AMD and the third section compares the two makes

AMD vs Intel: What is the difference?


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This assignment focuses exclusively on two major makes of processors namely, Intel and AMD. The differences have been considered on the basis of their threading capabilities, design philosophy, multi-core technology, graphics capability, memory access technology, compatibility, heat dissipation and price. To address this research question, all these concepts will be used to differentiate the two makes. This essay is divided into sections. The first part describes a microprocessor, its role in a computer device and also provides a brief history of various developmental stages of microprocessors. The second section describes the internal structure and how microprocessor works and the third section compares the two makes of processors. The Internet, journals, magazines and textbooks will be researched.    


A processor, or “microprocessor,” is a small chip in computers and other electronic devices. Its main job is to receive input and provide the appropriate output. As this may seem like a simple task, modern processors can process billions of calculations per second. The central processor of a computer is also known as the CPU, or “central processing unit. It handles all the basic system instructions, such as processing mouse, keyboard, inputs and all the running application. Most desktop computers contain a CPU developed by either Intel or AMD, both of which use the x86 processor Architecture. We will discuss this later in this review in further details.


AMD (Advanced Micro Devices):  is an American computer processor making company based in Sunnyvale California United States.

After Intel, AMD is the second-largest supplier in the market for x86-based microprocessors. They also design and develop the flash memory, networking devices, and programmable logic devices. AMD claims that it has sold over 100 million x86 (Windows-compatible) microprocessors. Its Athlon (formerly called the “K7”) microprocessor, made in mid-1999, was the first to support a 200 MHz bus. AMD announced the first 1 gigahertz PC microprocessor in a new version of the Athlon In March 2000.

Intel: is a technology focused and the biggest processor making company based in Santa Clara, California, United States. It that was founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce in 1968. Also, the x86 series of microprocessors which are the processors found in most personal computers (PCs), got invented by Intel. It also supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Making different types of processors is not all intel does, it also focuses on embedded processors, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, motherboard chipsets, flash memory, graphics chips and other devices related to communications and computing.




The War between the two

Intel and AMD have always been in war to try and dominate the international market, we can include many court cases and accusations. Mostly Intel has been trying to Dominate the market through its key connections in some of the powerful governments globally. Here I have listed how it all began and also about written about the incidents that have happened between them in the past few decades:

1968– Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore founded Intel.

1969– Jerry Sanders and a former team founded AMD.

1980s–IBM picks Intel’s x86 chip architecture for the DOS operating system built by Microsoft. IBM wants to avoid being fully dependant on Intel as its source of chips, so it demands Intel to find it a second supplier.

1982—IBM`s action made AMD and Intel sign a technology exchange deal. In this agreement AMD was introduced as the second supplier it was also given permission to access the technology of the 286 second generation chips made by Intel.

1984–Intel decides to continue alone with its newly produced 386 third-generation chips by using strategies that AMD claims were part of a “secret plan” to form a PC chip domination.

1987–AMD documents legal papers to settle the 386 chip row.

1991–AMD documents an antitrust complaint in Northern California suing that Intel engaged in illegal acts planned to secure and maintain a domination.

1992–A court rules against Intel and AMD gets awarded  $10 million plus a royalty-free license to any Intel copyrights used in AMD’s own 386-style processor.

1995—Finally, an agreement is signed to settle all the rows. This gives AMD a joint interest in the design of the x86 chip which remains the basic architecture of chips used to make personal computers to this day.

1999—as to the 1995 agreement the development of its own way of implementing x86 designs, AMD makes its own version of the x86 called Athlon chip.

2000–European Commission receives a complaint by AMD claiming that Intel is violating European anti-competition laws by “unmannerly” marketing programs. AMD uses legal resources to get access to documents produced in another Intel antitrust case which was filed by Intergraph. The Intergraph case is eventually settled.

2003–AMD’s big technology revolution occurs when it introduces a 64-bit version of its x86 chips that was developed and produced to run on Windows. This beats Intel for the first time in history and makes it chase AMD to develop equivalent technology. AMD introduces its Opteron line of chips for powerful computer servers and its Athlon line for PCs and Laptop etc.

2004–Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) break-ins Intel offices in Japan seeking documents. Intel collaborates with the investigation but does not agree with the result. JFTC officials find that Intel’s Japan office silent competition by offering discounts to five Japanese PC making companies–Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Sony and Toshiba—Named brands agreed to stop purchasing (or limit their purchases of) chips made by AMD and Transmeta.

2005–AMD documents another case against Intel in U.S. District Court in Delaware. In details, the complaint claims that Intel has illegally continued its control in the x86 microprocessor market by forcing companies worldwide from trading with AMD.

How CPU Works

General concepts: The primary function of the Central Processing Unit is to

execute sequences of instructions representing programs, which are stored in the Main Memory. A few points to get to know to this computer brain:

1.    CPU consists of the ALU and CU.

2.    To carry out its role the CPU must be an interpreter of a set of instructions at machine language level.

3.    Program execution is carried out and it’s as follows:

ü  The CPU transfers instructions and, when necessary their input data, called operands, from the Main Memory into the registers of the CPU.

ü  The CPU executes the instructions in their stored sequence (one after another) except when the execution sequence is explicitly altered by a branch instruction.

4.    When necessary, the CPU transfers results from the CPU registers into the Main Memory. Sometimes CPUs are called simply Processors.


Cache Memory

A different strategy is to position a small amount of high-speed memory, for example, SRAM, between the CPU and main storage. This high-speed memory is invisible to the programmer and cannot be directly addressed in the usual way by the CPU. Because it represents a “secret” storage area, it is called cache memory. Cache memory is organized differently than regular memory. Cache memory is organized into blocks. Each block provides a small amount of storage, perhaps between 8 and 64 bytes, also known as a cache line. The block will be used to hold an exact reproduction of a corresponding amount of storage from somewhere in main memory.



The computer unit is made up conceptually of three major components, the arithmetic/logic unit (ALU), the control unit (CU), and memory. The ALU and CU together are known as the central processing unit (CPU).

CPU architecture

A CPU architecture is defined by the basic characteristics and major features of the CPU. (CPU architecture is sometimes called instruction set architecture (ISA). These characteristics include such things as the number and types of registers, methods of addressing memory, and basic design and layout of the instruction set. There are a few architectures out there that have been implemented by different companies throw-out decades but the most commonly used ones that CPUs are built on is based on Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) and Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) Architecture.

CISC Architecture

In CISC CPU design instructions are minimized for each program, this is done getting rid of the number of cycles per instruction. This also requires more memory processing since the large programs need more storage, therefore increasing the memory cost and large memory becomes more expensive. Intel and AMD CPU are designed based on (x86) CISC architecture. Points to always remember about CISC:

·       It is prominent on Hardware.

·       It has high cycles per second.

·       It has transistors used for storing Instructions that are complex.

·       Load and Store memory-to-memory is induced in instructions.

·       It has multi-clock.