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AMD Socket 939 chip launch pinned to 25 May

But CPU availability may be limited

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AMD will officially launch its new 939-pin processor socket on 25 May. However, significant volumes of the Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX chips that will use the new packaging many not appear until much later in the year.

Citing sources familiar with AMD's plans, Xbit Labs claims Socket 939 parts will be offered in only limited quantities until Q4.

In this context, 'limited' means Q2 shipments of 50,000 939-pin Athlon 64 and FX parts compared to 700,000 754-pin chips.

The Socket 939 figure is expected by the sources to rise to 260,000 during Q3 and 540,000 in Q4. Though by then, Socket 754 volumes will have grown to 900,000 - a much smaller ramp, but enough to see that platform dominate the other.

Come Q1 2005, however, and Socket 939 will come out on top as Socket 754 volumes fall rapidly away to 250,000 units. Some 1.2 million 939-pin parts will ship that quarter, according to the sources.

The timing suggests that AMD is deprecating the 939-pin version of the 130nm 'Newcastle' Athlon 64 - which is also expected ship as a 754-pin part - in favour of its 90nm 'Winchester' successor. Both parts are believed to contain just 512KB of on-die L2 cache but benefit from an on-board dual-channel memory controller that supports unbuffered SDRAM.

Winchester is roadmapped to appear sometime during the second half of the year.

AMD is expected to offer two 939-pin Athlon 64s, the Athlon 64 3500+ and the 3800+, clocked at 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz, respectively. A 939-pin version of the recently launched Athlon 64 FX-53 will accompany them. ®

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