Friday, April 18th 2008

12-core CPUs From AMD on Their Way

Shanghai, the 45nm core from AMD, is likely to debut late this year. It will be similar in many aspects to the currently-availabe B3 stepping of the Socket 1207 Opteron (Barcelona) shipping today. Unlike Barcelona however, which has its HyperTransport 3.0 clock generator fused off, Shangai should utilize HyperTransport 3.0 for inter-CPU communication. Also, AMD has a new "native six-core" Shanghai derivative in store, currently codenamed Istanbul. This processor is clearly targeted at Intel's recently announced six-core, 45nm Dunnington processor. AMD plans to utilize 2 Istanbul cores to create a 12-core CPU, where both cores will communicate with each other via HyperTransport 3.0. A quad-channel memory controller may also be possible. All new Shanghai CPUs should be backwards compatible with existing Socket 1207 motherboards.

Shanghai is currently taped out and running Windows at AMD.Source: DailyTech
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72 Comments on 12-core CPUs From AMD on Their Way

#1
[I.R.A]_FBi
btarunr said:
^run four of these AMD chips on the TYAN 4 socket board, 48 cores in all. Wonder what task manager would look like.
erm. u need to read teh OP.
AMD plans to utilize 2 Istanbul cores to create a 12-core CPU, where both cores will communicate with each other via HyperTransport 3.0.
It states teh 12 cores are provided by 2 sockets connected by HT Link or whadever.

4 * 6 = 24
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
It's two Istanbul cores duct-taped onto one package (similar to Pentium D, where the cores shared FSB for communicating with the system and with eachother). Just that here it's HT 3.0 at play.

Just as, I wouldn't call 2x A64 FX 74 on a L1N64 SLI-WS a four core CPU.
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#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Daily-Tech
AMD engineers reveal details about the company's upcoming 45nm processor roadmap, including plans for 12-core processors

"Shanghai! Shanghai!" the reporters cry during the AMD's financial analyst day today. Despite the fact that the company will lay off nearly 5% of its work force this week, followed by another 5% next month, most employees interviewed by DailyTech continue to convey an optimistic outlook.

The next major milestone for the CPU engineers comes late this year, with the debut of 45nm Shanghai. Shanghai, for all intents and purposes, is nearly identical to the B3 stepping of Socket 1207 Opteron (Barcelona) shipping today. However, where as Barcelona had its HyperTransport 3.0 clock generator fused off, Shanghai will once again attempt to get HT3.0 right.

Original roadmaps anticipated that HT3.0 would be used for socket-to-socket communication, but also for communication to the Southbridge controllers. Motherboard manufacturers have confirmed that this is no longer the case, and that HT3.0 will only be used for inter-CPU communication.

"Don't be disappointed, AMD is making up for it," hints one engineer. Further conversations revealed that inter-CPU communication is going to be a big deal with the 45nm refresh. The first breadcrumb comes with a new "native six-core" Shanghai derivative, currently codenamed Istanbul. This processor is clearly targeted at Intel's recently announced six-core, 45nm Dunnington processor.

But sextuple-core processors have been done, or at least we'll see the first ones this year. The real neat stuff comes a few months after, where AMD will finally ditch the "native-core" rhetoric. Two separate reports sent to DailyTech from AMD partners indicate that Shanghai and its derivatives will also get twin-die per package treatment.

AMD planned twin-die configurations as far back as the K8 architecture, though abandoned those efforts. The company never explained why those processors were nixed, but just weeks later "native quad-core" became a major marketing campaign for the AMD in anticipation of Barcelona.

A twin-die Istanbul processor could enable 12 cores in a single package. Each of these cores will communicate to each other via the now-enabled HT3.0 interconnect on the processor.

The rabbit hole gets deeper. Since each of these processors will contain a dual-channel memory controller, a single-core can emulate quad-channel memory functions by accessing the other dual-channel memory controller on the same socket. This move is likely a preemptive strike against Intel's Nehalem tri-channel memory controller.

Motherboard manufacturers claim Shanghai and its many-core derivatives will be backwards compatible with existing Socket 1207 motherboards. However, processor-to-processor communication will downgrade to lower HyperTransport frequencies on these older motherboards. The newest 1207+ motherboards will officially support the HyperTransport 3.0 frequencies.

Shanghai is currently taped out and running Windows at AMD.
What do you infer from the highlighted text?
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#4
allen337
Dangle said:
Hell yea AMD! Give me a reason to dump this Q6600! WOOT!
Wouldnt dump that Q6600 yet:laugh:
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#5
[I.R.A]_FBi
btarunr said:
What do you infer from the highlighted text?
that text causes me to infer something different. bring on the duct tape!
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Exactly, the 12-core CPU you hear of, is 2x 6 core dies duct-taped onto a single package (or single CPU). By 'package', they don't mean a single 'box' or something, but in electronics, a package is a single ceramic/plastic enclosure with pins and thin copper wires that connect pins to a die (or several dies).
Posted on Reply
#7
jbunch07
gotta love duct tape!
i know intel does
Posted on Reply
#8
Nitro-Max
Plus +
12 cores = great for encoding ripping benching Multi tasking etc..
12 cores = Fast cpu for the Future if software ever catches up..

minus -
12 cores = Pointless for gaming..
12 cores = limited overclocking..
12 cores = pricey..
Posted on Reply
#10
Morgoth
could also be damn slow on single tasked threads
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#12
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
btarunr said:
^run four of these AMD chips on the TYAN 4 socket board, 48 cores in all. Wonder what task manager would look like.
Why does it have to be Tyan?
Posted on Reply
#13
Jizzler
Because when 48-cores isn't enough, you can expand to 96 with the M4985 expansion board ;) :D



Posted on Reply
#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
DanTheBanjoman said:
Why does it have to be Tyan?
Because I've not seen another company make a 4x Socket 1207 board....until now, the one in Jizzler's post. Which form-factor is that parent board (the first pic)?
Posted on Reply
#15
Jizzler
That's the Tyan S4985, SSI MEB (16" x 13").

Some others from Asus, MSI, and Supermicro:





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#16
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
I'm not very literate with server/WS boards but the last board by SM looks a monster with so much memory and active component cooling, something new with server boards.
Posted on Reply
#17
Jizzler
For any lottery winners here, the Tyan and Supermicro both have two full speed x16 slots for some SLI action ;)

Don't know if Vantage will be threaded enough for a system like this to overcome an overclockable Skulltrail/Asus Z7S setup, but I'd have some fun trying if my numbers came in :D
Posted on Reply
#18
Jizzler
btarunr said:
I'm not very literate with server/WS boards but the last board by SM looks a monster with so much memory and active component cooling, something new with server boards.
Oh yeah, it's a beast.

Plus, because of the lack of Barcelona Opterons for the last couple months prices of the Tyan and Supermicro boards have dropped from ~$1800 to under $1000. I was just looking at eBay and there's a Tyan that's at $650 right now.

For the more demanding of 3D animators, could do up a 4P Opteron/QuadroFX 4700X2 system for under $10K.
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#19
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
AMD recalled all the Barcelona stocks that were out when it released because of the TLB bug. They now have fresh bug-free stocks out. In the enterprise segment, they can't sell bugged processors.
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#20
eidairaman1
Ravenas said:
Well truth be told, most consumer based CPUs are derivatives of server base CPUs...It's a big funnel per say.
I hear what ya say, but Majority of users out there could give a rats ass at how overclockable a part is, they just look at what clock speed its at stock and how many cores it has, usually 12cores looks better to the average person than say 2 cores, just like how Intel used Clock speed during the P4 Age, but it seems that is happening again with CPUs being 3.0GHz or higher stock clock.

every cpu is technically bugged due to erratta, Intel was selling the P4 despite heavy Errata due to Netburst- so many L2 misses- had to repeat thru the pipes.
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#21
graphicsHorse
Great news for 3d guys like me who need all the rendering power they can get.

But Phenom/Barcelona was %50 faster than core2duo at the same clockspeeds
when you were to believe AMD pressreleases. So I take it all with a grain of salt.

But if AMD pulls it out, I'll take the ticket to Istanbul.
Posted on Reply
#22
eidairaman1
Dude its amazing how long they were able to keep this under wraps, also the Radeon 4 Line are Almost Complete.
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