Beyond dual core: 2007 desktop CPU road map


In 2007, AMD will continue to build out this Quad FX line with the Q2 release of the Athlon 64 FX-76. The FX-76 will have a clock speed of 3.2 GHz and 1MB of L2 cache per core. This, like the FX-74, FX-72 and FX-70, will be fabricated on the older 90nm process. AMD has indicated that these will be the last of the FX CPUs to be built on a 90nm process.

65nm 'Agena' makes its debut

In early Q3 2007, AMD is planning to release a brand-new performance-oriented 65nm CPU architecture code-named "Agena," and it sounds like a high-performance dream. This new processor line will be the first "native" quad-core processor released by either AMD or Intel. (When used with a multicore processor, the term native refers to a processor with all the individual CPU cores integrated on a single die. To date, all previous quad-core processors have essentially been two dual-core processors attached together.)

One other impressive attribute of the Agena FX processor is that it will operate at a bus speed of 4 GHz, thanks to the 3.0 iteration of AMD's HyperTransport link that will debut at the same time. This doubles the bus speed of previous FX and other Athlon 64 processors. The Agena FX quad core will feature 2MB of shared L2 cache and 2MB of L3 cache. (L3 cache functions in a similar manner to L2 cache, but it's a little slower and is consequentially less expensive.)

Preliminary information has revealed that Agena FX processors will run at clock speeds between 2.7 GHz and 2.9 GHz. It's likely that we'll see two or three different Agena FX processors when they're released, possibly under Quad FX-8x model numbers.