AMD » Topics » The x86 Microprocessor Market

This excerpt taken from the AMD 10-K filed Feb 19, 2010.

The x86 Microprocessor Market

A microprocessor is an IC that serves as the central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer. It generally consists of millions of transistors that process data and control other devices in the system, acting as the brain of the computer. The performance of a microprocessor is a critical factor impacting the performance of a computer and numerous other electronic systems. The principal indicators of CPU performance are work-per-cycle, or how many instructions are executed per cycle, clock speed, representing the rate at which a CPU’s internal logic operates, measured in units of hertz, or cycles per second, and power consumption. Other factors impacting microprocessor performance include the number of CPUs, or cores, on a microprocessor, the bit rating of the microprocessor, memory size and data access speed.

 

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Developments in circuit design and manufacturing process technologies have resulted in significant advances in microprocessor performance. Currently, microprocessors are designed to process 32-bits or 64-bits of information at one time. The bit rating of a microprocessor generally denotes the largest size of numerical data that a microprocessor can handle. Microprocessors with 64-bit processing capabilities enable systems to have greater performance by allowing software applications and operating systems to access more memory.

Moreover, as businesses and consumers require greater performance from their computer systems due to the exponential growth of digital data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, semiconductor companies are designing and developing multi-core microprocessors, where multiple processor cores are placed on a single die or in a single processor. Multi-core microprocessors offer enhanced overall system performance and efficiency because computing tasks can be spread across two or more processing cores each of which can execute a task at full speed. Moreover, multiple processor cores packaged together can increase performance of a computer system without greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted. This type of “symmetrical multiprocessing” is effective in both multi-tasking environments where multiple cores can enable operating systems to prioritize and manage tasks from multiple software applications simultaneously and also for “multi-threaded” software applications where multiple cores can process different parts of the software program, or “threads,” simultaneously thereby enhancing performance of the application. Businesses and consumers also require computer systems with improved power management technology, which allows them to reduce the power consumption of their computer systems thereby reducing the total cost of ownership.

While general purpose computer architectures based on the x86 architecture are sufficient for a large portion of customers, for selected applications, an architecture that enables the ideal resource to be used for a given workload can provide a substantial improvement in user experience, performance and energy efficiency. In this environment, we believe our vision of “heterogeneous computing” and an accelerated computing architecture can benefit customers. Heterogeneous computing refers to computer systems that rely on multiple computational units such as the CPU and the GPU. An accelerated computing architecture enables “offloading” of selected tasks, thereby optimizing the use of a CPU or GPU, depending on the application or workload. For example, serial workloads are better suited for CPUs while highly parallel tasks may be better performed by a GPU. Our vision for an accelerated computing architecture is that the CPU and GPU components are combined onto a single piece of silicon, which we refer to as an AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Unit (or APU). We believe that high performance computing workloads, workloads that are visual in nature and even traditional applications such as photo and video editing or other multi-media applications stand to benefit from our accelerated computing architecture and heterogeneous computing approach.

This excerpt taken from the AMD 10-K filed Feb 24, 2009.

The x86 Microprocessor Market

A microprocessor is an IC that serves as the central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer. It generally consists of millions of transistors that process data and control other devices in the system, acting as the brain of the computer. The performance of a microprocessor is a critical factor impacting the performance of a computer and numerous other electronic systems. The principal indicators of CPU performance are work-per-cycle, or how many instructions are executed per cycle, clock speed, representing the rate at which a CPU’s internal logic operates, measured in units of hertz, or cycles per second, and power consumption. Other factors impacting microprocessor performance include the number of CPUs, or cores, on a microprocessor, the bit rating of the microprocessor, memory size and data access speed.

Developments in circuit design and manufacturing process technologies have resulted in significant advances in microprocessor performance. Currently, microprocessors are designed to process 32-bits or 64-bits of information at one time. The bit rating of a microprocessor generally denotes the largest size of numerical data that a microprocessor can handle. Microprocessors with 64-bit processing capabilities enable systems to have greater performance by allowing software applications and operating systems to access more memory.

Moreover, as businesses and consumers require greater performance from their computer systems due to the exponential growth of digital data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, semiconductor companies have transitioned from designing and developing single-core microprocessors to also designing and developing multi-core microprocessors, where multiple processor cores are placed on a single die or in a single processor. Multi-core microprocessors offer enhanced overall system performance and efficiency because computing tasks can be spread across two or more processing cores each of which can execute a task at full speed. Moreover, multiple processor cores packaged together can increase performance of a computer system without greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted. This type of “symmetrical multiprocessing” is effective in both multi-tasking environments where multiple cores can enable operating systems to prioritize and manage tasks from multiple software applications simultaneously and also for “multi threaded” software applications where multiple cores can process different parts of the software program, or “threads,” simultaneously thereby enhancing performance of the application. Businesses and consumers also require computer systems with improved power management technology, which allows them to reduce the power consumption of their computer systems thereby reducing the total cost of ownership.

 

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We also believe that businesses and consumers want more integrated computing solutions or platform products. A platform is a collection of technologies that are designed to work together to provide a more complete computing solution. We believe that integrated platforms bring end users improved system stability, increased performance and energy efficiency while enabling faster time to market for systems manufacturers.

These excerpts taken from the AMD 10-K filed Feb 26, 2008.

The x86 Microprocessor Market

A microprocessor is an IC that serves as the central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer. It generally consists of millions of transistors that process data and control other devices in the system, acting as the brain of the computer. The performance of a microprocessor is a critical factor impacting the performance of a computer and numerous other electronic systems. The principal indicators of CPU performance are work-per-cycle, or how many instructions are executed per cycle, clock speed, representing the rate at which a CPU’s internal logic operates, measured in units of hertz, or cycles per second, and power consumption. Other factors impacting microprocessor performance include the number of CPUs, or cores, on a microprocessor, the bit rating of the microprocessor, memory size and data access speed.

Developments in circuit design and manufacturing process technologies have resulted in significant advances in microprocessor performance. Currently, microprocessors are designed to process 32-bits or 64-bits of information at one time. The bit rating of a microprocessor generally denotes the largest size of numerical data that a microprocessor can handle. While 32-bit processors have historically been sufficient, they have faced increasing challenges as new data and memory-intensive consumer and enterprise software applications gain popularity. Microprocessors with 64-bit processing capabilities enable systems to have greater performance by allowing software applications and operating systems to access more memory.

Moreover, as businesses and consumers require greater performance from their computer systems due to the exponential growth of digital data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, semiconductor manufacturers have transitioned from manufacturing single-core microprocessors to also manufacturing multi-core microprocessors, where multiple processor cores are placed on a single die or in a single processor. Multi-core microprocessors offer enhanced overall system performance and efficiency because computing tasks can be spread across two or more processing cores each of which can execute a task at full speed. Moreover, two or more processor cores packaged together can increase performance of a computer system without greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted. This type of “symmetrical multiprocessing” is effective in both multi-tasking environments where multiple cores can enable operating systems to prioritize and manage tasks from multiple software applications simultaneously and also for “multi threaded” software applications where multiple cores can process different parts of the software program, or “threads,” simultaneously thereby enhancing performance of the application. Businesses and consumers also require computer systems with improved power management technology, which allows them to reduce the power consumption of their computer systems thereby reducing the total cost of ownership. With the release of Microsoft® Windows Vista and with the proliferation of applications for multimedia and gaming, grid computing and extensive enterprise databases, the demand for 64-bit computing, multi-core technology and improved power management technology continues to increase.

We also believe that businesses and consumers want more integrated computing solutions or platform products. A platform is a collection of technologies that are designed to work together to provide a more complete computing solution. We believe that integrated platforms will bring end users improved system stability, better time-to-market and increased performance and energy efficiency.

 

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The x86
Microprocessor Market

A microprocessor is an IC that serves as the central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer. It generally
consists of millions of transistors that process data and control other devices in the system, acting as the brain of the computer. The performance of a microprocessor is a critical factor impacting the performance of a computer and numerous other
electronic systems. The principal indicators of CPU performance are work-per-cycle, or how many instructions are executed per cycle, clock speed, representing the rate at which a CPU’s internal logic operates, measured in units of hertz, or
cycles per second, and power consumption. Other factors impacting microprocessor performance include the number of CPUs, or cores, on a microprocessor, the bit rating of the microprocessor, memory size and data access speed.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">Developments in circuit design and manufacturing process technologies have resulted in significant advances in microprocessor performance. Currently,
microprocessors are designed to process 32-bits or 64-bits of information at one time. The bit rating of a microprocessor generally denotes the largest size of numerical data that a microprocessor can handle. While 32-bit processors have
historically been sufficient, they have faced increasing challenges as new data and memory-intensive consumer and enterprise software applications gain popularity. Microprocessors with 64-bit processing capabilities enable systems to have greater
performance by allowing software applications and operating systems to access more memory.

SIZE="2">Moreover, as businesses and consumers require greater performance from their computer systems due to the exponential growth of digital data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, semiconductor manufacturers have transitioned
from manufacturing single-core microprocessors to also manufacturing multi-core microprocessors, where multiple processor cores are placed on a single die or in a single processor. Multi-core microprocessors offer enhanced overall system performance
and efficiency because computing tasks can be spread across two or more processing cores each of which can execute a task at full speed. Moreover, two or more processor cores packaged together can increase performance of a computer system without
greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted. This type of “symmetrical multiprocessing” is effective in both multi-tasking environments where multiple cores can enable operating systems to
prioritize and manage tasks from multiple software applications simultaneously and also for “multi threaded” software applications where multiple cores can process different parts of the software program, or “threads,”
simultaneously thereby enhancing performance of the application. Businesses and consumers also require computer systems with improved power management technology, which allows them to reduce the power consumption of their computer systems thereby
reducing the total cost of ownership. With the release of Microsoft® Windows Vista
FACE="Times New Roman" SIZE="1"> and with the proliferation of applications for multimedia and gaming, grid computing and extensive enterprise databases, the demand for 64-bit computing, multi-core technology and improved
power management technology continues to increase.

We also believe that businesses and consumers want more integrated computing solutions
or platform products. A platform is a collection of technologies that are designed to work together to provide a more complete computing solution. We believe that integrated platforms will bring end users improved system stability, better
time-to-market and increased performance and energy efficiency.

 


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This excerpt taken from the AMD 10-K filed Mar 1, 2007.

The x86 Microprocessor Market

 

A microprocessor is an IC that serves as the central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer. It generally consists of millions of transistors that process data and control other devices in the system, acting as the brain of the computer. The performance of a microprocessor is a critical factor impacting the performance of a computer and numerous other electronic systems. The principal indicators of CPU performance are work-per-cycle, or how many instructions are executed per cycle, clock speed, representing the rate at which a CPU’s internal logic operates, measured in units of hertz, or cycles per second, and power consumption. Other factors impacting microprocessor performance include the number of CPUs, or cores, on a microprocessor, the bit rating of the microprocessor, memory size and data access speed.

 

Developments in circuit design and manufacturing process technologies have resulted in significant advances in microprocessor performance. For approximately the last ten years, microprocessors have had 32-bit computing capabilities. The bit rating of a microprocessor generally denotes the largest size of numerical data that a microprocessor can handle. While 32-bit processors have historically been sufficient, we believe that they will face increasing challenges as new data and memory-intensive consumer and enterprise software applications gain popularity. Microprocessors with 64-bit processing capabilities enable systems to have greater performance by allowing software applications and operating systems to access more memory.

 

Moreover, as businesses and consumers require greater performance from their computer systems due to the exponential growth of digital data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, semiconductor manufacturers have transitioned from manufacturing single-core microprocessors to also manufacturing multi-core processors, where multiple processor cores are placed on a single die or in a single processor. Multi-core

 

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processors offer enhanced overall system performance and efficiency because computing tasks can be spread across two or more processing cores each of which can execute a task at full speed. Moreover, two or more processor cores packaged together can increase performance of a computer system without greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted. This type of “symmetrical multiprocessing” is effective in both multi-tasking environments where multiple cores can enable operating systems to prioritize and manage tasks from multiple software applications simultaneously and also for “multi threaded” software applications where multiple cores can process different parts of the software program, or “threads,” simultaneously thereby enhancing performance of the application. Businesses and consumers also require computer systems with improved power management technology, which allows them to reduce the power consumption of their computer systems thereby reducing the total cost of ownership. With the recent release of Microsoft® Windows Vista and with the proliferation of applications for multimedia and gaming, grid computing and extensive enterprise databases, we believe the demand for 64-bit computing, multi-core technology and improved power management technology will continue to increase.

 

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