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|Launched||April 2, 1997|
|Discontinued||May 28, 1998|
|Max. CPU clock rate||166 MHz to 300 MHz|
|FSB speeds||66 MHz|
|Architecture and classification|
|Min. feature size||0.35 μm to 0.25 μm|
|Products, models, variants|
The K6 microprocessor was launched by AMD in 1997. The main advantage of this particular microprocessor is that it was designed to fit into existing desktop designs for Pentium-branded CPUs. It was marketed as a product that could perform as well as its Intel Pentium II equivalent but at a significantly lower price. The K6 had a considerable impact on the PC market and presented Intel with serious competition.
The AMD K6 is a superscalar P5 Pentium-class microprocessor, manufactured by AMD, which superseded the K5. The AMD K6 is based on the Nx686 microprocessor that NexGen was designing when it was acquired by AMD. Despite the name implying a design evolving from the K5, it is in fact a totally different design that was created by the NexGen team, including chief processor architect Greg Favor,and adapted after the AMD purchase. The K6 processor included a feedback dynamic instruction reordering mechanism, MMX instructions, and a floating-point unit (FPU). It was also made pin-compatible with Intel's Pentium, enabling it to be used in the widely available "Socket 7"-based motherboards. Like the AMD K5, Nx586, and Nx686 before it, the K6 translated x86 instructions on the fly into dynamic buffered sequences of micro-operations. A later variation of the K6 CPU, K6-2, added floating-point-based SIMD instructions, called 3DNow!.
The K6 was originally launched in April 1997, running at speeds of 166 and 200 MHz. It was followed by a 233 MHz version later in 1997. Initially, the AMD K6 processors used a Pentium II-based performance rating (PR2) to designate their speed. The PR2 rating was dropped because the rated frequency of the processor was the same as the real frequency. The release of the 266 MHz version of this chip was not until the second quarter of 1998, when AMD was able to move to the 0.25-micrometre manufacturing process. The lower voltage and higher multiplier of the K6-266 meant that it was not fully compatible with some Socket 7 motherboards, similar to the later K6-2 processors. The final iteration of the K6 design was released in May 1998, running at 300 MHz.
CPU features table
Athlon is the brand name applied to a series of x86-compatible microprocessors designed and manufactured by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). The original Athlon was the first seventh-generation x86 processor and was the first desktop processor to reach speeds of one gigahertz (GHz). It made its debut on June 23, 1999.
The Cyrix 6x86 is a sixth-generation, 32-bit x86 microprocessor designed by Cyrix and manufactured by IBM and SGS-Thomson. It was originally released in 1996.
The first Pentium microprocessor was introduced by Intel on March 22, 1993. Its P5 microarchitecture was the fifth generation for Intel, and the first superscalar IA-32 microarchitecture. As a direct extension of the 80486 architecture, it included dual integer pipelines, a faster floating-point unit, wider data bus, separate code and data caches and features for further reduced address calculation latency. In October 1996, the Pentium with MMX Technology was introduced, complementing the same basic microarchitecture with the MMX instruction set, larger caches, and some other enhancements.
Duron is a line of budget x86-compatible microprocessors manufactured by AMD. Released on June 19, 2000 as a lower-cost offering to complement AMD's then mainstream performance Athlon processor line, it also competed with rival chipmaker Intel's Pentium III and Celeron processor offerings. The Duron brand name was retired in 2004, succeeded by the Sempron line of processors as AMD's budget offering.
Cyrix Corporation was a microprocessor developer that was founded in 1988 in Richardson, Texas, as a specialist supplier of math coprocessors for 286 and 386 microprocessors. The company was founded by Tom Brightman and Jerry Rogers. Cyrix founder, President and CEO Jerry Rogers, aggressively recruited engineers and pushed them, eventually assembling a small but efficient design team of 30 people.
The Pentium II brand refers to Intel's sixth-generation microarchitecture ("P6") and x86-compatible microprocessors introduced on May 7, 1997. Containing 7.5 million transistors, the Pentium II featured an improved version of the first P6-generation core of the Pentium Pro, which contained 5.5 million transistors. However, its L2 cache subsystem was a downgrade when compared to the Pentium Pro's.
The Pentium III brand refers to Intel's 32-bit x86 desktop and mobile microprocessors based on the sixth-generation P6 microarchitecture introduced on February 26, 1999. The brand's initial processors were very similar to the earlier Pentium II-branded microprocessors. The most notable differences were the addition of the SSE instruction set, and the introduction of a controversial serial number embedded in the chip during the manufacturing process.
The Pentium Pro is a sixth-generation x86 microprocessor developed and manufactured by Intel introduced in November 1, 1995. It introduced the P6 microarchitecture and was originally intended to replace the original Pentium in a full range of applications. While the Pentium and Pentium MMX had 3.1 and 4.5 million transistors, respectively, the Pentium Pro contained 5.5 million transistors. Later, it was reduced to a more narrow role as a server and high-end desktop processor and was used in supercomputers like ASCI Red, the first computer to reach the teraFLOPS performance mark. The Pentium Pro was capable of both dual- and quad-processor configurations. It only came in one form factor, the relatively large rectangular Socket 8. The Pentium Pro was succeeded by the Pentium II Xeon in 1998.
Socket 7 is a physical and electrical specification for an x86-style CPU socket on a personal computer motherboard. It was released June 1995. The socket supersedes the earlier Socket 5, and accepts P5 Pentium microprocessors manufactured by Intel, as well as compatibles made by Cyrix/IBM, AMD, IDT and others.
The Athlon 64 is an eighth-generation, AMD64-architecture microprocessor produced by AMD, released on September 23, 2003. It is the third processor to bear the name Athlon, and the immediate successor to the Athlon XP. The second processor to implement AMD64 architecture and the first 64-bit processor targeted at the average consumer, it was AMD's primary consumer microprocessor, and competes primarily with Intel's Pentium 4, especially the "Prescott" and "Cedar Mill" core revisions. It is AMD's first K8, eighth-generation processor core for desktop and mobile computers. Despite being natively 64-bit, the AMD64 architecture is backward-compatible with 32-bit x86 instructions. Athlon 64s have been produced for Socket 754, Socket 939, Socket 940 and Socket AM2. The line was succeeded by the dual-core Athlon 64 X2 and Athlon X2 lines.
The K6-2 is an x86 microprocessor introduced by AMD on May 28, 1998, and available in speeds ranging from 266 to 550 MHz. An enhancement of the original K6, the K6-2 introduced AMD's 3DNow! SIMD instruction set, featured a larger 64 KiB Level 1 cache, and an upgraded system-bus interface called Super Socket 7, which was backward compatible with older Socket 7 motherboards. It was manufactured using a 0.25 micrometre process, ran at 2.2 volts, and had 9.3 million transistors.
The K6-III was an x86 microprocessor line manufactured by AMD that launched on February 22, 1999 in 400 and 450 MHz models. The K6-III was heavily based on the preceding K6-2 - it essentially was a K6-2 core with a full speed 256KiB L2 cache integrated on the same die. This gave a very significant improvement in system performance over a K6-2 system.
Sempron has been the marketing name used by AMD for several different budget desktop CPUs, using several different technologies and CPU socket formats. The Sempron replaced the AMD Duron processor and competes against Intel's Celeron series of processors. AMD coined the name from the Latin semper, which means "always", to suggest the Sempron is suitable for "daily use, practical, and part of everyday life".
The K5 is AMD's first x86 processor to be developed entirely in-house. Introduced in March 1996, its primary competition was Intel's Pentium microprocessor. The K5 was an ambitious design, closer to a Pentium Pro than a Pentium regarding technical solutions and internal architecture. However, the final product was closer to the Pentium regarding performance, although faster clock-for-clock compared to the Pentium.
Geode was a series of x86-compatible system-on-a-chip microprocessors and I/O companions produced by AMD, targeted at the embedded computing market.
The Athlon 64 X2 is the first native dual-core desktop CPU designed by AMD. It was designed from scratch as native dual-core by using an already multi-CPU enabled Athlon 64, joining it with another functional core on one die, and connecting both via a shared dual-channel memory controller/north bridge and additional control logic. The initial versions are based on the E-stepping model of the Athlon 64 and, depending on the model, have either 512 or 1024 KB of L2 Cache per core. The Athlon 64 X2 is capable of decoding SSE3 instructions.
The AMD Family 10h, or K10, is a microprocessor microarchitecture by AMD based on the K8 microarchitecture. Though there were once reports that the K10 had been canceled, the first third-generation Opteron products for servers were launched on September 10, 2007, with the Phenom processors for desktops following and launching on November 11, 2007 as the immediate successors to the K8 series of processors.
VIA CoreFusion is a line of low power x86 processors manufactured by VIA starting in 2003. The Corefusion integrates the Northbridge, graphics processing unit and a V-Link Interface
This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL, version 1.3 or later.
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