Straining For A Headline

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AMD announced that 90nm Hammers will be made strained silicon technology using strained silicon technology.

The media seem rather surprised at that, though I don’t know why. AMD put out research papers on it over a year ago. AMD first announced they would use strained silicon four months ago.

So this is not new.

Strained silicon is hardly a brand-new CPU technology. Intel uses it in Prescotts. Perhaps more importantly per AMD, IBM also uses it in 90nm PowerPCs and G5s.

You can’t say it has done wonders for them.

AMD says its process is different than Intel’s or IBM’s, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

If this were a big technological advance that enabled AMD to jump ahead, that would be telegraphed by the CPU roadmaps. So far, the roadmaps indicate no such thing, if anything, they indicate the opposite.

Probably the best way to view strained silicon is that it is a “keeping up with the Joneses” move rather than any big breakthrough.



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