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AMD was founded exactly 50 years ago with a starting capital of $ 50 thousand



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The semiconductor industry is relatively young, and many large companies it has only a couple of decades. But there are also veterans who celebrate the fiftieth anniversary. These include Intel (which celebrated 50 years since its foundation in the past year) and its long-term competitor in AMD. We offer remember some important milestones in the rich history of the company, which was founded May 1, 1969, with headquarters in Sunnyvale (CA), with registered capital of only $ 50,000.

First executive director of AMD, on September 1969, was one of the co-founders, Jerry Sanders (Jerry Sanders), who ran the company more than 33 years until it resigned in April 2002. The company is proud that one of his most famous phrases was "The main thing – people, products, and revenues will make"What type of AMD is committed to adhere to now.

An important achievement was the launch of the company in September 1970, the industry's first binary / hexadecimal logical counter Am2501 (AMD own development), which proved to be very successful in the market and became a milestone in the industry as a whole. It took another two years, and in September 1972 the company went public: it was issued 500 thousand shares at $ 15.5 each: in the initial public offering of securities $ 7.2 million was drawn on the exchange.

In the first years of its existence, AMD, except for their own chips, and processors are produced under license. For example, in 1975 the company signed a cross-licensing agreement with Intel and began to produce his first PC processor (am9080, an analogue of the Intel 8080), developed by AMD based on reverse-engineering, which was consistent with the original of a set of instructions, but at 40 % of its rounds on speed.

A great milestone for the company was the signing in 1982 of the agreement with IBM, under which AMD has become the second supplier of microprocessors for the IBM PC architecture with iAPX86. In February 1986, AMD introduced the world's first megabit (65K × 16-bit) programmable EPROM chip non-volatile memory made using a unique process technology AMD CMOS. The product has allowed manufacturers more prototyping and modify their solutions for different markets.

In March 1991, AMD introduced Am386 family of processors that are compatible with 32-bit processors with the architecture 80386 – they were popular as more affordable counterparts Intel solutions. In April 1993, he held out on Am486 market that surpassed Intel in performance analogue at 20%, with the same cost. These were, in fact, clones of Intel solutions.

In March 1996, the debut of the famous AMD-K5 350-nm processors, the first independently developed x86 processor that is compatible with the contact area rival, but based on architecture RISC. Conventional manual recoded in microinstructions that helped greatly raise productivity. But AMD was unable this time to beat Intel in frequency.

Release AMD-K6 chips in April 1997 resolved to reduce the cost of a PC for the first time below the psychological mark of $ 1000 based on these 250-nanometer chips were achievements of NextGen and other RISC machines-based architecture Nx686. AMD made a bet on the price-performance ratio, as it was not possible to bypass Pentium II. Architecture K6 improved several times (in K6 II was added several sets of instructions under the name 3DNow !, Technology And K6 III – cache L2).

But the real breakthrough in AMD again occurred in June 1999 with the launch of the seventh generation of processors, the Athlon famous, which enabled the company to pull out the palm in terms of performance at Intel. This was also the first processors, which are used in the production of copper instead of aluminum.

In March 2000 came Athlon 1000 that for the first time in the industry has reached a point in the 1 GHz clock frequency. And in June 2001, launched the modern era of a lot of & # 39; core processors with the release of Athlon MP. By the way, Athlon MP has become the first solution AMD, created with an eye on the market for servers and workstations.

April 25, 2002, AMD management duties entered new CEO Hector Ruiz (Hector Ruiz), who worked in the company as Chief Operating Officer and President since January 2000 and previously led the sector of semiconductor products Motorola. Already he was with IBM strategic agreement for the joint development with the use of advanced production technology of structures and materials, including transistors, SOI (silicon on insulator), copper interconnects and improved insulator with a low dielectric constant in January 2003.

In April 2003, with the & # 39; x86 processor was the world's first 64-bit architecture, now long since become the norm. It was the Opteron server-based AMD64. Already in September, PC users will also get a 64-bit chips in the face of the Athlon 64 FX, which are then considered to be the most sophisticated and powerful consumer processors on the market.

Another historical landmark was definitely takeover in October 2006 for $ 5.4 billion company ATI Technologies, one of the leading manufacturers of video cards that moment. It is this team, is gradually changing the composition, is responsible for all subsequent GP, which were issued under the name Radeon. Video cards have become a very important part of the company's business and this new segment of the market helped to survive tough times.

In September 2007, the launch of the world's first 4-core single-chip processor in the face of AMD Opteron. He also received the Rapid Virtualization Indexing technology for virtualization tasks. In June 2008, AMD introduced in the face of FireSteam 9250 first GP, who has overcome a mark of peak computational performance of 1 teraflops. It was a specialized solution for highly parallel general purpose calculations.

A month later, in July 2008, AMD once again has changed CEO and president – it was Dirk Meyer (Dirk Meyer), who worked in the company since 1995 and has had a hand in the original Athlon processor. Unfortunately for us, it is with him in order to optimize the costs were covered many promising areas, including the development of mobile SoC based on ARM – in January 2009, Qualcomm acquired Imageon IP (ATI mobile graphics) and continues to actively develop its GPU Adreno ( name – Radeon anagram).

In March 2009, the company decided to focus on chip design, selecting a new production joint venture with Arabian ATIC GlobalFoundries. Recently, there were quite successful, but not so long ago its owners refused to compete with TSMC, Samsung and other leading semiconductor manufacturers and contract turned the work on the development of advanced 7-nm rules.

Graphics cards with a frequency higher than 1 GHz today are nothing new, but the first such product was in May 2009, ATI Radeon HD 4890, which is available as a factory-overclocked GPU to 1 GHz, and air-cooled. And ATI Eyefinity technology, which provided an opportunity to be connected to a single graphics card of up to six high-resolution displays were presented in September 2009.

ATI absorption is largely done for effective ligament GP and CPU in a single product, and in June 2010, AMD demonstrated at Computex 2010 its first accelerated processing. A first single-chip APU was launched in January 2011.

In August 2011, Rory Reid (Rory Read) was transferred to the post of head of the company, which moved from a similar post with the Lenovo Group. In June 2012, for safety reasons (primarily various online payment) in the AMD it had introduced a special core based on ARM TrustZone technology. However, in his post Reed soon – in October 2014 the company was headed by its current leader Lisa Su (Lisa Su).

In 2012, AMD introduced a new Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture graphics. Became the first video card Radeon HD 7770. The GCN has introduced support for x86 addressing with unified address space for the CPU and GPU, have been used instead of instructions RISC SIMD VLIW MIMD for GPGPU and other changes. Until now, this architecture is constantly evolving, with the & # 39 is the basis for the company's graphics cards.

That was the basis of GCN issued in 2013-2014, modern consoles Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – at the heart of both systems were similar (with different nuances) single-chip AMD system with 8 cores CPU Jaguar and different amounts of computational GPU blocks. It is believed that a truly new architecture GPU from AMD will be the Navi, which is created for PS5 and Xbox Next.

In November 2014, AMD introduced the open standard framing drawing with the frequency of the screen – FreeSync, which is also known under the name VESA Adaptive Sync and, following the recent NVIDIA support under Compatibility G-Sync, has become, in fact, the industry standard. Technology ideally eliminates the gaps frames, while to achieve low latency response and smoother game environment.

In June 2015 the company released the first video card that is on the & # 39; united under one packing a high-speed memory and HBM GP – the flagship of AMD Radeon R9 Fury X was significantly greater bandwidth and three times surpassed the performance per watt of previous-generation memory GDDR.

AMD since the K10 and Bulldozer hopelessly lagged behind Intel on the CPU performance, but was born in June 2016 with the & # 39: The company first showed the processor on a fundamentally new architecture for x86 Zen AM4 pad. It was an 8-core 16-thread chip, which in December 2016 became the first generation of high-power CPU Ryzen, which forced Intel to move and also begin to build up the number of cores. Not surprisingly, given AMD Threadripper output processors for enthusiasts. In the summer of 2017 architecture Zen entered the server market due EPYC family.

In November last year the company introduced the world's first 7-nm HP data center in the face of Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI40 machine learning and highly parallel computing tasks. Already this year, I came the first 7-nm Radeon VII, and soon expected to launch Ryzen 3000 advanced 7-nm processors based on the architecture and Zen 2 7-nm graphics cards based on the SE Navi. In general, AMD is on the rise, and in front of the company with half a century of history in store for many more interesting things like Google Stadia platform.

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