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AMD Multi-core White Paper

Executive Summary Multi-core processors represent a major evolution in computing technology. This important development is coming at a time when businesses and consumers are beginning to require the benefits offered by these processors due to the exponential growth of digital data and the globalization of the Internet. Multi-core processors will eventually become thepervasive computing model because they offer performance and productivity benefits beyond the capabilities of today’s single-core processors. Multi-core processors will also play a central role in driving important advancements in PC security and virtualization technologies that are being developed to provide greater protection, resource utilization and value for the commercial computing market.General consumers, too, will have access to greater performance than ever before, which will significantly expand the utility of their home PCs and digital media computing systems. Multi-core processors will also have the benefit of offering performance without having to increase power requirements, which will translate into greater performance per watt. Placing two or more powerful computingcores on a single processor opens up a world of important new possibilities. The next generation of software applications will likely be developed using multi-core processors because of the performance and efficiency they can deliver compared to single core processors. Whether these applications help professional animation companies produce more realistic movies faster for less money or createbreakthrough ways to make a PC more natural and intuitive, the widespread availability of hardware using multi-core processor technology will forever change the computing universe. Multi-core processors exemplify AMD’s vision to understand customers and deliver products that best meet their needs. AMD has been planning for this important evolution since the late 1990s when it first announced a strategyto place multiple cores on a single processor. Since AMD’s multi-core processors will use the same straightforward and proven architecture available in single-core AMD64 processors, the company’s multi-core processors will magnify the elegance of this design and offer the exceptional overall performance that AMD’s customers expect.

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Table of Contents

Section I.Section II. Section III. Section IV. Section V.

Processor Evolution Implications for the Enterprise PC Benefits Software Designers and Users Win AMD Multi-core Architecture Advantages

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Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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Section I. Multi-core Processor Evolution Computer processor design has evolved at a constant pace for the last 20 years. Theproliferation of computers into the mass market and the tasks we ask of them continue to push the need for more powerful processors. The market requirement for higher performing processors is linked to the demand for more sophisticated software applications. E-mail, for instance, which is now used globally, was only a limited and expensive technology 10 years ago. Today, software applications spaneverything from helping large corporations better manage and protect their business-critical data and networks to allowing PCs in the home to edit hom videos, e manipulate digital photographs and burn downloaded music to CDs. Tomorrow, software applications might create real-world simulations that are so vivid it will be difficult for people to know if they are looking at a computer monitor or out thewindow; however, advancements like this will only come with significant performance increases from readily available and inexpensive computer technologies. AMD has planned for these computing advancements since the late 1990s when it first announced the c ompany’s current processor architecture. AMD designed its AMD64 processor architecture from the ground up to accommodate multiple cores on a...
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