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Beyond the Five Year Horizon: Deconstruction of the X86 or the Multi-Core in 2012

Phoenix, Arizona March 25, 2008

Semico Research looks at the future of MPU designs beyond a typical five-year forecast horizon in the report, Deconstruction of the X86 or the Multi-Core in 2012. This includes standard MPUs for computing as well as embedded control, along with MPU-core based ASSPs. The next few years will see continuing evolution and refinement of current designs, but there has to be a distinct change in overall architectural approach—a new mindset—that will carry MPU performance to new levels for all applications. This report sets out the who, what and why of multi-core including an analytic view of where current trends will lead. The microprocessor has been the semiconductor industry star since its introduction.

The $68.3B microprocessor and related microprocessor core-based 2007 markets continue to evolve with the innovation of mobile products and the need for processors to run cooler. A unit CAGR of 6.9% and revenue CAGR of 5.5% from 2008 through 2012 indicates why the market and its changes are so important. The major trend in MPUs and related MPU core-based control devices is multi-core. Multi-core is the integration of two or more processing cores on a single die. The issue that attracts the most attention is the competition between Intel and AMD for the heart of the mainstream PC.

The various architectures in non-computing applications are also following the path of multi-core. Multi-core, however, is far more encompassing than continuously replicating more of the same. System on a Chip (SoC) is a starting point. Deconstruction of the X86 or the Multi-Core in 2012 will make the trend clear. Semico examines the impetus for multi-core and the challenges faced by chip designers. What are the activities of the key companies involved with multi-core? What are the pros and cons of heterogeneous vs homogeneous designs? Semico reveals a vision of where the current work in multi-core will lead MPUs in the future. Frequency used to be the selling point for processors, now it is the number of cores.

About Semico

Technology manufacturers, vendors, service providers, technology professionals and market specialists worldwide utilize Semico’s experienced staff and in-depth research to support critical business, product and technology decisions. Semico’s vision is derived from both a deep technology understanding and comprehensive research, which examines each segment of the supply chain for each market. Regular and ongoing end-user demand and primary research surveys are the foundation of the analysis, enabling Semico to provide insightful market analysis and guidance on future market opportunities. Semico is a strategic partner with leading technology companies, with access to an extensive worldwide electronic network, technology databases and expert personnel. Semico was founded in 1994 by a group of semiconductor industry experts and has offices in Phoenix, California, New York, Japan and Taiwan.