Unlike the Celeron, the Duron was created as a totally separate processor from the Thunderbird and Athlon line. This can easily be seen by the different transistor counts on AMDs processor lineup. The Thunderbird contains 37 million transistors, while the Duron has a considerably lower amount, 25 million.
The Duron has specs that should make the Celeron wince. With a full 128KB of L1 cache, this processor really means business, seeing as L1 cache is the first place the processor looks when trying to locate information. Following up with a spectacular amount of L1 is a not-too-shabby 64KB of L2 cache, one-fourth as much cache as the Thunderbird, and half as much L2 as the Celeron.
Despite the low amount of L2, the Duron features a 16-way set associativity L2 cache, four times as much as the Celeron. The higher set associativity will result in fewer cache misses, but longer average search times. Other noteworthy Duron features include its three independent integer pipelines, three address calculation pipelines, and a fully-pipelined, out of order, three-way floating-point engine.
With the K7 line of CPUs, AMD should really put a dent into the Intel power structure. Over the past few weeks we have seen Intel recall a CPU, and lose the speed war. It looks like Intel's P3 cannot sustain any more growth in terms of raw MHz without another die shrink. The Duron and Thunderbird are fully prepared to take on the P3 line of CPUs. Onto the benchmarks!