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AMD Interview
Join the community - in the OCAU Forums!
Date 17th November 2008
Author dirtyd
Editor James "Agg" Rolfe
Manufacturer AMD

Recently, I chatted with Garrath Johnson, Technical Manager from AMD Australia, about AMD’s upcoming 45nm desktop CPU’s.

dirtyd (OCAU): What are the key features of Deneb?

Garrath Johnson (AMD): The key things are 45 nanometres and the cache enlargement. Q1 next year we’ll have a spot for DDR3. I’m sure you already know that we’re bringing in two models for AM2+. The great thing about Deneb is that all the models will be backward compatible to AM2+. Of course if you put an AM3 Deneb part and put it in an AM2+ motherboard you don’t get DDR3.

DD: Say I bought an AM2+ Deneb at launch; can I put that in an AM3 motherboard and use DDR3? There’s been some confusion on the Internet regarding the backwards/forwards compatibility.

GJ: No, the AM2+ versions of Deneb will only support DDR2, if you want DDR3 you will need to wait to Q1 for the AM3 versions.

DD: But the AM3 chips will be backwards compatible?

GJ: All the way back to AM2. Of course you’re dropping back from DDR3 to DDR2 and you’re dropping back to a slower HyperTransport as well. Anyway, the total cache is up to 8MB, but there will be varying types of Deneb quad cores, some with 8MB cache, some with less, which will be branded differently. There are a couple of architectural changes to improve the efficiency, but the majority of improvements come from the process shrink and extra cache.

I can let you know that one of the first models is definitely going to be 3GHz. I can’t really say too much, but for overclocking there’s quite a bit of leeway in it, even on air.

DD: What TDP will the two models have?

GJ: They’ll be both 125W, but we have seen a big increase in performance when it comes to TDP. The good thing is, we’ll be introducing even lower power quad cores, shifting to 45W.

DD: Will there be “Black Edition” models?

GJ: Well we’ve got Black Editions of dual, triple and quad cores at the moment, so I don’t see any reason why we’d stop having Black Editions in the future.

DD: Will BIOS updates be necessary to support the new CPU’s, and can we expect wide support to be available at launch?

GJ: I expect that will be well and truly covered by motherboard manufacturers because they’ve received samples already. We’re really striving to do this launch right and that’s why we may be a little bit later than the original planning. We want to make sure there’s stock available from day one.

DD: Will future AMD production get the highest priority at The Foundry Company?

GJ: AMD will get priority. We still have a very significant share in it, we actually have a controlling share, and I know who we’re going to put first. We’ll also still continue to work with our partners like TSMC.

DD: What role will IBM play at the Foundry Company?

GJ: Obviously IBM’s a very close partner, and they’ve got a lot of technologies moving forward, 45nm down to 32nm and 22nm, and we’ll maintain that close partnership with them.

DD: Are there any updates regarding the x86 licensing issue that Intel was quite vocal about when The Foundry Company was announced?

GJ: I haven’t heard much about that, but the fact is there’s cross-licensing the other way as well, and if we were to withdraw our licenses at the same time, our competition would go back to 1996. I think we’ve got each other covered. No-one wants to shoot themselves in the foot.

Thanks to Mr. Johnson & AMD for taking some time out to reach out to Australia’s overclocking community. For more info on AMD's upcoming 45nm products, see their press page.


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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