AMD Mobilizes 12 New Athlon XP Chips

By Michael Singer

March 12, 2003

Intel may have Manhattan, but CeBIT belongs to AMD as the No. 2 semiconductor maker shows a dozen new Athlon XP mobile processors with a,b or g flavors of 802.11.

Always the first in line to steal Intel's thunder, AMD Wednesday announced 12 new Athlon XP mobile processors.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker said the chips were designed specifically for thin-and-light and high-performance notebooks. AMD has already signed up notebook manufacturers such as EPSON DIRECT, Fujitsu Siemens and Sharp to help with the launch. Taiwan-based Via Technologies is also onboard with its new ProSavage KN400 chipset to be compatible with the dozen new Athlon XP-M chips.

AMD made the announcement in conjunction with this year's CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany.

The chips are available now starting mostly in Asia with Fujitsu being on of the first to use the new Athlons to launch its new thin-and-light LifeBook S2000. Sharp said it would debut the chips in their notebooks in Japan by the end of March. EPSON DIRECT is looking towards an April release.

Hewlett-Packard said it plans to offer models based on AMD's new processors for mainstream notebooks in the second quarter of 2003. Tsing Hua Unisplendor, one of China's top three notebook manufacturers, Twinhead International, and AVERATEC say their new AMD chips will start appearing in their respective laptops about the same time.

Not surprisingly, the launch coincides with rival Intel's full-scale invasion of its Centrino mobile chipset.

But while Intel is selling its Centrino in speeds ranging between 1.30 GHz and 1.06 GHz, AMD says its 12 new Athlon XP-M chips start at 1.4 GHz and run all the way up to 2.6 GHz. The company says another distinguishing characteristic is that its Athlon XP-M processors are designed with an open architecture. Whereas the Centrino is locked into the 802.11b wireless networking standard, AMD said its new mobile Athlons let OEM choose any wireless configuration including 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g.

Now making their fist appearance in the thin-and-light category AMD is introducing the low-voltage mobile AMD Athlon XP-M processors 1800+, 1700+, 1600+, 1500+ and 1400+ with micro PGA packaging.

For the larger notebook set, AMD is marketing its 2600+, 2500+, 2400+, 2200+ and 2000+ processors. Both the AMD Athlon XP-M processors 2400+ and 2200+ are available in desktop replacement and mainstream notebook form factors.

At their core, AMD Athlon XP-M processors are pin compatible with AMD's Socket A infrastructure, but are packaged in a smaller uPGA package. The chips also support the advanced 266MHz AMD Athlon front-side bus and are manufactured using AMD's 0.13 micron copper process technology at Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany.

"AMD continues to bring competition to the PC marketplace while helping OEMs differentiate their mobile solutions and provide their customers with a choice of outstanding notebooks," said AMD executive vice president Rob Herb. "Today's announcement means that notebook PC manufacturers can select from a wide array of mobile AMD Athlon XP-M processors, combining them with a variety of best-in-class wireless and chipset solutions to meet the needs of both business and home consumers."

The new mobile processors for thin-and-light notebook PCs are priced from $71 to $147. New mobile processors for full-size notebook PCs are priced from $87 to $246. AMD said all pricing is in 1,000-unit quantities.

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