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AMD's Opteron aspirations

By Julio Franco
Apr 9, 2003
  1. CNet News had the opportunity of interviewing Dirk Meyer, senior vice president of AMD's Computation Products Group. With an impressive background behind his back, Meyer worked at rival Intel, also at Digital on its Alpha golden years and joined AMD in 1996 to work on the K7 project that later was transformed in the Athlon we all know and love. The interview goes through a few different points but Opteron and Athlon64 technologies get the most attention...

    If you look at the product features of Opteron and compare it with what's in the market today, there are generally three new features. One is the 64-bit extension to x86. No. 2 is the integration of the memory controller onto the microprocessor silicon, which of course is a good thing for memory latency, and hence a very good thing for performance. Memory latency is a barrier to better system performance.

    The third element is the creation of Hypertransport, which in particular is relevant in servers. Hypertransport essentially allows you to build systems that scale very well. As you add processors to the system, you also pick up memory capacity and memory bandwidth.
     
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