AMD Peps Up Its Workstation Processor

The Athlon MP 2400+ provides a 5 to 10 percent performance increase over AMD's current MP chips.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is rolling out its latest high-end multiprocessing server and workstation chip, the Athlon MP 2400+.

The new processor, unveiled on Tuesday, joins the 2200+ and 2000+ chips designed for industries that use compute-intensive applications, such as high-performance computing environments and research institutions, according to the Sunnyvale, Calif., company.

AMD officials said the MP 2400+ chip will provide a 5 to 10 percent performance improvement over its current MP chips as well as over rival Intel Corp.s Xeon processor. In keeping with AMDs position that performance means more than simply speed, the officials said that benchmark tests have shown that the 2400+, which runs at 2.0GHz, was able to process more work per clock cycle than the 2.4GHz Xeon.

Key to AMDs argument is its QuantiSpeed architecture, which includes nine-issue superscaler, fully pipelined micro-architecture and floating point unit, and its Smart MP technology, said Gina Longoria, Athlon MP brand manager.

Available now, the 2400+ sells at $228, in 1,000-unit quantities.

The 2400+ is part of an aggressive product rollout by AMD, which is trying to keep pressure on giant chip maker Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif. In the first half of 2003, the Athlon MP line is due for another upgrade with a chip codenamed Barton, which will include 512KB of Level 2 cache, which gives quicker access to data close to the processor core, Longoria said.

Also during the first half of next year, AMD will roll out its Opteron and Athlon 64 chips, its next-generation 64-bit server and desktop chips collectively called the companys Hammer architecture.

The 2400+ comes three months after AMD launched the fast Athlon XP 2800+ and 2700+ desktop chips. The new chips, in addition to running at higher frequencies than the current top-of-the-line 2600+, feature a 333MHz front side bus, which the company said enables the 2800+ to perform about 10 percent faster than the 2600+ with its 266MHz front side bus.