AMD to let Thoroughbred loose on June 10

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is planning to revamp its line of Athlon XP desktop processors, including the company’s fastest desktop processor to date, with the launch of its 0.13-micron Thoroughbred core on Monday, June 10, sources inside the company said.

At the announcement, AMD will roll out more than one Athlon XP chip based on the new core, including one chip running at 1.8GHz with a performance rating of 2200+, said an AMD product manager who requested anonymity. AMD’s fastest Athlon XP currently has a performance rating of 2100+.

AMD had the Thoroughbred-based Athlon XP 2200+ running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP operating system in a demonstration at its booth at the Computex Taipei 2002 exhibition this week.

Over time, the Thoroughbred core will gradually replace the 0.18-micron Palomino core in processors running at lower clock speeds as existing stocks of those chips are sold. “We don’t want to cannibalize our Palomino business,” the source said.

The 0.13-micron process that is used to produce Athlon XP chips with the Thoroughbred core offers several benefits over previous versions of the processor. The more advanced process allows the chips to run at higher clock speeds while consuming less power. In addition, the size of the chip’s die can be shrunk using the more advanced process, allowing AMD to produce more chips on each wafer, resulting in lower unit costs.

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