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Monday March 5, 2007 6:00 pm

Bleeding Edge TV 159: AMD 690 Press Conference Q&A


Following the press conference where AMD formally introduced us to the 690 chipset, was a fairly lengthy Q&A session, which we captured in it’s entirety. Check out the video for the full, unedited version - or check out our summarized notes after the jump.

Someone asked about wattage per teraflop. In the demo we saw, about 200 watts per chip. They are working to develop a standard for wattage per teraflop. Talking about power consumption, going forward they can focus on power-down throughout the platform as opposed to just on the chip or cores themselves.

Question about doing things about what AMD and ATI can do now that they couldn’t do as separate companies. Why the merger?

The 690 was architected in a combined environment. With a tighter cooperation with the R&D teams, you find a level of integration between the chips now. Power management is going to be better, partitioning across the HT bus. In late 2007, you will start seeing exactly what is being talked about. Fantastic batter life in a notebook for example, and in 2009, Fusion. That is what it’s all about, getting everything on the same piece of silicon.

Benchmark of R600, looks to be 260 watts. Can anything be done to bring that down as time goes on? That is fairly high consumption.

With the next version of the R600-based cards, you will see power go down, while performance goes up. Another result of the two companies coming together. Gamers want performance at any cost, and AMD is focused on optimizing dissipation of that thermal energy. 30db noise level coming on multiple CPU and GPU in the near future.

When is the R600 going to hit retail, and what happened?

Moving to 65 nm chips, scheduling was just a bit off. Rather than going with a limited deployment with a single point launch, they chose to delay by a couple of weeks to have a full line launch. It isn’t a silicon problem, it was an internal decision made to allow for a full launch. They will still be available in the first half of 2007.

When will Barcelona systems be available?

Second half of 2007.

Teraflop computing - when is it going to be a reality and not just a demo?

The demo was R600-based. Once the product launches, you will get to see and hear more about that. Second half of this year - XP box, R600 card, Opterons - that will result in teraflop computing. Absolutely this year.

In regards to OLPC, what is the strategy there?

There is something tragic in thinking we are going to teach kids in an emerging country how to use PowerPoint. The goal isn’t to teach kids in Uganda how to use Office 2007, despite how great it is. Take the OLPC and use it for an hour and think about what the implications are. Different strategies lead to different results. OLPCs philosophy is to help kids have access to the world, not to teach them how to use computers. The last time you had a chance for a kid to teach you something, how special was that? It’s okay if the children have these computers and get to teach their teachers something. The approach of the competition doesn’t empower children as much as it empowers teachers. It doesn’t hurt, it’s just a different route. AMD isn’t trying to market to that environment, they are trying to change it. That is evidenced by OLPC being a non-profit organization.

The screen on the OLPC is amazing. Better than any of the screens any of us sitting here has. Can be read in direct, full sunlight. Will last 30 times as long. Very scratch resistant, and consumes less than 2 watts.

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