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64-bit battle lines form

AMD IS NOW out with Opteron, IBM jas just updated the rest of their RISC line with Power4+ and Intel is closing on the Madison Itanium2 launch. How do the battlelines look for the remainder of this year, and early next year? During 2003, barring any yield issues, Opteron may reach 2.4 GHz - further tuning of the initial 0.13-micron part should easily yield that speed, since it has longer pipelines than the 0.13 um Barton AthlonXP which is already well abover 2.2 GHz actual clock speed in the 3200+ PR rating. Further major speed-up will require the move to 0.09 um in 2004.

Power4+ is now at 1.7 GHz, holding the current 64-bit speed record, at least until Madison comes out, possibly dethroning it in quite a few benchmarks. The next major speed boost for IBM should come around yearend with the new Power5 - speeds around 1.8 GHz, but most importantly quite a bit more performance per clock with 2-way multithreading, more registers for better FP and improved cache & memory paths - expect Power5 off-chip 36 MB L3 cache to have higher bandwidth than some competing CPU's on-chip caches - no, I did not mention UltraSPARC III by name here. By the end of 2004, IBM should be ready to move to 0.09 um process with Power5+ with up to 2.5 GHz speeds.

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News source: The Inq

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