AMD Rolls Out New Athlon Processors

The chip maker announced that it would add to its Athlon 64 X2 dual-core offerings with the 5400+ and the 5600+.

Advanced Micro Devices is rolling out two additional dual-core processors as part of its Athlon 64 X2 family of chips.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker announced Dec. 12 that it would begin shipping the Athlon 64 X2 5400+ and the 5600+ to OEMs, which AMD said will include Dell. The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker already uses Athlon processors in its line of Dimension desktops.

Since dual-core chips were first introduced by Intel, with the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 processor in 2005, and later by AMD, OEMs, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Gateway, have all begun offering numerous high-end desktops and notebooks that feature the technology, which offers two processing cores on a single piece of silicon.

In a statement, AMD officials said the two new dual-core processors would offer better graphics performance, while reducing power costs. The two chips will also support Microsofts Windows Vista operating system, which requires a much more powerful processor in order for users to access all its features.

The 5400+ and the 5600+ each offer speeds of 2.8GHz, an AM2 socket and an 89-watt thermal design. With the 5400+, AMD is offering 512KB per core of L2 cache memory, while the 5600+ offers 1MB per core of L2 cache memory.

The two new dual-core AMD processors are built on a 90-nanometer manufacturing technology. On Dec. 5, AMD announced that it would begin making several of its dual-core chips, including several Athlon 64 X2 processors, with new 65-nm technology.

AMD also recently announced that it is working with IBM on a 45-nm manufacturing standard.

When AMD announced its switch to the 65-nm process, company officials estimated that it would convert all of its processor to the new manufacturing technology by the second half of 2007.

In addition to its dual-core offering, AMD has been giving analysts a sneak peek at the companys quad-core processor for server, which will come to market in 2007. On Dec. 11, Intel announced that it would begin to offer its fifth quad-core processor in its Xeon 5300 series.

The 5400+ is priced at $485 per 1,000 units, and the 5600+ is priced at $505 per 1,000 units, the company said.


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.