AMD Phenom Processor (Agena & Kuma) Pre-Launch Update
As the official launch of the AMD quad-core Opteron (Barcelona) processors in August and the desktop Phenom processors later this year draw close, AMD is rapidly ramping up media coverage of the new core architecture. You can count on more media coverage and updates on the new processors over the coming weeks.
As we have seen in the AMD Quad-Core Opteron (Barcelona) Technology Report, AMD will start with the launch of the server/workstation Quad-Core Opteron processors. These processors comes with a whole range of interesting new features. Not only will they have greater processing capability than the current Opteron processors, they will also have a new three-tier cache structure, much better power efficiency and new virtualization capabilities.
All that advanced capabilities may not be able to salvage AMD's situation though, especially since they gave Intel such a long, massive lead with the innumerable delays of the new processors. In fact, AMD still isn't able to definitively confirm when they will launch the Agena/Kuma desktop processors, only that it will be released before the end of this year. That certainly doesn't sound too encouraging.
Nonetheless, they were able to give us an update of the upcoming desktop processors. Let's start with the new branding - Phenom.
The New Phenom Family
AMD felt that the new core architecture needed a new name, and what better name to give it than the Phenom. Short for phenomenal, AMD chose the name to convey the perception that buying the processor will allow the user to experience a phenomenal level of performance. The new Phenom processors will be available in three variants :
AMD Phenom FX
- highest-end quad-core Phenom processor
- has dual-processor capability for 8-cores on a single motherboard
- targeted at workstation-grade or high-end PCs
- codenamed Agena FX
- AMD Phenom X4
- high-end quad-core Phenom processor
- targeted at high-end, enthusiast-grade PCs
- codenamed Agena
- AMD Phenom X2
- dual-core Phenom processor
- targeted at enthusiast-grade PCs
- codenamed Kuma
Take a look at this comparison of the new and old AMD line-up of processors, from the highest-end family right down to the lowest-end family.
The Old Line-Up
The New Line-Up
Current Athlon 64 X2 processors will continue to be sold, albeit pegged below the Phenom models and renamed as the Athlon X2. It will now be targeted at users who want a cheap dual-core processor. The Sempron line of processors, name and all, will be retained in its entirety. AMD will continue to supply these single-core processors to the value-grade market.