We knew near the end of 2007 that AMD was expecting the arrival of the first 45 nm Shanghai samples around the first of the year.  It now seems that those initial samples were fairly successful as AMD is showing off working 45 nm silicon at CeBIT.  The chips in question are apparently Shanghai based and they are running a variety of OSs and applications.  AMD is of course not talking about things such as clockspeed, but we can assume that the products being shown are likely the first major respin from the original samples that showed up early in January.

There are several things that AMD has let slip about Shanghai and its desktop counterpart Deneb.  The processor is obviously based on the Phenom architecture, but AMD has implemented many IPC improvements that should at least let it catch up to, and perhaps surpass, Intel’s Core 2 architecture at 45 nm.  Each core keeps the same 512 KB L2 cache, but the L3 cache is expanded to 6 MB.

AMD Shows off 45 nm Shanghai at CeBIT - Processors  1
45nm AMD Shanghai die


AMD’s 45 nm process is looking fairly decent at this point, but until we get mass produced working silicon it is hard to say exactly how successful it is.  AMD is one of the first manufacturers to put into place a full immersion litho line for a mass produced product, and they expect to start producing chips and ramping production by the beginning of Summer and hopefully release finished product by Q3.

Judging from the die shots that AMD has provided, it seems that AMD has done a nice job in shrinking the SRAM sizes, as the larger L3 cache does not seem to take up much more space proportionally as it did with only 3 MB of L3 on the current 65 nm processor.

Having samples running multiple operating systems and applications at this stage of development is a good sign that AMD is really pushing hard to get this product out the door.  It has only been two months since the initial 45 nm samples came back from the Fab, and to have them running these programs means that AMD is really accelerating development of the part and is likely burning the midnight oil by the barrel.