The K6: AMD Extends Its Range
In 1997, AMD released a new processor: the K6. Unlike the K5, which was created by AMD, the K6 was the result of the work done by NexGen on the Nx686. This processor was compatible with Socket 7 (Pentium) motherboards and offered very good performance compared to Intel’s Pentium II processors, at a much lower price. The K6’s FPU was still a little weak compared to Intel’s. A 250 nm version of the K6, called Little Foot, came out in 1998.
Also in 1998, AMD announced the K6-2, a processor that used a faster bus (100 MHz) and had improved SIMD performance. It also had one more MMX unit than the K6 and a new instruction set, 3DNow!, for floating-point calculations (MMX handled only integers). The K6-2 (400 and up) was a big success because it was a good upgrade solution for owners of Pentium MMX platforms—by using the 2X multiplier on a motherboard with a 66 MHz bus, the processor was in fact operating at 6X (400 MHz), which permitted a significant gain in speed at a lower upgrade cost.
Finally, in 1999, AMD released the third version of the K6, the K6-III. The main difference from the K6-2 version was an on-chip 256 KB cache. The K6-III was very fast, but also very costly to produce, and was quickly replaced by the Athlon (K7).
|Code name||K6, Little Foot (250 nm)||K6-3D, Chomper||Sharptooth|
|Maximum memory||4,096 MB||4,096 MB||4,096 MB|
|L1 cache||32 KB + 32 KB||32 + 32 KB||32 + 32 KB|
|L2 cache||motherboard (FSB frequency)||motherboard (FSB frequency)||256 KB (CPU frequency)|
|L3 cache||no||no||motherboard (FSB frequency)|
|Clock frequency||166-300 MHz||300-550 MHz||400-450 MHz|
|FSB||50-66 MHz||66-100 MHz||100 MHz|
|SIMD||MMX||MMX, 3DNow!||MMX, 3DNow!|
|Fabrication process||350 - 250 nm||250 nm||250 nm|
|Number of transistors||8.8 million||9.3 million||21.3 million|
|Power consumption||12-28 W||13-25 W||10-17 W|
|Voltage||2.2–2.9 V–3.2 V||2.2–2.4 V||2.2–2.4 V|
|Die surface area||157-68 mm²||81 mm²||118 mm²|
|Connector||Socket 7||Socket 7 / Super Socket 7||Super Socket 7|
AMD also marketed K6-2+ and K6-3+ processors, mainly for portable PCs. These used a 180 nm fab process and had an on-chip 128 KB (K6-2+) or 256 KB (K6-3+) L2 cache.
Where the intel article seemed to overshadow intel's little victories, this article seems to gloss over AMD innovation (though i'll admit that i didn't recall the bit about the Intel chip, either the pentium or pentium pro, that gave incorrect values for mathmatical equations)
Both articles really need alot more detail added. As i've actually ranted about the history i'm reffering to in the comments section of the intel article as well as many other's i won't re-hash it.
This is like viasat history - only more specific and technical
AMD 486 @120 Mhz was making my friends that bought an early Pentium red with envy.
Someone gave me a AMD K5 system.
Thanks for the article.
I have quite a few chips from both makers, including the AMD 40MHz 386, and an Intel 386 & 387 33MHz cpu's, which are quite scarce...