TAIPEI (06/05/2000) - Advanced Micro Devices Inc. used the opening day of the Computex trade show here to launch a slew of new processors, including high-end Athlons running at clock-speeds up to 1GHz. The company also said it is now shipping the first members of the new low-cost Duron family of chips.
The 12 new Athlon processors are based on a new design, formerly code-named Thunderbird, featuring 256K bytes of on-chip, performance-enhancing Level 2 cache memory. Running at 750MHz, 800MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 950MHz and 1GHz, the processors are available in both Slot A and a new Socket A packaging.
Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. showcased systems powered by the new Athlons here at the launch event. Several other system vendors, including Gateway 2000 Inc. and IBM Corp., are also readying systems featuring the new Athlon processors, AMD said.
In addition, several Taiwan-based motherboard manufacturers, including Asustek Computer Inc., First International Computer Inc. and Giga-Byte Technology Co.
Ltd. also showed off new boards based on the Socket A architecture.
AMD also introduced the first members of its Duron family of processors, which are aimed at value-conscious business and home users, company officials said.
The Durons, which AMD is shipping now in volume to major customers, run at clock-speeds of 600MHz, 650MHz and 700MHz. The formal launch of the Duron processors is scheduled for later this month, officials said.
"We now have the strongest product portfolio in our company's 30-year history," said Hector Ruiz, AMD's president and chief operating officer. "And (Athlon and Duron) both outperform the competition at their respective price points," Ruiz said, in a thinly veiled reference to arch-rival Intel Corp.
Having already become a force in the consumer PC market, AMD is now aiming to make inroads into the corporate market, Ruiz said. "The enterprise market is a high priority for AMD this year," he said.
For the Socket A versions of the processors, AMD will initially rely on chip set support from Via Technologies Inc. The Taipei-based chip vendor's new KT133 chip set supports the 200MHz front side bus of the Athlon and Duron processors, as well as other advanced features such as 4x AGP (accelerated graphics port) and PC133 memory, said Chen Wen-chi, president and chief executive officer.
"Volume shipments of the KT133 will begin this month," said Chen, in a presentation today at the AMD event.
Silicon Integrated Systems Corp., another Taiwan-based chip developer is also readying a chip set, the SiS730, that will support AMD's Socket A processors, officials said.
AMD today also announced the first commercial shipments of processors from its new wafer fabrication plant in Dresden, Germany. With the new plant open the company now expects to ship more than 25 million processors in 2000, Ruiz said.
Pricing for the new Athlons range from US$319 for the 750MHz version to $990 for high-end the 1GHz chip in 1,000-unit quantities. The Duron processors are priced from $112 for a 600MHz version to $192 for the 700MHz version.
AMD, in Sunnyvale, California, can be reached at +1-408-732-2400 or via the Web at http://www.amd.com.