The stallions of '01/02
AMD's latest processor roadmap
AXIA: The overclockers CPU!
AMD decided to delay the desktop version of Palomino for a number of reasons. We've already reported on the most important factor that led to the delay, AMD's newer Thunderbird processors based on the company's latest stepping, AXIA
Thanks to improvements in AMD's fabrication process, these newer AXIA Thunderbirds run cooler than their predecessors at higher clock speeds. While previous Thunderbird steppings had a difficult time reaching clock speeds above 1.3GHz, reports of AXIA chips hitting 1.4GHz are not uncommon. We're conducting tests with our second 1.33GHz AXIA Thunderbird now and will have an overclocking report online shortly.
AMD has also stated the desktop Palomino delay will allow the company to concentrate on getting Palomino in both the mobile and server/workstation markets, areas AMD intends to compete with Intel in the future.
In terms of clock speed, AMD executives have officially acknowledged that the desktop version of Palomino will launch at clock speeds of 1.5GHz or greater. As we stated in our Athlon 1.33GHz review, this opens the door for one more Athlon launch based on the Thunderbird core: 1.4GHz. During AMD's annual meeting of shareholders, chief executive Jerry Sanders indicated this 1.4GHz part would be available sometime this quarter. Mobile Palomino will launch at clock speeds of up to 1GHz, the same level Intel currently offers in the mobile space with Pentium III.
Like Palomino, "Morgan", the follow-up to today's Duron (based on the "Spitfire" core) processor has been delayed until next quarter. Just as Palomino is the performance-enhanced, cooler-running version of Thunderbird, Morgan is the same in comparison to Spitfire.
Mobile versions of Morgan will appear between the launch of mobile/desktop forms of Palomino. Desktop versions of Morgan will launch after desktop Palomino.
Thoroughbred & Appaloosa
Before this year ends, AMD will begin to transition its seventh-generation family of processors to the smaller, more advanced 0.13-micron manufacturing process. The first of these 0.13-micron chips will be the successor to Palomino and is codenamed "Thoroughbred". To date, AMD executives haven't revealed much information on Thoroughbred. All we know now is that AMD expects to begin limited shipments at the end of this year, with Thoroughbred entering full production in the first half of 2002. Since AMD has previously set 2GHz as their goal for the beginning of 2002, it's conceivably possible that Thoroughbred will be this 2GHz part.
With Morgan's successor, "Appaloosa", AMD plans to incorporate the 0.13-micron process into the value segment. AMD's roadmap calls for Appaloosa to be introduced slightly behind Thoroughbred sometime during the first half of next year.