When Intel introduced their new Core micro-architecture, it ensured a significant performance improvement of Intel processors. As a result, AMD had to yield the technology leadership to the competitor. Actually these days AMD solutions remain acute only in the lower price segments, offering single-core processors, which Intel hasn't yet transitioned to the new micro-architecture. Nevertheless, AMD keeps fighting bravely against Intel in all market segments (although with not much success yet). Their major task in this fight is to retain the army of dedicated fans until the arrival of the new K8L architecture that the company pins a lot of hopes on. And in the meanwhile they resort to marketing and price tools.
One of those marketing solutions destined to help AMD withstand Intel's success is the launch of AMD Quad FX platform (also initially known as 4x4). This platform is officially launching today and should become AMD's response to the recent quad-core Intel Kentsfield launch. Unfortunately, AMD is not yet ready to release any fully-fledged CPUs with more than 2 cores. There are architectural reasons (the use of system memory to exchange data between the processor cores) as well as technological reasons (no mass production technology) for that. Therefore, until they finish the development of new micro-architecture that will know to organize cores interaction without involving the memory bus and until they introduce the new 65nm production technology that will give out smaller processor dies, AMD has to look for some other ways to compete with Intel Kentsfield.
In fact, AMD Quad FX is a dual-socket system targeted for high-end desktop applications. This platform is designed to accommodate a pair of dual-core processors so that there are four computational threads used simultaneously. In other words, AMD Quad FX can be regarded as an alternative to Intel Kentsfield from this prospective, especially considering a system as a “black box? In addition AMD is going to price the components of this platform accordingly, so that AMD Quad FX system could belong to the same price range as systems built around Intel quad-core CPUs.