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Confusion reigns over next-gen Athlon 64's cache size

512KB or 256KB? Depends on who you ask

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How much L2 cache will future AMD Athlon 64 processors provide? Q2 is expected to see the arrival of Newcastle. AMD is keeping quiet, but previous reports suggest the part will contain just 512KB of L2 cache.

However, DigiTimes today claims the part will contain only 256KB of cache. It also suggests Newcastle is an Athlon FX chip.

Thais contradicts AMD's own public roadmap, which clearly positions Newcastle as the next generation of Athlon 64. The next major upgrade to the Athlon FX is the 90nm San Diego, officially due to be release in H2.

Also officially scheduled to ship in the second half of the year is Paris, the K8-based update to the current K7 32-bit Athlon XP line. Paris is believed to contain 256KB of L2 cache. The same timeframe will see the arrival of Winchester, the 90nm version of the 130nm Newcastle.

Taiwanese mobo maker sources told DigiTimes that both Newcastle and Winchester will compete head to head with Intel's 90nm Pentium 4, Prescott. Since the Intel part has 1MB of L2, as with the first Athlon 64s, it's hard to imagine that AMD wanted to run a part with just 256KB of cache up against it.

AMD shipped its first 512KB Athlon 64, the 3000+, last December.

Newcastle is expected to introduce AMD's 939-pin interface, which will be supported by chipsets from VIA and Nvidia: the K8T800Pro and the nForce 3 250, respectively. ®

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