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AMD Athlon (Thunderbird) Whitepaper
Date: Sunday June 04, 2000
Category: Press Release
Manufacturer Link: AMD Discus -- BBS
The AMD Athlon (Thunderbird) whitepapers include in depth technical information on the new processor.

AMD-K7AMD AthlonT Processor Architecture
The World's First Seventh-Generation x86 Processor: 

Delivering the Ultimate Performance for Cutting-Edge Software Applications Leading-Edge 3D Graphics and Multimedia Performance for the New Era of Realistic Computing


One AMD Place

Sunnyvale, CA 94088

Sandra Wheatley

Public Relations

(404) 749-3811

Introduction: The World's Most Powerful x86 Microprocessor 

: AMD's Next-Generation x86 ArchitectureAMD‑K7AMD AthlonT processors are members of a new family of seventh-generation AMD processors specifically ically designed to meet the computation-intensive requirements offor cutting-edge software applications running on high-performanceto meet the computation-intensive demandsrequirements of high-end desktopbusiness desktop systems, workstations, and enterprise servers computational requirements. . With the introduction of the AMD Athlon processor with performance-enhancing cache memory, AMD continues to deliver superior solutions for high-performance computing.

AMD Athlon processors are the world'sindustry's most powerful Microsoftr Windowsr compatible x86 processors, outperforming Intel's Pentiumr III processor and delivering that delivers the highest integer, floating point and 3D multimedia available performance for software applications running on x86 system platforms.[1] running on such operating systems as Windows NTr, Windows 98, and Linux operating systemsThe AMD Athlon processors provide industry-leading processing power for cutting-edge software applications, including digital content creation, digital photo editing, digital video, image compression, video encoding for streaming over the Internet, soft DVD, commercial 3D modeling, workstation-class computer-aided design (CAD), commercial desktop publishing, and speech recognition.. They alsoIt offer theprovides the performance to enable 3D multimedia-intensive applications, including 3D imaging, video encryption/decryption, theater-quality audio, soft DVD, CAD, and speech recognition. Finally, it offers the scalability and "peace-of-mind" reliability that IT managers and business users require for networked enterprise computing.for peace of mind computation for IT managers and business end-users. combines innovative, next-generation design features into a performance-optimized, cost-effective platform for high-end consumer, small business, and commercial enterprise markets.

TThe seventh-generation AMD-K7T processor revolutionizes PC system architecture with its impressive data flow, high-speed frontside bus, and multiprocessing capabilities. Offering the latest innovations in microarchitecture and system interface technology, the AMD-K7 finally brings industry-leading, workstation-class performance to desktop PC platforms. The industry's most powerful Microsoftr Windowsr compatible processor, the AMD-K7 deliversprovides the highestbest performance available for software applications running on the advanced operating systems such as Windows* 98, and Windows NTr, operating systems. and UNIX*. 

The AMD-K7AMD Athlon processors family of processors feature is based on athe industry's first seventh-generation x86 microarchitecture, which is designed to providesprovide a revolutionary and scalable system architecture with 7th generation features designed to support the growing processor and system bandwidth requirements of high- performanceemerging software, graphics, I/OO, and memory technologies. TheIt is a high- speed execution core which includes multiple x86 instruction decoders, a large dual-portedsplit- large 128KB dual-ported integrated split-L1 cache, a large 256KB[2] or 512KB L2 cache, three independent integer pipelines, three address calculation pipelines, and the x86 industry's first superscalar, fully pipelined, out-of-order, three-way floating point engineunits. The floating point engineunits are is capable of delivering over 4.0 GFLOPSflops of single-precision and more thanover 2.0 GflopsFLOPS of double-precision floating point results at 51000 MHz for superiormaxium performance ofn numerically complexed applications. 

The AMD Athlon processor's microarchitecture incorporates enhanced 3DNow!T technology, a high-performance cache architecture, and a 200MHz, 1.6-Gigabyte/sec system bus-the first bus of its kind for x86 system platforms. Based on the AlphaT EV6 interface protocol licensed from Digital Equipment Corporation, the AMD Athlon processor system bus combines the latest technological advances, such as point-to-point topology, source synchronous packet-based transfers, and low-voltage signaling, to provide the most powerful, scalable bus available for any x86 processor. 

AMD Athlon processors deliver superior system performance in cost-effective, industry-standard form factors. AMD Athlon processors are compatible with motherboards based on AMD's Slot A or Socket A form factors, which leverage commonly available chassis, power supply, and thermal solutions. Additionally, AMD Athlon processors are manufactured on AMD's robust 0.18-micron aluminum process technology at Fab 25 in Austin, Texas and on AMD's leading-edge HiP6L 0.18-micron process technology featuring copper interconnects at the newest facility, Fab 30, in Dresden, Germany. The approximately 37-million-transistor new AMD Athlon processor has a die size of 120 mm2 on 0.18-micron technology.

Table 1: Processor Architecture/Technology - Competitive Comparison



AMD Seventh Generation

Intel Previous Generation


AMD AthlonT Processor

Slot A/Socket A

Pentiumr III * Processor
(Slot 1)

 Integer pipelines



 Floating point pipelines



 Full x86 decoders



 L1 cache size



 L2 cache size

Internal, 256KB

External, 512KB to 8MB

Internal, 256KB

External, 512KB to 2MB

 System bus speed

200 MHz - 400+ MHz

66 to 133 MHz

 Peak bus bandwidth

1.6 to 3.2 GB/s+

533 MB/s to 1.06 GB/s

 Bus outstanding transactions

24 per processor

4-8 per processor

 Clock technology

Source synchronous

(Clock forwarding)

Common clock

 3D enhancement instructions

 - Total no. of instructions

 - Single-precision FP SIMD

 - 4 FP operations per clock

 - Cache/prefetch controls

 - Streaming controls

 - DSP/comm extensions

 Enhanced 3DNow!T technology














 Multiprocessing support

Yes, point-to-point

Yes, shared

 Max. system processors

Unlimited (by chipset)

Unlimited (by chipset)

 No. of transistors per die

~22 million - 37 million

~9.5 million - 28 million

* Includes estimates for the Intel 0.18-micron Pentium III processors.


Page 2: Processor Architecture Diagram and Summary
Page 3: High Performance Cache Design
Page 4: 200MHz System Bus
Page 5: Application Optimizations and Infrastructure
Page 6: Summary and AMD Overview

More Press Releases-->

   10 / 23 / 2019 | 3:32AM
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