AMD ups Athlon memory ante

As expected, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Monday introduced a new chip set that will allow PCs powered by its high-end Athlon processors to take advantage of the emerging double data rate (DDR) synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) high-speed memory devices.

In addition, the AMD-760 chip set is designed to support new versions of the Athlon processor family featuring a faster 266MHz front-side bus and running at clock speeds of 1.2GHz, 1.13GHz and 1GHz, which were also introduced Monday.

Users in the US and Europe itching to lay their hands on systems featuring the speedy memory technology and new AMD devices are advised to contact the online storefront of Micron Electronics or NEC Computers International BV. The two PC vendors will immediately start taking orders for systems that are scheduled to start shipping in November, AMD said in a statement.

Rollout plans for other regions were not immediately available, but AMD said that other major PC vendors, including Compaq Computer, are also expected to introduce similar systems in early 2001.

DDR SDRAM is an emerging memory specification backed by most of the world's leading memory chip makers that promises to double the peak data throughput rate of today's mainstream SDRAM devices, offering peak bandwidth as high as 2.1GBs per second.

Suppliers of the speedy memory chips, which include Infineon Technologies AG, Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics, earlier have said that DDR SDRAM chips will only carry a small price premium over today's SDRAM chips. DDR SDRAMs are thus expected to offer a price advantage over competing memory chips such as RDRAMs based on Rambus' interface technology, which although offering better performance, are also priced significantly higher than SDRAM chips.

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