AMD's Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology is going to save the company's migration to a 90nm process from the delays that appear to have plagued Intel's shift to 90nm.
So says American Technology Research (ATR) analyst Rick Whittington, who also reckons we should all go out and buy AMD stock.
Whittington's line is that AMD's 90nm ramp is proving so successful, it should be able to ship 90nm Opterons ahead of schedule. As examples of that success, he cites demonstrations of 90nm Opterons that "did not appear to require extra cooling of any special change in the motherboard design". That, he believes, is a sign of the technologies maturity. So are the yields of 2.2 and 2.4GHz 90nm Opterons running at 45W - well below AMD's specified 70W operation.
This is crucial. Intel's initial 90nm part, 'Prescott', has a thermal target of 90-100W, according to Intel spokesfolks, albeit at a rather higher clock speed than the 90nm Opterons. But while AMD can boost clock frequencies at the cost of power consumption, Intel can't lower Prescott clocks in order to drop the power consumption. In short, AMD has more room to manoeuvre. "Our preliminary calculations indicate that a 3-4GHz clock rate is possible, without exceeding the current 85-90W spec." says Whittington.
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