Technology analysis of the latest gadgets, consoles, and computer architectures.

Friday, June 02, 2006

AMD is taking an interesting approach for their next generation microprocessor products through the implentation of modular cores. By openly licensing AMD's HyperTransport technology, the next generation AMD platform, the K8L, will essentially allow system manufacturers and ultimately consumers to increase the performance and featureset of their multiprocessor setups by connecting third-party coprocessors directly to the processor. AMD is also planning on breaking up the K8L into modules, which will allow AMD and potentially server manufacturers to customize the microprocessor to their needs, adding more cache and memory controllers as needed.

Intel and AMD have been embracing chip multiprocessors through the implementation of multiple cores on a single die, and AMD has just taken it a step further. A while back I wrote about the possibility of placing a GPU on the motherboard rather than requiring a seperate graphics card altogether, allowing for lower communication latency and higher bandwidth between the microprocessor and the graphics processor, and this approach in chip design may actually make this a viable solution. In addition, it brings a smile to my face whenever topics I've read about in my advanced computer architecture classes become part of a real design, especially when my professor last semester, James Smith, wrote a couple papers and an IEEE article about modular cores. I'll have to put up my research paper about chip multiprocessors on this site one of these days...

Anyways, check out the Anandtech article covering AMD's next generation microprocessor technologies, and if you could so kindly leave some constructive comments about it, one day someone might stumble upon this post and make you famous.

Update: Check out this image I snagged from an Inquirer article.