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WinInfo Daily UPDATE, February 23, 2005

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In the News

- AMD Pledges Dual-Core Athlon 64 by End of 2005

==== In the News ====

by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

AMD Pledges Dual-Core Athlon 64 by End of 2005

AMD has pledged to ship a dual-core version of its x64-compatible Athlon 64 chip by the end of 2005, turning up the heat on rival Intel. The announcement comes just a day after Intel released x64-compatible versions of the Pentium 4 microprocessor. Chips based on the x64 platform process data in 64-bit chunks and can address far more memory than today's 32-bit x86-based designs. However, the chips retain full compatibility with today's wide range of x86 software.
"Since 1999, we've been developing a multicore strategy in collaboration with our customers," AMD Corporate Vice President Marty Seyer said. Seyer oversees the Computation Products Group of the company's Microprocessor Business Unit. "Because customer needs drive our innovations, customers will be able to adopt upcoming dual-core AMD 64 processor-based systems without disrupting their existing infrastructure. We are committed to introducing straightforward technologies that deliver the best performance."
Dual-core microprocessors feature two processor cores in one chip, giving users most of the benefits and performance of two discrete microprocessors without any of the heat or power-drain problems. Although modern OSs such as Windows XP Professional are designed to support two processors, most PCs today ship with just one processor. Dual-core chips will help users economically gain better performance across the board while using such OSs.
Previously, AMD had shown off dual-core versions of its high-end Opteron microprocessor, which is also x64 compatible. At Linux World Boston last week, the company demonstrated server systems that use four dual-core Opteron chips. Dual-core Opteron chips will ship by mid-2005, AMD says.
However, the dual-core Athlon 64 is potentially more significant because the chips ship to consumers in huge volumes in mainstream PCs. AMD's dual-core Athlon 64, code-named Toledo, will ship in the second half of 2005. However, that time period is roughly 4 months to 6 months after Intel plans to release dual-core versions of the Pentium 4. Beating AMD to market is important for Intel, which faltered on x64 compatibility and only belatedly announced support for the technology a year ago. During the intervening time period, AMD has won accolades for its trend-setting work making the x86 platform compatible with 64-bit technology and ushering in the next major computer technology migration.

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