AMD future roadmap recalls World War II
Spitfires and Mustangs buzz over Intel's head
The share price of AMD bounded to $28 yesterday after CEO Jerry Sanders III said the company expected to break even in its fourth financial quarter. For some months, its price had languished between $16 and $20. For once, Sanders was able to report good news on both the microprocessor and flash memory fronts, and at the same time, outlined its future roadmap for its Athlon and other processor families through 1999. AMD confirmed it was on target to deliver a 750MHz processor during this quarter, and that it had now succeeded in shifting all of the production of its Athlon processors from a .25 micron to a .18 micron process. The firm pointed out that supplies of Intel's Coppermine .18 microprocessor were still constrained. Rob Herb, senior VP of marketing at AMD, said that the company will release a K6-2 at 533MHz this quarter, and early next year will release .18 micron version of the K6-2+ with on die full speed level two cache. That means socket seven will still live until 2001, he said. The die size of the K7 has been reduced to 102 square millimetres, and between this year and next, the company will introduce the K6-III+, a .18 micron processor using the Super 7 socket. Next year, we will see processors dubbed the Thunderbird, the Spitfire and the Mustang. Thunderbird will be a .18 micron K7 device with on die cache and coming in both Slot A and Socket A configurations. Spitfire will be a chip with on-die cache and aimed at the Intel Celeron market. It will use Socket A. Mustang will be an Athlon with on-die cache of up to 2Mb, using an enhanced core and coming in both Socket A and Slot A configuration. There will be another version of Mustang aimed at the low end mobile market and coming in a Socket A configuration. Through 2000, AMD will move from a .18 aluminium interconnect to a .18 copper interconnect technology, with processor speeds at and surpassing 1GHz and using a 256MHz front side system bus. AMD will also introduce SMP Athlons for two to eight way systems, and employing the double data rate (DDR) memory configuration, having a 266MHz front side bus, and supporting 4X AGP Pro and PCI 66/64. The company will look to scale these processors even higher, using either Alpha technology or its own Hotrail technology. These developments will seriously concern Intel, because AMD will be able, for the first time in its history, to fight for market segments that the Santa Clara company considered all its own. ® See also AMD confirms 750MHz Athlon a go-go, mentions Register in despatches
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