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AMD Thunderbird is go go

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CeBIT 2000 Stopped by the big AMD stand at much bigger Halle 13 here at CeBIT to check out how far the company was advancing in the plans it has to introduce the Thunderbird Athlon et al. There we met Steve Lapinski who whisked out a Thunderbird chip who told us that AMD is almost there with the part. In passing, he whisked us through a roadmap and also confirmed something we wrote about two or three days back -- to wit, the K6-2 plus and the K6-III are now firmly aimed at the mobile market. He also said that the Dresden plant is now fully functional and claimed that it would be able to supply as many parts as the market needs. If, as AMD likes to suggest, massive numbers of formerly loyal Intel customers are flocking in droves to the Athlon platform, that will be the key question as to whether the firm is profitable or not. The roadmap he showed is still pretty kind of vague on dates, but it looks to us that mobile K6-2 pluses and K6-III parts will hit the market in the May to June period, with Spitfire, the value on-die cache socket A solution appearing in April/May, and Thunderbird, the performance Socket A part, arriving in maybe July-August. Certainly, we know from conversations with other unnamed chip players, that these socketed solutions were developed by, surprise, surprise, Via. Lapinski also chatted amiably about Irongate 4, which we know has just started sampling to the market this month, and pointed to the API and Hot Rail multiway solutions, which will start shipping towards the end of this year. He also confirmed the close relationship AMD has with Compaq and API -- which we reported maybe 14-15 months back. And so that is Irongate 4... According to the roadmap he showed us, a heap of chipset vendors, including usual suspect Via as well as SiS and ALi, will flock to AMD's support towards the end of this year. That, however, is somewhat optimistic, at least as far as SiS and Ali are concerned, we are given to understand. Again, as we reported earlier on in the week, we will see a 266MHz front side system bus for the old Athlon. Lapinski is talking the PC2100 and PC1600 DDR memory talk, although he did seem to suggest that as his company is a Rambus licensee, it might, if the situation is right, adopt that kind of solution too. ® CeBIT 2000: Full Coverage

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