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Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Integrated Circuits

Advanced Micro Devices is a Silicon Valley manufacturer of integrated circuits. AMD is the second-largest supplier of x86-compatible processors, and a leading supplier of flash memory. Founded in 1969, AMD has long had a contentious rivalry with industry leader Intel, but recently has outclassed the competition with a 64-bit architecture for x86 series processors.

486DX4 100MHz Microprocessor (Complete Die Photomicrograph)

Small Die (80k) | Medium Die (150k) | Large Die (218k)

The 100 megahertz version of the AMD 486DX4 is a 32-bit microprocessor, which features an internal processor clock speed that is three times the external 33-megahertz speed of the memory bus and the motherboard. Note that, despite the name, the DX4 does not run at four times the memory bus speed. The DX3 was an internal Intel designation for a 2.5X clock multiplier designed to operate within the 486 microprocessor line, which was developed past the prototype versions, but never shipped. Eventually, AMD released the 5x86, a clock quadrupled version, which rivaled the performance of the early Intel Pentiums.

High Magnification Images

Athlon Microprocessor (80K) - The first member of AMD's seventh-generation family of microprocessors, the Athlon was designed for desktop computers, workstations, and servers. The processor's high-speed execution core includes multiple x86 instruction decoders, a dual-ported 128-kilobyte level one (L1) cache, and three independent integer pipelines. In addition, the floating point engine is capable of delivering 2.4 gigaflops of single-precision calculations and more than a gigaflop of double-precision floating point results when the chip is operated at 600 megahertz.

K6 Microprocessor (73K) - The Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) K6 microprocessor line, which includes the K6-2 and K6-III chips, was first introduced in 1997 to compete with the Intel Pentium and Pentium II series. Many of the chips were fabricated on a 0.25-micrometer process and reached clock speeds of 500 megahertz and greater before being eclipsed by the Athlon processor. The K6-III design sported 21.3 million transistors and featured advanced design technology that significantly enhanced floating point intensive three-dimensional graphics and multimedia applications.

486DX2 66MHz Microprocessor (51K) - Oblique illumination filtered through red and green gels was employed to highlight buses, registers, and memory caches in the digital image featured in this section. The bonding wires, which are attached to pads navigating the periphery of the die, are evident in the upper and right-hand portions of the photomicrograph.

486DX2 Microprocessor (44K) - Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) continued to manufacture Intel-designed chips following the 286, 386, and 486DX processors, subsequently releasing the AMD 486DX2 in 1992 and the 486DX4 in 1994. The introduction of internal clock doublers and triplers expanded the 486 family of microprocessors, thus creating the much faster DX2s and DX4s. The AMD 486DX2 microprocessor features a built-in system management mode (SMM) power setting and write-back capability for the primary cache, which boosts performance.

286 Microprocessor (88K) - Featured in this digital image is the corner of a packaged AMD 286 microprocessor revealing bonding wires attached to the pad ring and a large cache area. The chip was obliquely illuminated with yellow and green filters to enhance surface features and was imaged utilizing differential interference contrast (DIC) optical techniques coupled to reflected light optical microscopy.


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