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 Feb 02, 2005 - 03:30 PM - by Michael
* Ars Technica does Athlon64

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Ars Technica's got an in-depth look at AMD's 64-bit tech today.

Much like x86-64 is an evolutionary ? not revolutionary ? improvement over x86, the Hammer's architecture is an evolutionary improvement over the Athlon. AMD took the Athlon's basic design and built on it, adding a number of tweaks and improvements that help Hammer to better the Athlon's already solid performance.

To understand the general outlines of Hammer's approach, it is useful think of the CPU using a producer-consumer model in which main memory is the producer of instructions and data and the CPU's execution core is the consumer. Instructions travel from main memory into the processor's front end, where they're buffered and translated into a format that the CPU can understand before being sent off the CPU's execution core to be executed. Data moves from main memory directly into the processor's back end, where the execution units process it in accordance with the instructions that make up the incoming instruction stream.
It's a bit dry, but good to read if you're a hardware geek.

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