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Bleeding Edge TV 158: AMD Press Conference: 690 Series, R600, 1 Teraflop

We were on hand when AMD announced the 690 chipset, and also showed off the new R600 graphics technology, showing how it is able to hit the 1 teraflop mark. The video features the entire press conference presentation, including an update on the status of ATI R600, why it was delayed, and when it will launch. If you want the text version, we took minutes of the conference, which you can read below (also, be sure to check out the AMD press conference Q&A session video):

We are sitting here live at AMD’s press conference this morning, where there should be a few interesting announcements being made. Let’s jump right in, as we are live-blogging it.

10:11: AMD has been too quiet, and they know that. They will no longer allow their competitor to have the talking floor. They will no longer be pushed around by a competitor who doesn’t respect the rules of fair competition. AMD is proud that they are approaching the real issues that the industry is facing. High definition is becoming a reality more and more, and AMD plans to continue to lead that in the PC market. They will be focusing on energy-efficient processing from handhelds to datacenters, the ultimate visual experience, and empowering the world population with affordable Internet access platforms.

10:14: The OLPC initiative started four years ago, but we are now near-launch. There is an almost-final unit here at the conference. The merger of AMD and ATI was a necessary step to take AMD excellence to the next level. AMD says their hope is that their competitors go to the drawing board and beat their chips to spark competition, because AMD is confident that, in the end, their products will beat whatever their competitors respond with. Competition is a good thing.

10:18: Barcelona is more of a killer product than Opteron was when it was launched. Today we are going to get a look at Barcelona. Today AMD will be showing us a lot more than they have in the past. “The new AMD is coming together.”

10:21: Dave Orton hits the stage. This is more than a launch, it’s a campaign for 2007. AMD 690 is the foundation for a compelling PC. The combo here is WIndows Vista, ATI for the visual experience, AMD 690 chipset for stability, AMD Athlon for wide availability and choice. The end result here is great system value. At a platform level, the 690 chipset is the basis for innovation.

10:24: AMD 690 is architected to provide a premium Windows Vista experience. Right now, half the systems tested for Vista compatibility don’t even hit the good level. 75% don’t hit better, and 90% don’t hit best. The goal of the 690 chipset is to put out affordable systems that will be stable and capable enough to provide that Vista experience that Microsoft wants consumers to have, including full high definition capabilities. This includes fully supported Vista drivers.

10:27: The AMD platform strategy happens in phases. In 2007 we are seeing unprecedented support for AMD 690 chipset and boosted performance and power characteristics. In 2008 we will see significant performance enhancement and power-saving improvements, as well as optimized gaming, multimedia, and productivity platforms. Finally, in 2009, that is where we see the real end-goal of the fusion between ATI and AMD. On one chip, CPU, GPU, etc.

10:30: AMD shows off a slide that talks about gaming in Vista and how the AMD 690G Chipset compares with the Intel G965. AMD blows it away in 3DMark05, Aquamark, Half-Life 2, and Far Cry v1.4. Even further, they show a large list of 12 popular games that have vast problems, or that just flat out don’t work, on the Intel G965.

10:33: They are about to do a demo that takes an hour to do on the fastest PC in the world. AMD just did it in about 20 seconds, and that just resulted in 1019 gigaflops, or 1 teraflop. Very impressive. This tech would speed up Folding@Home by about 40 times.

10:39: Addressing Torrenza. AMD is looking to Accelerated Computing. The goal again is to blend CPUs and co-processors together. Eventually, at the silicon level, you will have CPU, GPU, accelerators, etc. With multiple cores, you can integrate everything into a heterogeneous core.

10:41: Mario Rivas takes the stage to talk about the outlook on the CPUs. He starts by talking about the evolution of AMD CPUs, from 1999 to this year when Barcelona launches. Up next is a Quad-Core AMD Opteron. This is a native quad-core with significant CPU core enhancements as well as cache enhancements. Also, dedicated technology for virtual environments.

10:45: It’s not good enough to have four cores in the same architecture. Those cores need to be able to communicate, and that will give AMD a 42% performance gain over Intel.

10:47: Turion CPU is up next, followed by Griffin. We now move to innovation on the desktop. The Agena quad core chip will hit the desktop, which is based on Barcelona. Will eventually allow for 8 cores.


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