility, in July or August. To be accompanied by SB710.
  • A next generation IGP-based RS880 northbridge would be introduced in May or June, also accompanied by SB710.
  • Finally in September, the company will launch a proper successor to the 790FX, in the form of RD890, and the introduction of the new SB800 southbridge.
Source: DigiTimes
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