This is the start of our page on Quad Core Technology. Any information relating to the topic along with links, pictures, and diagrams can be posted below at this time.-Leader.

What is Quad Core?


The first thing that comes to anyone's mind is quad, which is a term used in relation to four items or things. We see a sign that says Quad Theater and we think four theaters for our viewing pleasure. Now think core. Core is the center of the apple you had for breakfast, but in the IT sense, core is the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything, usually the core of the processor. Now put those together and we have the "core" of our wiki.

To be more specific, a processor is comprised of three things. One is the core, which is responsible for all processing tasks.
The core is fitted inside the die, which is the silver tab you may have seen on the top of a processor. All these components are then fitted inside the package, which is the green material capped by the heat spreader on top, and laced with pins on the bottom. It is important to know that the number of cores can scale independently of the dies.
As an example, Athlon XPs had one die and one core. The first dual core chips had two dies with one core in each. Today's dual core chips have two processing cores fitted under one die. The quad core chips that will first replace them merge two dual core dies into a two-die, four-core package or one die with four cores. It is both an evolution and a continuation of a trend.

How are these chips made?


The first concept came from placing two processors in the same place that one chip used to occupy. This new innovation would stir the market and provide a demand for a good which previously didn't exist and making head way for a processor intensive contest in the market place. Through competition, manufacturers would be able to make an inexpensive mutli-processor chip that could be marketed as the next gen in dual core technology. Sadly this idea had its short comings. The heat was just to much for the package, pushing wattage of the Core 2 Duo to a whopping 65 watts. The same is to be said about the Kentsfield, which crammed two Core 2 Duos together. The end result was a very hot processor, not only burning a hole in consumers pockets at a mere $800 USD but a hole in the motherboard they were mounted.

Couple months and geniuses later, Intel incorporated four individual cores on one processor die. This would be hailed as the first true quad core chip as they ran much cooler than two die / four core solutions, since a single die will always radiate less heat than two in the same package. This pave the way for less expensive coolers with their chips, and savings being pasted from manufacturer to consumer.

The main goal of this design was to facilitate the communication of all four cores at the speed of the processor itself, rather than running communication from cores 0 to 1 out across the motherboard to talk to the rest of the core.

How substantial the lag is with the inelegant solution is hard to compare, because we'll probably never see a native quad core design that is otherwise identical to its inelegant brother, save the number of dies. It just won't happen; technology doesn't progress like that. What matters in the end, however, is that it's a quad core chip; there are four cores, they're all real, and they all can bear a processor load.

How Quad Core works?


We know what and how these processors are made, now we want to find out how these processors work. With this much processing power, comes the question of compatibility of both hardware and software.Motherboards and BIOS updates need the ability to recognize and run these chips. Intel already has many boards that support all three of their last major chips and AMD is going to do the same. Next in the way is the Operating System (OS) which must be able to recognize the more than one core inside a chip. On a positive note, we have software than can handle this "beefed" up hardware. Microsoft and Linux distributers have fully endorsed the power of multi-core chips, allowing today's visions of Windows and Linux to support multi-processor chips that range for two to sixty four cores.

But can software run on these chips? Software is what makes and breaks multi-core processors of today. What breaks them is threading.This refers to the abliway in which a program is executed by the processor, or the workload the processor undertakes in each core of the processor. A thread is a stream of instructions related to a task the program is managing (like game physics, sound reproduction, or 3D rendering). Relatively speaking, desktop programs that divide their labor, "multi-threaded applications", are very new. In 20-odd years of mainstream desktops, only in the last three have we seen the shift towards multiple processors, multiple cores, and applications that recognize them. As the amount of cores increases, it gets harder for developers to divide the labor.

The frequent problem with threading is that while applications may be performing many tasks at once, each task relies on another to make it work. If a video games is producing 3D graphics, there are many other things happening (like sound, AI, and physics), but all of those are ultimately beholden to what the 3D renderer is doing.

With broad threading, the developer generally divides the workload between the two cores, and tells them to stay synchronized with the voodoo that they do. This is an inelegant solution as it is really only designed to fulfill the demands of two processors whether they are dual-core or physical processors.

There is, however, a problem. There is to much more processing power than broad threading can handle or use, so all these used clock cycles are wasted. The end result is bright minds trying to keep up with the new technology but in essence can't really harness the true power of the quad core.

Narrowing the amount of threading would be a good idea. Thats where the idea of fine-threading came into being. It is the ability to used every facet of the core. Its basically makes sure that the processor workload is divided in such a minute way that each nook and cranny of the processor is busy, thus optimizing the technology. The developer carefully analyzes everything the program can possibly be doing at any one time then writes the program so that each possible task is done and processed in the processor. similar to you licking the plate clean when your were through with your favourite food or desert.

On the down side, developers have only recently become very good at fine-grained threading for dual core, and now quad core is on its way. Imagine the complexity of the processor above doubled. This is both the biggest blessing and biggest curse of quad core: the potential for massive processor ability lies right in that square of silicon, but programming it would be a water to wine miracle.

What benefits will Quad Core bring?

Why do I need Quad Core?




Quad Core Technology defined:
Quad-Core Technology is part of a larger piece of technology called Multi-Core processing. According to en.wikipedia.org, Quad Core/Multi Core processing, "combines two or more independent cores into a single package composed of a single integrated circuit (IC), called a die, or more dies packaged together." Whereas a single core processor has one core for processing, and dual core processors have two processors, quad core processors come out with four processors. Having more cores to process the instructions allows for faster clock speeds, which in turn allows for the computer as a whole to be faster. Quad Core technology is the latest step in making computers faster in that it is a substantial improvement over Dual Core technology, which was the previous best form of processing.

Below is a picture of the Xeon Quad Core Processor. Each silver square contains two of the four cores of the processor. The Advanced Smart Cache 1 uses cores one and two (left) , while Advanced Smart Cache 2 uses cores three and four, (right). Below the picture is a table listing the Quad Core processor number, processor size (in nanometers), Cache, Clock Speed, Front Side Bus, along with some other technical information which I will research more throughly.
external image Intel%20Core2%20Extreme%20Quad-Core%20microprocessor.jpg
Processor
Number

Architecture
Cache
Clock
Speed

Front Side
Bus

CTP in
MTOPs

APP in
WT

WT 2-Way
WT 4-Way
X5355
65nm
8 MB
2.66 GHz
1333 MHz
80687
0.012768
0.025536
0.051072
E5345
65nm
8 MB
2.33 GHz
1333 MHz
70667
0.011184
0.022368
0.044736
E5335
65nm
8 MB
2 GHz
1333 MHz
60667
0.009600
0.019200
0.038400
E5320
65nm
8 MB
1.86 GHz
1066 MHz
56420
0.008928
0.017856
0.035712
E5310
65nm
8 MB
1.60 GHz
1066 MHz
48533
0.007680
0.015360
0.030720

This is a link to a video on youtube.com. Full video coming soon.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Mk_wilUgMhA


1181919468571_halcon_300.jpg


Intel and AMD...The Big Boys:

Intel and AMD are big competitors in the processor market as a whole. Quad core processing is yet another battleground in which these to companies go to war in to gain processing supremacy. A comparison of the two processors was conducted on December 15, 2006 by Scott Wasson of techreport.com. According to the tests of the two, Intel looks to be leading a tight race in the overall performance. In addition, clock speed comparisons have Intel in the lead with AMD not too far behind. AMD's processors counter back, taking a nod for efficiency and power. At the time of this report, it was stated that AMD would be coming out with a processor that would narrow the small gap between them and Intel in terms of clock speed and overall performance. As long as the two continue to make improvements to their lineup of processors, neither one will have a substantial lead over the other.

In the know and the news......

AMD enters the Quad Core Market

By John G. Spooner
May 16, 2006

Advance Micro Drivers says its new chip design will boost processor performance without increasing power consumption.
The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker on May 16 previewed a quad core processor design.The company said it will use to create higher-performing Opteron, in addition to boosting some of its other chip lines, during 2007.

AMD which has recently been gaining market share over its rival Intel aims to keep the pressure on with the quad-core design, which incorporates a number of new features.

"We actually have had to do a lot of work on a per-core basis to lower [power consumption]," said Senior AMD Fellow Chuck Moore, who spoke at the Spring Processor Forum in San Jose, Calif., where the new design was announced.
As a result, the quad-core Opterons will offer the same power consumption levels as AMD's current dual-core Opterons—most of which use about 90 watts—despite the extra cores, Moore said.
To achieve that goal, AMD's quad-core designs will incorporate a number of new elements. Among them are redesigned processor cores, extra onboard cache and the addition of a higher-bandwidth version of the HyperTransport interconnect. AMD will also mint the chips using its forthcoming 65-nanometer manufacturing process, Moore said in his presentation.

The processor core revisions are designed to allow each core to do more work per clock cycle. AMD also beefed up the floating-point units, generally used for number-crunching and multimedia-extension processing capabilities associated with the cores.

On the chip level, AMD engineers added a shared Level 3 cache—an extra pool of memory used to store data close to the processor cores—to help feed data into the cores' individual Level 2 caches. The L3 cache, which was designed to vary in size, can be accessed by any of the four cores. However, AMD engineers gave each processor core its own L2 cache on the grounds that sharing those caches can result in one or more processors cores fighting access, which exacts a cost in performance.
The engineers also fitted the quad-core chip design with HyperTransport 3.0, which offers more than double the bandwidth of its predecessor, thus increasing the size of the pipe used to move data into and out of the chip.

While adding these performance-oriented features, AMD engineers also built in some power-saving tricks. For example, cores not being used can be shut down.
AMD will also make provisions for DDR2 SDRAM (double-data-rate synchronous dynamic RAM) and, when the company is satisfied with the technology, FB-DIMMs (fully buffered dual in-line memory modules), which add a buffer chip to enhance performance. At the moment, AMD said, the power use of the FB-DIMMs—each module's buffer chip consumes roughly 6 watts—outweighs their performance advantages.
Ultimately, the effort AMD put into creating the quad-core Opteron will pay off in other areas, as the chip maker will use the design in other chips, Moore said.
"It'll start in the Opteron family and it'll trickle down into the rest," he said.
AMD has said it will follow the quad-core chip with a move to a redesigned processor architecture around 2008 or 2009.
Meanwhile, rival chip maker Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., is also working to deliver quad-core chips in 2007.

So far, Intel has shown off a quad-core Xeon, code-named Clovertown.
Following a logical progression, eight-core PC processors may become possible with the next generation of manufacturing technology, 45 nanometers, which Intel said it expects to begin rolling out some time in 2007.




Clock speed
North bridge
speed

ACP
TDP
Price
Opteron 2350
2.0GHz
1.8GHz
75W
95W
$389
Opteron 2347
1.9GHz
1.6GHz
75W
95W
$316
Opteron 2347 HE
1.9GHz
1.6GHz
55W
68W
$377
Opteron 2346 HE
1.8GHz
1.6GHz
55W
68W
$255
Opteron 2344 HE
1.7GHz
1.4GHz
55W
68W
$209