AMD Update: Following in Intel's Naming Footsteps

@ 2004/05/19
4AM and the phone rings; our Asian correspondents have another roadmap for us. Excellent. After all, who doesn't enjoy writing about AMD processor roadmaps in the indecent hours of the morning.

Fortunately our perseverance is not unrewarded. The first important information we have to report on is the impending death of Duron. While many say good riddance, many others are reminded of our recent Duron benchmarks to conclude there is a definite processor hierarchy in the low end market. AMD's new chip; code named "Value" for now will eventually replace Duron, although specifications are hazy at best. What we do know is that the new chip is designed to aggressively compete with Celeron (with an advantage) and Celeron Only. Interpret that as you will. We also have other interesting specifications; the processor will be 32-bit only, it will span three socket architectures (Socket A, Socket 754, Socket 939), it will support dual channel memory on Socket 939 and will have the same NX (No eXecute) "antivirus" support found in the new Athlon 64, Efficeon, future Intel and Sparc processors.

According to the roadmap, the new processor will essentially replace the Athlon XP for Socket 754 which has been talked about in roadmaps before this one today. AMD's new move to specifically market to and target low end "Value" sector seems contradictory to the same roadmap which prints a study claiming the sub-$600 PC market does not particularly regard processor brand as important. AMD sounds fairly aggressive with the initiative to outpace Celeron D (Prescott based Celeron, 512KB L2 cache 533MHz FSB) which will already surface this week.

But more important than what AMD will name the new processor is how they will name the new processor; recall Intel's move to product numbers? AMD will in fact move the "Value" based processors off a "PR" rating to a number based system instead. AMD already has experience with this in the Opteron line, but moving the entire value segment to mimic Intel's rating system seems just as ambitious. We can only guess that AMD is testing the water for a new naming procedure on the sub-$600 PC market that does not regard processor brand name as important. Particularly when the newest roadmap claims:

AMD is evaluating the model number methodology for the "Value" brand giving recent press articles on Intel's change from GHz to model numbering.

Undoubtedly we will see AMD shift to a similar nomenclature for their other product lines if they can similarly market their value segment accordingly to Intel. Without a doubt, AMD's numbering system bares a striking resemblance to that of Intel. According to AMD's roadmaps, these new processors appear to be based off the 256KB L2 130nm "Paris" cores for Socket 939/754 and 512KB L2 130nm "Barton" cores for Socket A.

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