AMD launches new mobile, desktop Athlon chips

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. extended its line of Athlon 64 processors Tuesday, rolling out three new mobile chips and a processor aimed at desktop PCs and desktop replacement notebooks.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company introduced the new 3200+, 3000+ and 2800+ mobile chips, saying that their 64-bit processing power made them well suited for notebooks with digital media and other applications requiring added performance.

The mobile chips are priced at US$293 for the 3200+, US$233 for the 3000+ and US$193 for the 2800+, all in 1,000 unit quantities.

The new Athlon 3400+ chip, meanwhile, is targeted at desktop PCs or desktop replacement notebooks with digital media applications, offering power management and wireless LAN (WLAN) compatibility, AMD said. The 3400+ is priced at US$417 in 1,000 unit quantities.

AMD has lined up some 60 manufacturers and system builders in support of its AMD 64 family of processors. The new Mobile AMD 64 chips will be in systems from eMachines Inc. as early as January, with Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Fujitsu Ltd. to use the new 3400+ chips in desktop systems immediately, the company said.

The new AMD chips come as part of an overall effort to turn up the heat on rival Intel Corp., which is preparing to launch its new Prescott chip, according to IDC research analyst Ian Gibb. Prescott, which is an update to the current Pentium 4 processor, is expected to ship next month, and will arrive with multimedia instructions and a more mass-market appeal than the new AMD chips, Gibb said.

The AMD chips are geared toward niche markets such as gaming and high-end workstations but could filter further into the mass market as prices come down, he said.

Although it remains to be seen how the new AMD chips fare in the next couple quarters, they go to show that AMD can at least compete with market leader Intel, Gibb said.

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