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AMD plans to beat 4.4GHz desktops

Hammer to bash Pentium 4 - hard?

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AMD Roadmap AMD's drive for desktop dominance will see the company ship what it will undoubtedly claim is the equivalent of a 3.4GHz Intel processor, when it ships its first desktop 0.13 micron Hammer chip in the fourth quarter of next year.

That chip will be numbered 3400 in accordance with AMD's new nomenclature, the company told analysts at its latest financial conference last night. The Hammer 3400 will be followed by the Hammer 4000 during the first half of 2003 and the 4400 in the latter part the year, when the Hammer family is shrunk using as 0.09 micron (though some AMD documentation says "0.10 micron") production process. Hammer will debut at 0.13 micron.

By contrast, Intel's public predictions have forecast a 3GHz Pentium 4 sometime mid to later 2002.

Hammer will effectively replace the current Athlon's 0.18 micron Palomino and its 0.13 micron Thoroughbred and 0.13 micron/silicon-on-insulator Barton successors in the mainstream desktop arena.

That shrink will see a 80mm² Thoroughbred die replace the 129mm² Palomino. Hammer is expected to be just 64mm².

At the low-end, the home of AMD's Duron CPU, the company has yet to decide how to fill out the line from Q2 next year onwards. Its presentation to analysts filled in the gaps with the phrase "as [the] market requires". In other words, AMD doesn't know quite what consumers are going to expect of PC vendors even in such a close timeframe as Q2 2002. Given the current economic conditions, who can blame it? ®

AMD's Desktop Roadmap
Sector 2002 2003
  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 H1 H2
Performance 2200 2400 2600 3400 4000 4400
Value 1.4GHz As yet undecided
0.18 micron Palomino/Morgan
0.13 micron Thoroughbred/Barton
0.13 micron Hammer
0.10 micron Hammer

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