Athlon 64 To Launch Sept. 22, AMD Document Says

A summary of upcoming press releases accidentally sent to reporters reveals that AMD will release the Athlon 64 and mobile Athlon 64 on Sept. 22.

A summary of upcoming press releases accidentally sent to reporters reveals that AMD will release the Athlon 64 and mobile Athlon 64 on Sept. 22.

The summary, which also revealed the launch date of the Opteron 246, also indicates that AMD will significantly strengthen its ties to China, with server announcements scheduled for August.

An AMD representative confirmed the validity of the document, but declined to comment on the Athlon 64s launch date. To date, AMD officials have said only that the chip will launch in September.

According to the summary document, AMD will announce both of its Athlon 64 processor lines on Sept. 22. AMD had previously reserved part of the Moscone Center in San Francisco for an "AMD meeting" on Sept. 30, although AMD representatives had indicated that the company had booked or looked at a number of venues in anticipation of the Athlon 64 launch. The summary document does not indicate the speeds at which the Athlon 64 or Athlon 64-M will run.

If the document is accurate, AMD will also announce plans for Chinas fastest supercomputer on August 5 with Dawning Corp. Ltd.., a Chinese server provider. On Aug. 26, the two companies will announce a new server line for the Chinese market. In a significant announcement for developers, AMD will announce that the Renderman CAD package will support its processors on July 29.

According to the list, which extends through August, AMDs summer will be a quiet one. If the list is accurate, AMD plans only three other somewhat significant releases in the next two months: Microsofts announcement of BSP certification for AMDs Alchemy line of embedded processors on July 7; AMDs announcement of the Athlon 64 logo on July 28; and the companys launch of the Opteron Model 246 on August 4.

Microsofts Board Support Package (BSP) program is designed to ensure compatibility between Microsofts embedded operating systems, typically Windows CE .NET, and the products produced by independent hardware vendors such as AMD. As expected, Microsoft and AMD issued the announcement on Monday.

Although the design of the Athlon 64 logo is not known, it will be probably used as part of a logo program designed to increase AMDs brand awareness with OEMs and consumers. AMD will also begin to publish a list of compatible motherboards and begin to enforce compatibility guidelines as the Athlon 64 is rolled out, distributor sources have said.

Finally, AMDs Model 246 Opteron will add a new speed grade to the two-way Opteron line, whose fastest member currently is the Model 244. Given that the Model 244 Opterons actual clock speed is 1.8-GHz, the 246 will likely be clocked at an even 2.0-GHz.

However, the summary list also indicates a possible conflict. Although AMD has scheduled the Opteron 246s announcement for August 4, the company has also scheduled an Opteron 246 and Opteron 846 announcement for Sept. 22, indicating that the dates listed on the document may be still not be fixed in stone.

The Model 244 Opteron currently appears to be in short supply; one national distributor is charging almost $950 for a single chip, and will only order it from AMD under special request. AMDs 1,000-unit price for the Model 244 Opteron is $794.