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AMD updates roadmap, delays desktop Athlon 4

Adds server Durons too

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AMD has updated its processor roadmap, adding new chip lines and delaying the introduction of some existing parts.

The most obvious delay is the upcoming desktop Athlon based on the new Palomino core. Previously scheduled for early in the second half of 2001, it now appears to be pegged for a mid-2H launch, say late September.

That aligns it with the previous roadmap's release timeframe for Morgan, the desktop Duron based on the same core as the new Athlon.

The Duron line will now get a server strand, with very low-end server and workstation lines, kicking of with a server/workstation version of Morgan and, later in the first half of 2002, Appaloosa, the 0.13 micron die shrink of the Duron core. Since Morgan shares the same core as Palomino, there's no reason why these budget chips won't support single- and dual-CPU systems, though any attempt by AMD to handicap the chip to protect its Athlon MP sales may severely limit its ability to sell Duron equivalents.

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The new roadmap confirms that AMD will release a 0.13 micron version of the Athlon MP, alongside other 0.13 micron Athlons, all codenamed Thoroughbred. Again, the release schedule for all these parts is mid-1H 2002.

Thoroughbred's successor, Barton, will be a 0.13 micron part based on IBM's silicon-on-insulator process. AMD has already admitted as much, but now it has confirmed their will be a Barton version of the Athlon MP.

More interestingly, there will also be a desktop version of ClawHammer, the version of AMD's 64-bit CPU aimed at one- to two-way systems. The Hammer family has always been seen as a successor to Athlon, and the intermingling of Barton and ClawHammer in the desktop to workstation/server cross-over space suggests that AMD sees the two platforms existing in parallel and targeting the same potential customers.

Want an AMD desktop? Then you can choose between box A based on a single ClawHammer or box B based on a single Barton Athlon - that kind of thing. Price will determine the choice made, but so will the desire to embrace (or not) a completely new and unproven (in the market) processor technology. AMD clearly reckons most ClawHammer customers will be buying system for testing rather than deployment. ®

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AMD: new processor roadmap

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