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  • SharkyForums.Com - Print: AMD Industry Interview

    AMD Industry Interview
    By alexross January 25, 2001, 01:04 PM

    Hi there folks,

    Today sees us school of Sharks kick off round two of our Industry Interviews over here on www.sharkyforums.com.

    The second company to go under the floodlights is AMD. There is plenty to get your teeth into, whether it be about the Athlon, Duron, Palamino, 760 DDR Chipset, SMP, just fire away. This is your chance folks. Just post your questions by replying to this topic (you can't start a new topic). We will pick 20 of the best questions, submit them to the folks over at AMD who have agreed to oblige. We will then post the answers to your questions here and on www.sharkyextreme.com.

    Once again, thank you for the great support and participation with the last interview. We have sent off your questions and should have the answers back by the middle of next week.

    As always, your feedback has been very much appreciated and often been implemented in one form or another on the main www.sharkyextreme.com site. So keep ‘em coming. Thanks for flying with us, we know you have a choice.

    By Frostbite January 25, 2001, 01:48 PM

    All of my questions are on the "Palomino" processor:

    (1) will it be a Socket A processor, or will I have to buy a "new" (different) motherboard configuration?

    (2) will it be a 266 FSB?

    (3) will it use PC133 SDRAM, or RDRAM, or what?

    (4) how does the timeframe look for the Palomino's release?

    Thank you in advance.

    By casket January 25, 2001, 01:55 PM

    In Sanders Q4 summary, he predicted a new processor every 6 weeks.
    1. Rumor has it the 1.3 Ghz is scheduled for Monday it seems...(is it a 133 FSB).
    2. The mobile Duron seems to finally kill off the k6-2 and k6-3 lines. How fast do you expect to ramp up this production?
    3. With anouncement of the AMD760MP coming soon, does this mean that all the quirks have now been worked out of the AMD760.
    4. What is AMD's take on the Nvidia crush chipset?
    5. A couple months ago there were rumors of cooperation with transmeta. How close are the two companies.
    6. Recent benchmarks of Itaniums have shown subpar performance in translating x86 code. Does this open the door to AMD for a ClawHammer processor?
    7. What affect on AMD do you think Microsofts .NET strategy will play. Apparently .Net uses a Microsoft Intermediary Language(kinda like JVM). Will this open the door for new instruction sets like 3dNow or x86-64... Only needing to optimize one program(this Common Language Runtime thingy) to take advantage of New Instruction Architectures?
    8. IDF is a month away. Nvidia is supposedly launching their NV20 there. Last year AMD annouced a new chip a couple of days after IDF. This isn't quite 6 weeks though after the 1.3 GHz announcement(if this happens soon). Will AMD take this oppoutunity to announce their newly enhanced Athlon core(Palomino).

    By Nailz January 25, 2001, 02:03 PM

    I would like to know if the Ghz Thunderbird version C with the 133 FSB capabilities are currently available and "exactly" where I can get one from.

    If they are not available, when will they be and will they ship in volume?

    If they will not be available soon how do you explain the terrible performance increase of PC1600 DDR SDRAM coupled with the 760 chipset and with ALi's chipsets running at a 100(200)mhz clock?

    By Bateluer January 25, 2001, 03:06 PM

    In regards to the L1 bridges on the Tbird and Duron cores, why haven't you removed them? I like the OC abilities, but it must be costing some memory.

    Any truth the rumor that the Sledgehammer will be dumping the EV6 bus for the NUMA bus?

    By dountoothers12 January 25, 2001, 03:42 PM

    I'd like to congratulate you with the chipsets that you put on mbs when a new processor is released. I have an ATI All in Wonder 128 pci that I can only get to run strictly as a video card (w/o all the extas I paid for and with a pretty tricky and specific setup with the newest drivers and dx8) on my FIC va 503+ (via MVP3 chipset) mb. However, I've tried it in friends' systems w/AMD chipsets, and it sets up and runs smooth as silk. I've read through many forums and everyone seems to have this problem with Via chipsets, and suggest getting AMD chipset motherboards.

    Any idea why your chipsets seem to work so well with this (and all other AIW cards) product and why Via STILL can't put out a chipset that is acceptable?

    My next system will definitely have an AMD chipset.


    p.s. If anyone else happens to have good advice to get this combination to work correctly it would be very much appreciated!

    By El_Panzon January 25, 2001, 03:52 PM

    First if anybody has been gaught with their pants down about the EV6/Hammer thing, get another diapers ;-)
    Now let's get serious:
    1. what will be the politics regarding Hammer chipsets? Will AMD get serious about it, or will you license LDT to third parties just like you're currently doing with the Athlon?
    2. Please specify a date for the 760MP release (just the month).
    3. When will you shift the Duron to 266FSB? Will you stick it to 200 to make a difference with the Athlon or will you wait for Palomino's 'small brother' (can't remember the name right now) to do so?
    4. Will the Athlon get much benefit from DDR as it ramps in speed or are you planning to 'tweak' (redesign, see next question) it so it can get a real advantage from the extra bandwidth (something the P4 has indeed got, although its the only good thing ;-)
    5. And last but most important, When is the K7 getting a serious cache tracing? If you can't get it to 256-bit ask Diamond/IBM or sgi or 3Dlabs/intense3Dhow, but DO IT. (Just to remind you both the FireGL2/3 and the wildcat has got 256-bit buses and every single machine from sgi too, except the O2 which is 284). And it shouldn't be THAT expensive to do on-die (Intel did, that's the bad news, hellooo).

    By Andorion January 25, 2001, 03:56 PM

    Will Palamino have SSE2 support? If not, what is the next AMD processor that will? Will you be introducing any new instruction sets before x86-64 is released?


    By Ymaster January 25, 2001, 03:59 PM

    Why has AMD killed the production of the K6-III?

    By Ymaster January 25, 2001, 04:09 PM

    Now that AMD CPU's have been used in a SuperComputer. Does this open a new window for AMD to make cheaper SuperComputer Main Frames in the future?

    By Ymaster January 25, 2001, 04:35 PM

    We can all agree that AMD is highly dependant on third-party chipset manufacturers. And if VIA or ALI does poor work with thier Chipsets. Does this not effect AMD's appeal to the people that need stability?

    By alanschu January 25, 2001, 04:39 PM

    Does AMD plan to get more serious with making chipsets?

    If not, why? Their latest chipset (760) seems to run the best with their processor (which shouldn't be too surprising), with the least compatibility problems.

    One of the biggest gripes (and fears) of potential AMD purchasers is the Via chipset (which I agree with).

    By Phatman January 25, 2001, 05:07 PM

    I would really like to know when the 133MHz FSB T-Birds are coming out. I spoke with a sales associate awhile back and they told me January, but I haven't been seeing any out on the market. Other than that:

    1. When can we expect to see the 760MP chipset?
    2. Are the 1.3GHz on Monday rumors true? If so, when can WE expect to be able to get them?
    3. Is the Palomino going to incorporate regular SSE (not SSE2)?
    4. When can we expect the Palominos to be available to us?

    By Amish_Chief January 25, 2001, 05:08 PM

    A few things:

    1. How much success have you had getting the Duron processor to large OEM's (e.g. HP and the like)? Duron's have been out for awhile but overwhelming numbers of low-cost system still come with the Celeron, so what's going on?

    2. What are your plans for future AMD-supported laptops? The K6 has enjoyed a steady reign, but are there any official plans to port the Palomino as a low-powered CPU in a laptop (or possibly a 2nd-Gen Duron or TBird?)

    3. Compatibility...Intel could be slaughtered on this one, due to the different slots of the P3 vs. P4. Will Socket A have any life beyond the current TBird or not?

    4. What are the Sledgehammer's "battle tactics" to take on the Itanium? Any specifics developed yet?

    5. How close will you work with video card developers, and will you have a plan to either match or beat the multimedia CPU instructions of Intel (e.g. SSE and SSE2)?

    I think that covers it

    By Ymaster January 25, 2001, 05:19 PM

    Can you tell us more about the switch to use isotopically pure silicon in AMD's 1.7Ghz processors?

    By awa64 January 25, 2001, 05:20 PM

    1) What are your views on OCing--- pro, con, pro as long as it's not sold at it's revamped speed, or what?
    2) Where will the x86 Athlon/T-Bird/Mustang processors top off? When will we hit the x86 Architecture Wall and have to revamp all of our computers to be able to upgrade processors?

    By max_clif January 25, 2001, 06:51 PM

    IM just wondering if the new Durons will get SSE2 extentions added on top of the cache to compete with the P3, Celeron2's

    By 3dcandy January 25, 2001, 07:19 PM

    quote:Originally posted by dountoothers12:
    I'd like to congratulate you with the chipsets that you put on mbs when a new processor is released. I have an ATI All in Wonder 128 pci that I can only get to run strictly as a video card (w/o all the extas I paid for and with a pretty tricky and specific setup with the newest drivers and dx8) on my FIC va 503+ (via MVP3 chipset) mb. However, I've tried it in friends' systems w/AMD chipsets, and it sets up and runs smooth as silk. I've read through many forums and everyone seems to have this problem with Via chipsets, and suggest getting AMD chipset motherboards.

    Any idea why your chipsets seem to work so well with this (and all other AIW cards) product and why Via STILL can't put out a chipset that is acceptable?

    My next system will definitely have an AMD chipset.


    p.s. If anyone else happens to have good advice to get this combination to work correctly it would be very much appreciated!

    Yes, earlier VIA chipsets weren't that good, but later ones are. Most new chipsets around for the ATHLON are quite stable and they are getting better. MVP3's were never that good, and I tried to get AIW products running well and never really succeeded, but I think that 50% of the blame must go to ATI with the drivers as they aren't that hot either! I used to have an Asus K7M with AMD 751 chipset, and had to get a new m/board as it died, and my KX133 based board is much better :-)

    By mazeikabedes January 25, 2001, 08:44 PM

    About FAB30 can u tell us the percentages of use that it has been month by month since it was operational?

    And the percentages that will be in use for the months to come (aprox)?

    How much room (%) will left for 0.13 micron production?

    Fab25 is that running at 100% will u change its production straight away to 0.13 micron or will u wait 6 months, or will it be gradual?

    By AMD_Forever January 25, 2001, 08:52 PM

    1) If the regular athlon and duron processors have a significantly lower price than their Intel "equivalents" then a the Mustang, had it not been wiped from the roadmaps, would probably have had a price equal to or slightly lower than the Intel Pentium 4, and still have a much greater performance advantage, why was Mustang canceled? Did the 1MB + cache cause the already burning .18 athlon process to get too hot?
    2) When will AMD realize that VIA holds them back in so many areas and start putting forth real effort chipset production? Duron adaptation delayed by months because of no integrated chipset from VIA, Athlon/Duron AGP stability practically non existent due to VIA, that 2% lead the 1ghz P3 has against the Athlon in quake 3, again VIA's fault.
    3) Since the K7 technology will soon go to the .13 micron process how high do you expect it to be until AMD cannot take K7 any higher in clock speed? After the 1.7Ghz athlon will all AMD processors after that speed use K8 (hammer) technology?
    4) AMD does have the ability to release a 1.3 and maybe 1.4 Ghz athlon today, why don't they? When athlon was released, Intel was forced to introduce Coppermine ahead of time and i820 ahead of time, and look at the problems it caused for Intel. If AMD introduced the 1.3 and 1.4 ghz Athlons today, Intel may be forced into rapid introduction of Northwood before it is ready, If that happens and intel makes a mistake with the forced introduction of Northwood, then AMD could be enjoying a wave of success after another gigantic intel blunder. So, why doesn't AMD drive intel to a panic and cause them to make mistakes?

    By dgardatl January 25, 2001, 11:00 PM

    I have a few questions for AMD concerning chipset design.

    1. When will AMD release a motherboard that consists of only their chipset? The reason I ask is because I've purchased 2 motherboards based on the Via design and they did not work. So I returned them and I'm still stuck on the Intel platform. The VIA chipsets seem to be plaqued by Video and USB problems. Any thoughts?

    2. Has AMD considered manufacturing their own chipsets to insure that the customer gets better compatability with other components?

    I would like to thank AMD and SharkyExtreme for the opportunity to speak out.

    By ddelano January 25, 2001, 11:43 PM

    I am starting a small business, and the PC's and Server's will be AMD based ONLY! What kind of support can I get from AMD being an AMD exclusive business?

    By ddelano January 25, 2001, 11:45 PM

    As a Network Engineer, I am looking forward to SMP Athlons. When is the expected release dates for SMP Athlon Motherboards?

    By Bil January 26, 2001, 12:50 AM

    Thanks for making great product.

    When will 760 chipset motherboards become widely available?

    Keep up the good work.

    By anubis44 January 26, 2001, 02:31 AM

    I am very pleased with my Athlons. I've got 4 of them, 2 classics, a Thunderbird 750 and a Duron 700. Although I do not despise VIA chipsets as much as some others on the Sharky Extreme forums, I must concede that I like my Asus K7M with an AMD chipset more than the 3 VIA chipset motherboards. It just FEELS faster and more stable. My question is: Would AMD consider getting into the chipset business in a more comprehensive way, and if not, why not? You'd be making quite a bit more money on each Athlon sold than you do now, and Intel seems to have made tons of money doing it, so why wouldn't AMD?

    My second question is: Will AMD release Athlons up with Intel's PIV in clock speed? I know the Athlon is faster clock for clock, but it would REALLY put paid to Intel's plans if they were beaten in terms of actual performance AND clock speed, just for the uninitiated boffins out there.

    By mr_fnord January 26, 2001, 04:21 AM

    How is AMD planning on hedging its bets against EPIC? What will come of discussions with Transmeta? Will AMD build VLIW-based microprocs? Is this how hammer-series will have smaller dies? How go the plans for the new fab in San Marcos?

    Still has the scar on his thumb from his first K5:
    Bought a K5-PR133 at chipsmart, tried to save a few dollars by not getting a heat sink, my AMD486-90 OC'd to 100 without one, so why should this need one? System locked after about 3 minutes, I touched the proc to see if it was too hot, and OUCH!

    By El_Panzon January 26, 2001, 05:19 AM

    6. I blessed AMD for letting me upgrade my 233K6 to a 450K62 due to the CXT-core 'reutilization' of the low 2x multiplier as a 6x. I was guessing if AMD will either:
    a) Get rid of the 0.5 multipliers so that the multipliers could range from 5x to 20x, or
    b) With new cores (Palomino) the lower multipliers (<7.5) will be retargeted +13x?
    There is a bit of concern about buying not 266FSB capable boards now because of the chances to upgrade in the future.

    7. What are the real approaches to lower CPU heat and power needs on both desktops and laptops?

    By Dazz January 26, 2001, 07:19 AM

    Is AMD going to start making more chipsets for their processors after the AMD760/760MP?

    By RafaX January 26, 2001, 09:48 AM

    the same happened to me. when i had my k6-2 coupled with a via chipset i cant use anyway my nvidia vanta video card, but now with my new k7 and an amd751 chipset it works perfectly.

    the only little thing that i dont like is that i cant use agp 4x >:\

    By Wraith January 26, 2001, 10:46 AM

    I see talk of manufacturing chipsets here, but what I would really like to see is the whole motherboard manufactured from AMD. I, and the shop that I work for, are part of IPD and we are Intel only shop. My coworkers all agree that if AMD put out these motherboards, we would have no problem offering these as home machines and maybe even some low end workstations. The other issue that is on my mind is SMP... Any plans on this at all?

    By DiscoLando January 26, 2001, 11:45 AM

    My question is simply this:

    When, do you estimate, that we will see a 64 bit platform as standard for the average workstation? And what will AMD's solution be for that platform?

    By Sledgehammerhead January 26, 2001, 12:26 PM

    These are fairly technical...

    1)Is the new Palamino (and/or Morgan) core going to feature SOI (silicon on insolator) and/or Si28 (the new, refined silicon from Isonics)?

    2)With the difficulties arising from making an SMP board, has AMD addressed these issues with the new LDT bus?

    3)Since NUMA's (Non-uniform memory architechtures) like LDT are usually for very large multi-processor arrays (8+ proc's), is AMD going to have many different versions of LDT for Sledgehammer and Clawhammer and Icehammer and whatever hammers are coming in the future (type of LDT corresponding to number of proc's)?

    4)Is AMD planning on implementing a trace cache, similar to what the P4 used? Along thosse lines, AMD has favored large cache over fast (low-latency) cache. Is that going to continue to be your focus?

    5)Besides the die shrink, what space-saving techniques has AMD used on the hammer-class chips? Word is that they will be smaller than the Durons are today.

    6)After Hammer comes out and spanks P4, how long will it take AMD to start price-gouging like Intel has done in the past? (This question is a joke, by the way.)

    Thanks for doing this, Sharky and whoever helps out from AMD. I'm guessing a lot of these questions will get "We can not discuss that right now" answers, but you never know... But thanks again.


    By Arcadian January 26, 2001, 12:54 PM

    I have three questions.

    The first is about AMD's strategy for moving into the server market. Clearly, AMD is making a start by pushing forward in the dual processor and uniprocessor small server space. How much market share do you expect to gain from this market in 2001? Also, how does AMD expect Clawhammer to fit into the 2-way space in 2002?

    My second question is about where AMD plans on marketing the future K8 product line, and in which segments. Does AMD initially plan for Clawhammer to compete in the small server segment, the high end performance PC, or both? Also, do you intend for Sledgehammer to initially compete with the 64-bit RISC and EPIC platform, the 32-bit x86 Xeon platform, or both?

    Third, I wish to ask a question concerning AMD's plans for LDT. Recently, there have been numerous press releases on AMD's success in getting various designers and developers to commit to LDT based designs in the next couple years. I want to know which applications AMD sees LDT competing in? In other words, what are some products where AMD sees LDT being implemented? Does AMD figure that LDT can compete as an alternative to the following technologies: I/O connections, chipset bridge communications, multiprocessor communications, or external communications?

    Thank you so much for the time to answer any of these.

    By Heffe January 26, 2001, 01:12 PM

    I want to know everything about the knew Palomino.

    By zzr January 26, 2001, 01:28 PM

    What´s the matter with k6 users?
    Why not to continue developing the k62+ series like a subdorn and low cost series? How can I upgrade my system if I don´t want to buy a great athlon or duron system?
    I am very sad because I only WANT to UPGRADE my processor and there´s no way for it. It would be wonderful if I could buy a K62+ o k6III+ 550 or 600 Mhz

    By Sledgehammerhead January 26, 2001, 02:20 PM

    To the posts regarding why K6 series chips are no longer being produced, the answer is very simple. They are simply chips that don't make much money. The design is relatively hard to ramp up in clockspeed, and with Athlon and Duron both selling very well, the facilities needed to make K6's would be better used making newer chips. The K6 had a relatively long life, despite not making it to the high clockspeeds that P2/3 achieved. The K6 generation was not intended to last forever, no design is. I would suggest biting the bullet and getting a "low" speed Duron, and if you feel the urge, overclock it. Even if you don't it will run circles around the K6's.


    By BadnewsBlair January 26, 2001, 02:52 PM

    My question is in regards to the AMD 761 Chipset.

    I have been waiting to start to buy components for my new computer for about 2 or 3 months now and I have been extremely interested in basing my new box on the AMD 761 Chipset.

    When I first read about the new chipset with DDR RAM it was the 760 Chipset. I have researched and found the 761 chipset on the AMD site with a listing of motherboards already carrying this product.

    However when I follow the links I cannot find a single motherboard for purchase.

    Is this a hoax? Where can I purchase one of these motherboards (if they are for purchase at all). And if so, is it worth spending the few extra hundred dollars to get this new feature.

    All replies could help. Thank you!


    By *Ziggy* January 26, 2001, 02:58 PM

    I want a new mother board and processor but im too poor! :P

    By Casca January 26, 2001, 04:48 PM

    Recently, week 50, you introduced a process improvement to your fab operations for the Northbridge chipset which resulted in higher FSB speeds. Can you tell me how to read your Northbridge chipset to determine the week that it fabricated? This would remove my last barrier to purchasing a KT133A based motherboard otherwise I have to wait for the inventory to turn over. Where can I find this information?

    By astrojny January 26, 2001, 05:58 PM

    I have heard that AMD is going to add to the next redition of the Athlon a diode or something similar to a circuit breaker that will freeze or turn off the CPU rather than let it fry when it overheats. INTEL already has such protection on its chips. I know since after a heat sink and cooling fan failure my INTEL CPU would freeze rather than die until it cooled off enough to resume running. It took me awhile to document the problem but I was grateful for the protection. Is AMD planning on incorporating such protection for its CPU's anytime in the near future??

    By coolw January 26, 2001, 06:36 PM

    I have several questions about the mobile Athlon.

    (1) What is the expected release date of the mobile Athlon?
    (2) Will the mobile Athlon have DDR-SDRAM support in the beginning?
    (3) When can mobile Athlon based systems be expected to show up?
    (4) What kind of OEM support do you have for the mobile Athlon, systemwise?

    Thank you in advance.

    By dafury January 26, 2001, 06:36 PM

    I have only one question.

    I'd like to know when AMD will stop supporting the aging Paralell and Serial ports that I (painfully) keep seeing on the market. I would love to have a board that costs less, because I just disable those legacy ports anyway.

    Will the LDT bus support those legacy technologies? Or will you move away from them to save on cost?

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