At late San Jose Microprocessor Forum in San Jose,
made an impressive announcement. They revealed that they would ship their
latest product called K7 in mid 1999. This might appear surprising, if
you remember their previous announcement : K6-3 is supposed to be on the
market just after next Christmas.
Well, you might think that this announcement is similar
to Intel's ones. Intel
a new chip every six months, but can you make the difference between them
but in terms of processor speeds. The AMD
K7 is not a K6++ or whatever you may call it. This is really a new
Indeed the K7 comes with a bunch of new features
such as :
128 KB 2 way associative L1 cache ( 64 KB inst, 64 KB data
), which is 4 times what Intel offers
in its latest Xeon processor.
512 KB CPU L2 cache which speed will vary from 1/3 to full CPU core speed.
The size can be upgraded up to 8 MB.
3 FPU pipelines ( in comparison the Intel
has a dual pipe lined FPU. These 3 FPUs should show Intel
how important an FPU is for a CPU :-))
3 integer pipelines.
EV6 CPU local bus architecture, which should enable the usage of
the K7 in high end multi-processors servers. For your information the EV6
bus is the well known Alpha CPU system bus.
and still the 3D now technology.
The AMD K7 should be available
at a minimum of 500 MHz on 1H 99 which corresponds to the estimated speed
target for the Intel's Katmai and Tanner CPUs.
All this sounds great don't you think so? But the key issues
for the success of the K7 are : the ability of AMD
to deliver on time, the commitment from other parties to deliver Slot A
compatible hardware and the reaction of Intel
after this announcement.
Should the K7 be delayed and AMD
be in deep trouble as the K7 will face harsh competition from
IA64 new chip ( Merced ) which is scheduled for 1H 2000.