SAN FRANCISCO--In an attempt to steal some of the spotlight from its archrival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. here today held the first public demonstration of its 64-bit "Hammer" processor while much of the industry's attention was focused at the Intel Developer Forum, also in San Francisco.
AMD said it expects to begin shipping the first version of the Hammer family of central processors at the end of 2002. The Hammer processors will compete against Intel Corp.'s 64-bit microprocessor lineup, most notably the "McKinley" chip, which is a follow-on product to the existing 64-bit Itanium MPU.
Today's demonstration featured Hammer processors running both a 64-bit Linux operating system and Microsoft Corp.'s 32-bit Windows OS. The 64-bit processors were manufactured with 0.13-micron CMOS technology on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer substrates, according to AMD.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said Hammer processors will be the company's first x86-compatible MPUs to have a fully integrated double data rate (DDR) memory controller. AMD will also use its HyperTransport I/O technology-based chip set and DDR support to break performance bottlenecks throughout personal computers and other systems.
AMD today emphasized Hammer's ability to bridge future 64-bit computing applications and today's 32-bit operation system environments. "Beyond performance, Hammer will give users a smooth migration path to the 64-bit software of tomorrow, all the while preserving the billions of dollars of today's 32-bit software applications," stated Ed Ellett, vice president of Marketing for AMD's Computation Products Group.
In the Hammer demo, AMD managers kept hitting the point again and again. "Because it is based on the long-established x86 instruction set architecture, software developers, engineers and IT personnel don't have to start over from scratch," said Fred Weber, chief technical officer of the Computation Products Group of AMD.
The demo follows last week's disclosure of AMD's chip set features for Hammer processors. The company said it is also working with Acer Laboratories, Nvidia, Silicon Integrated Systems and Via Technologies to help co-develop third-party chip sets for the 64-bit processor line (see Feb. 20 story).