Happy 50th Birthday, AMD!

You know, this company only exists because #Intel exists. Jerry Sanders wanted to join its founders, all coming from #fairchild, but he was felt too extrovert for them. So he joined another group of ex-Fairchild employees to found Advanced Micro Devices.

AMD 386 DX-25

What you see is their 386, which came on market in 1991, pretty late, since intel already brought it 1985 to market. But intel didn’t want AMD to copy their CPU’s any longer, so the Am386 can be seen as AMD’s first inhouse developed CPU, that wasn’t just a copy. Not only that, but they trumped intel with 40 Mhz – intel could bring the 386 to only 33.

Later came the Am486, which again was hindered due to intel’s forces, when AMD wanted to get above 66 Mhz, so the 100 MHz Am486 was another example of AMD using its development forces to make own designs.

AMD K5 w/ 100 MHz

The most interesting but also least successful AMD CPU was probably the K5, which can be seen as AMD’s first complete CPU design. It was internally based on an Am29000 RISC CPU, with an attached x86 decoder. If you want so, AMD took the PentiumPro design path even before Intel!

It was short-lived, too expensive too make, and hard to get on proper speed, and AMD knew they had to improve. So they purchased NexGen in 1996 to put their knowledge and some MMX technology into the famously known K6.

AMD K6-2 w/ 400 MHz

You may know, this one was successful, and was later improved to the K6-2 with 3DNow!, a 100 MHz front side bus to rival the Pentium II. The rest is history, and AMD still exists, albeit always on the edge of bankruptcy. Thank them for being still alive that we have affordable CPU tech. If you want to create your next system, see if the great Ryzen may be a choice for you. Because without competition, we would probably still work with our Pentium at 500 Mhz…

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