Geode (processor)

Geode (processor)

For other uses of Geode, see Geode (disambiguation)

Geode is a series of x86-compatible System-on-a-chip microprocessors and I/O companions produced by AMD targeted at the embedded computing market.

The series was originally launched by National Semiconductor as the Geode family in 1999. The original Geode processor core itself is derived from the Cyrix MediaGX platform, which was acquired in National's merger with Cyrix in 1997. AMD bought the Geode business from National in August 2003 to augment its existing line of embedded x86 processor products. AMD expanded the Geode series to two classes of processor: the MediaGX-derived Geode GX and LX, and the modern Athlon-derived Geode NX.

Geode processors are optimized for low power consumption and low cost while still remaining compatible with software written for the x86 platform. The MediaGX-derived processors lack modern features such as SSE and a large on-die L1 cache but these are offered on the more recent Athlon-derived Geode NX. Geode processors tightly integrate some of the functions normally provided by a separate chipset, such as the northbridge. The processor family is best suited for thin client, set top box and embedded computing applications.

The One Laptop per Child project originally used the GX series Geode processor in the OLPC XO; but has since moved to the Geode LX. The Linutop is also based on the Geode LX. 3Com Audrey was powered by a 200 MHz Geode GX1.

The SCxxxx range of Geode devices are a single-chip version, comparable to the SiS 552 or VIA CoreFusion, which integrate the CPU, memory controller, graphics and I/O devices into one package. Single processor boards based on these processors are manufactured by Artec Group, PC Engines (WRAP) and Soekris.

These processors are named after geodes.

National Semiconductor Geode

Geode GXm

Cyrix MediaGXm clone. Returns "CyrixInstead" on CPUID.

  • MediaGX-derived core
  • 0.35 µm four layer metal CMOS
  • MMX instructions
  • 3.3 V I/O, 2.9 V core
  • 16 Kb write-back unified L1 cache
  • PCI controller
  • 64-bit SDRAM memory
  • CS5530 companion chip (implements sound and video functions)
  • VSA architecture
  • 1280x1024x8 or 1024x768x16 display

Geode GXLV

  • MediaGX-derived core
  • 0.25 µm four layer metal CMOS
  • 3.3 V I/O
  • 2.2 V, 2.5 V, 2.9 V core
  • 16 kb write-back unified L1 cache
  • Fully static design
  • 1.0 W @2.2 V/166 MHz, 2.5 W @2.9 V/266 MHz

Geode GX1

  • MediaGX-derived core
  • 0.18 µm CMOS
  • 200 - 333 MHz
  • 1.6 - 2.2 V core
  • 16 kB (16 KiB) L1 cache
  • 0.8 W - 1.2 W typical
  • SDRAM memory 111 MHz
  • CS5530A companion chip
  • 85 Hz VGA refresh rate

National Semiconductor/AMD SC1100 is based on the Cyrix GX1 core and the CS5530 support chip.

Geode GX2

Announced by National Semiconductor Corporation October, 2001 at Microprocessor Forum. First demonstration at COMPUTEX Taiwan, June, 2002.

  • 0.15 µm process technology
  • MMX and 3DNow! instructions
  • 16 kB Instruction and 16 kB Data caches
  • GeodeLink architecture, 6 GB/s on-chip bandwidth, up to 2 GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Integrated 64-bit PC133 SDRAM and DDR266 controller
  • Clockrate: 266, 333 and 400 MHz
  • 3 PCI masters supported
  • 1600x1200x24 bit display with video scaling
  • CRT DACs and an UMA DSTN/TFT controller.
  • Geode CS5535 companion chip

AMD Geode

In 2002, AMD introduced the Geode GX series, which was a re-branding of the National Semiconductor GX2. This was quickly followed by the Geode LX, running up to 667 MHz. LX brought many improvements, such as higher speed DDR, a re-designed instruction pipe, and a more powerful display controller. The upgrade from the CS5535 I/O Companion to the CS5536 brought higher speed USB.

Geode GX and LX processors are typically found in devices such as thin clients and industrial control systems. However they have come under competitive pressure from VIA on the x86 side, and ARM and XScale taking much of the low-end business.

Because of the relatively poor performance of the GX and LX core design, AMD introduced the Geode NX, which is an embedded version of the highly-successful Athlon processor, K7. Geode NX uses the Thoroughbred core and is quite similar to the Athlon XP-M that use this core. The Geode NX includes 256KB of Level 2 cache, and runs fanless at up to 1 GHz in the NX1500@6W version. The NX2001 part runs at 1.8 GHz, the NX1750 part runs at 1.4 GHz, and the NX1250 runs at 667 MHz.

The Geode NX, with its strong FPU, is particularly suited for embedded devices with graphical performance requirements, such as information kiosks and casino gaming machines, such as video slots.

However, it was reported that the specific design team for Geode processors in Longmont, Colorado has been closed, and 75 employees are being relocated to the new development facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is expected that the Geode line of processors will be updated less frequently due to the closure of the Geode design center .

Geode GX

  1. Geode GX 466@0.9 W: clock speed: 333 MHz
  2. Geode GX 500@1.0 W: clock speed: 366 MHz
  3. Geode GX 533@1.1 W: clock speed: 400 MHz

Geode LX

  1. LX 700@0.8 W: clock speed: 433 MHz, with power consumption: 1.3 watts. (TDP 3.1 W)
  2. LX 800@0.9 W: clock speed: 500 MHz, with power consumption: 1.8 watts. (TDP 3.6 W)
  3. LX 900@1.5 W: clock speed: 600 MHz, with power consumption: 2.6 watts. (TDP 5.1 W)


  • Low power.
  • Full x86 compatibility.
  • Processor functional blocks:
    • CPU Core
    • GeodeLink Control Processor
    • GeodeLink Interface Units
    • GeodeLink Memory Controller
    • Graphics Processor
    • Display Controller
    • Video Processor
    • Video Input Port
    • GeodeLink PCI Bridge
    • Security Block


  • Processor frequency up to 600 MHz (LX900), 500 MHz (LX800) and 433 MHz (LX700).
  • Power management: ACPI, lower power, wakeup on SMI/INTR.
  • 64K Instruction / 64K Data L1 cache and 128K L2 cache
  • Split Instruction/Data cache/TLB.
  • DDR Memory 400 MHz (LX 800), 333 MHz (LX 700)
  • Integrated FPU with MMX and 3DNow!
  • 9 GB/s internal GeodeLink Interface Unit (GLIU)
  • Simultaneous, high-res CRT and TFT (High and standard definition). VESA 1.1 and 2.0 VIP/VDA support
  • Manufactured at a 0.13 micrometre process
  • 481-terminal PBGA (Plastic Ball Grid Array)
  • GeodeLink active hardware power management

Geode NX

  1. NX 1250@6W: Clock speed: 667 MHz, power consumption: 9 watts (1.1 volts core operating voltage).
  2. NX 1500@6W: Clock speed: 1 GHz, power consumption: 9 watts (1.0 volts core operating voltage).
  3. NX 1750@14W: Clock speed: 1.4 GHz, power consumption: 25 watts (1.25 volts core operating voltage).


  • 7th generation core (based on Mobile Athlon XP-M).
  • Power management: AMD PowerNow!, ACPI 1.0b and ACPI 2.0.
  • 128 KB L1 cache.
  • 256 KB L2 cache with hardware data prefetch
  • 133 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB)
  • 3DNow!, MMX and SSE instruction sets
  • 0.13 µm (130 nm) fabrication process
  • Pin compatibility between all NX family processors.
  • OS support: Linux, Windows CE, MS Windows XP.
  • Compatible with Socket A motherboards

Geode NX 2001

In 2007, there was a Geode NX 2001 model on sale, which in fact was a relabelled Athlon XP 2200+ Thoroughbred. The processors, with part numbers AANXA2001FKC3G or ANXA2001FKC3D, their specifications are 1.8 GHz clock speed, and 1.65 volt core operating voltage, the power consumption is not specified. There are no official references to this processor except officials explaining that the batch of CPUs were "being shipped to specific customers", though it is clear it has no relation with the other Geode NX CPUs other than sharing the same CPU socket (Socket A).

Chipsets for Geode

  1. AMD Geode CS5530A Southbridge for Geode GX1.
  2. AMD Geode CS5535 Southbridge for Geode GX and Geode LX (USB 1.1). Integrates four USB ports, one ATA-66 UDMA controller, one Infrared communication port, one AC97 controller, one SMBUS controller, one LPC port, as well as GPIO, Power Management, and legacy functional blocks.
  3. AMD Geode CS5536 Southbridge for Geode GX and Geode LX (USB 2.0). Power consumption: 1.9 W (433 MHz) and 2.4 W (500 MHz). This chipset is also used on PowerPC board (Amy'05).
  4. Geode NX processors are "100 percent socket and chipset compatible" with AMD's Socket A Athlon XP processors: SIS741CX Northbridge and SIS 964 Southbridge, VIA KM400 Northbridge and VIA VT8235 Southbridge, VIA KN400A Northbridge and VIA VT8237R Southbridge.

See also


External links

Linux on Geode

NetBSD on Geode

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