Business, Enterprise, Hardware

AMD Opteron, Phenom codenames explained


When AMD held its 6th Year Anniversary for its most successful product of all time – the Opteron series, the company gave a glimpse into its future by releasing a roadmap full of codenames known to Europeans and Formula 1 fans, but not exactly technical press.

So, we were treated with a blonde reporter for "Java Something" claiming Magny Cours is AMD’s abbreviation for Many Cores, implying that AMD is a company that does not want to use Intel’s marketing terminology. Given the fact that AMD ships a true many-core processor in a form of ATI Radeon 4800 series [800 of those cores, ei?], we decided to delete that e-mail from inbox and move on. But as the time passed by, we saw a lot of digg shouts to well-established media sites, repeating the Magny Cours comments and mistyping "Maranello", "Interlagos" and I just became pissed off at the ignorance showed by fellow journalists. How hard was it to Google the name if you don’t understand it?

Even though it is not known to general audience, AMD is blood-bonded with the world of motor racing. One of the AMD-based super-computers is used by FIA [Federation Internationale de l’Automobile] to simulate the behavior of F1 cars and that resulted in a sea of changes for the current Formula 1 season. With completely new winners and a revised grid we can conclude that the F1 rules worked and that season is unpredictable. Also, AMD is blood-bonded with Ferrari, which was a credit of a certain Frenchman that led AMD’s Sales & Marketing team to its greatest period of success. That person also saved AMD’s bacon with investments from Mubadala Abu Dhabi, a company that is probably now AMD’s largest shareholder, with a 22% share of AMD itself. Mubadala also owns 5% of Ferrari S.p.A., hence the connection between the two. We also decided to throw in AMD’s consumer [desktop/laptop] codenames to the mix. Without further adue, this is how AMD names its products:

Commercial CPU – Formula 1 Racing Tracks

AMD Server Roadmap
AMD Server Roadmap clearly shows a lot of race track activities for AMD engineers 😉

Looking at AMD’s roadmap, you’ll see names such as Magny-Cours, Montreal, Lisbon, Valencia and so on. We follow the Opteron timeline from the introduction of "F1 Tracks" naming convention with their first quad-core product, K10 architecture or just – Barcelona:

65nm Quad-Core: Barcelona [Circut de Catalunya, Spanish GP],
45nm Quad-Core: Shanghai [Shanghai Guoji Saichechang, Chinese GP]
45nm Sexa-Core: Istanbul [Istanbul Park, Turkish GP]
45nm Quad-Core: Lisbon [Autodromo do Estoril, former Portugese GP]
45nm Octa- to Duodec-Core [8 to 12 cores]: Magny Cours [Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, former French GP]
32nm Sexa- to Octa-Core Single-die [6 to 8 cores]: Valencia [Valencia Street Circuit, European GP]
32nm Duodec- to Sedec-Core [12 to 16 cores]: Sao-Paolo or Interlagos [Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Brasil GP]

Commercial Platform – Ferrari locations

AMD’s server platforms are named by Ferrari facilities and race tracks owned or related to the famous sportscar manufacturer.
1-2P Opteron "5000" series, Socket F (1027): Fiorano [Fiorano Circuit]
1-2P Opteron 4000 Series Socket G32: San Marino [Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, former San Marino GP]
2-4P Opteron 6000 Series Socket G34: Maranello [Ferrari HQ]

Consumer CPU – Stars

AMD Desktop CPU roadmap
AMD Desktop CPU roadmap deserves a quote from Dave Baumann: Oh my God, it’s full of stars…

While Commercial division is all about racing, consumer platforms are all about the magic of Universe. Without further adue, we present you the codenames of AMD desktop products
65nm Quad-Core: Agena [Agena or Hadar or Beta Centauri, second-brightest star in constellation Centaurus]
45nm Quad-Core 8MB Cache: Deneb [Alpha Cygni, brightest star in constellation Cygnus]
45nm Quad-Core 2MB Cache: Propus [Gem, Geminorum or Eta Geminorum, triple star system in constellation Gemini – this core is used in Phenom X3 processors as well]

You can search for other stars as well, but that was not the purpose of this article – we wanted to clear up the confusion made by "Magny Cours is Many Cores" comments.

Consumer Platform – Constellations

Opteron platforms are Ferrari-related locations, while desktop/notebook platforms are constellations that surround us… just name a few active platforms that you can also see during the night: Spider, Yukon, Tigris, Kodiak, Maui, Dragon [e.g. Draco], Leo etc…

We hope that this article has cleared up any confusion that might have arisen from AMD’s codenames.