As it did with the Opteron processor, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has managed to sign a top-tier OEM vendor to use its Athlon 64: Hewlett-Packard Co. The company and several others will use the new chip in consumer desktops and notebooks.
Hewlett-Packard, alongside Fujitsu PC Corp.; Fujitsu-Siemens Computers; and Packard Bell, a division of NEC Computers International, said in a statement that they will ship systems based on AMDs Athlon 64-bit processor. Customers will have the choice to design their own systems or to purchase standard configurations from a PC manufacturer.
However, HP for its part will roll out the 64-bit chip in stages.
"HP will offer the Athlon 64 processor as an option on select configure-to-order HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario consumer desktop PCs later this year," company spokeswoman Kristin Reeves wrote in an e-mail message. "The company is also expected to offer the Athlon 64 processor on select HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario notebooks in the 2Q/3Q 2004 timeframe." In Europe, certain desktop models will begin featuring the processor in the next few weeks, she added.
Representatives from Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens and Packard Bell were unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, AMD today announced the Athlon 64 and a derivative chip designed especially for gamers, the Athlon 64 FX. The Athlon 64 will ship at a "3200+" speed grade for desktops, as well as at 3200+ and 3000+ for the "desktop replacement" notebook market. The first model of the Athlon 64 FX, meanwhile, will be branded as the "FX-51".
In a lengthy launch ceremony heralding the Athlon 64, AMD executives trumpeted the dawn of "cinematic computing," where Hollywood visuals will meet the personal computer. The company expressed high—very high—expectations for the processor.
"The Athlon 64 is the worlds fastest 32-bit processor, and that would be enough for today," said Rich Heye, vice president and general manager of the Microprocessor Business Unit of AMD, based in Sunnyvale, Calif. "But its also the most advanced PC processor in the universe. This chip will change the world."
At the same time, Microsoft representatives also offered more details on how the company plans to deploy Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition for 64-Bit Extended Systems. At the launch event, Microsoft and AMD handed out Beta 1, Build 1069, and Chris Jones, corporate vice president of the Windows Client Division said the software would begin shipping in its final version in the first quarter of 2004.
As of now, Microsoft hasnt decided how to deploy the software, whether as an upgrade or standalone product. "Its unlikely that youll see it on the shelves at CompUSA, though," said Brian Marr, a product manager for the Windows Client PMG.
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