AMD reflects on 50 years of CPU design as it readies new Ryzen processors

It has taken AMD nearly five decades to find (and develop) Zen in the CPU space, and it has since been turning out some of the best CPUs for gaming. Now in 2019, AMD is in a much different place now than when it was founded on May 1, 1969, and as the chip designer approaches its 50-year anniversary, it has posted an "innovation timeline" looking back at some of its accomplishments throughout the years.

Shown above, for example, is the Am386 released in 1991. Essentially a clone of Intel's 80386 processor, the Am386 helped put AMD on the map as a viable competitor. It also could have debuted earlier than it did, but a legal battle with Intel over AMD's right to produce a processor based on its 80386 design prevented that. The Am386 also established AMD as the second largest microprocessor manufacturer, having leapfrogged Motorola by the end of 1991.

While a clone of the 80386, the Am386 set itself apart with a faster top clockspeed of 40MHz, versus 33MHz for Intel's silicon. And as our friends at TomsHardware point out, it was also the first to feature a Windows Compatible logo on the box.

Another notable entry is the Athlon 1000, introduced in 2000. With the release of the Athlon 1000, AMD won the race to 1GHz (Intel has always disputed that version of history, by the way, contending it started shipping a production level 1GHz Pentium III a week before AMD).

The timeline is an interesting look back on AMD's history, whether you're feeling nostalgic or want a quick history lesson (from AMD's vantage point).

Looking ahead, AMD is getting ready to introduce its Ryzen 3000 series, based on its 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture. And beyond that, AMD says Zen 3 is on track for 2020.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).