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AMD Upgrades Athlon X2 Desktop Dual-Core Lineup

Posted by inet - 2006-09-09

AMD on Wednesday will debut its dualcore Athlon X desktop processor. The highend parts are intended for use in commercial desktop PCs. HewlettPackard will be among the first Tier I computer makers taking the CPU to market in its new HP Compaq dc desktop PC.

HP showed off the as well as a workstation which will use AMD's new Rev. F Opteron server processors at a joint event with AMD in New York on Tuesday evening.

The runs at a clock speed of . GHz and is fitted with a dual MB L cache. As with AMD's topoftheline desktop dualcore the FX the uses AMD's new AM socket. The socket effectively doubles the processortomemory bandwidth by enabling the chip to work with newer and faster generation of DDR memory. AM also brings support for AMD's hardwareassisted virtualization technology to the desktop.

The comes in at the top of AMD's dualcore Athlon X family above the Athlon which was introduced in May. The X family is one rung down from AMD's topoftheline FX dual core. However the FX is aimed largely at socalled "enthusiast" users mainly highend gamers. As a result the effectively becomes AMD's highest performing mainstream part aimed at commercial desktops.

AMD's chip introduction comes as the scrappy semiconductor vendor is locked in an intense dualcore technology battle with Intel. That battle has played out in a series of recent product introductions. In May AMD refreshed the high end of its Athlon line and in July Intel introduced its longawaited Core Duo (formerly codenamed Conroe) chips the first desktop processors in its new "Core" microarchitecture.

With the Core Duo processors Intel is widely considered to have taken back the performance crown at the high end of the dualcore landscape. That's a position AMD had held for a considerable period of time. However on Tuesday AMD wasn't conceding anything. "We still believe we provide the best overall experience from a price/performance perspective" said Kevin Knox AMD's vice president of commercial business.

AMD also avowed that it has been making considerable progress towards the next leap forward in processor technology quadcore chips. To make those CPUs AMD is currently ramping up its nextgeneration semiconductor fabrication process at its new Fab in Dresden Germany. "Quad cores will be at nm" Kurt Holman AMD's commercialdesktops division marketing manager said in an interview Tuesday. "We are starting to ramp up nm and will be shipping for revenue by the end of the year."

AMD's existing Fab facility in Dresden is simultaneously being retrofitted for nm. That plant should be pumping out chips on mm wafers by the end of .

AMD's nm push is significant because Intel is already at nm while AMD's processors are currently fabricated using nm technology.

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