AMD launches Athlon MP 1900+, new chip set

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) raised the bar on its processors for servers and workstations Wednesday, by bringing the multiprocessor version of its Athlon up to a clock speed of 1.6GHz.

AMD launched the Athlon MP 1900+ Wednesday, and announced the 760 MPX chip set for the processor, which will be available on motherboards from manufacturers including Abit Computer Corp. and Tyan Computer Corp. by the end of December, AMD said.

By launching a new Athlon MP, AMD is moving to show its customers that it is in the multiprocessor system market for the long run, one analyst said. "There is a lot of sensitivity in the workstation and server market," said Dean McCarron, an analyst with Scottsdale, Arizona-based Mercury Research Inc. "By continuing to come out with products, (AMD) continually reassures its customers that it is a platform that will be around for a while," McCarron said.

The Athlon MP 1900+ is the first speed upgrade of AMD's multiprocessor chip, which is based on the company's QuantiSpeed architecture. While the 1900+ runs at a clock speed of 1.6GHz, AMD believes that the QuantiSpeed architecture allows the chips to be compared favorably to chips from the competition running at up to 1.9GHz. AMD's introduction of the multiprocessor version of the chip came in October, less than a week after the company announced its Athlon XP processor family.

AMD's 760 MPX chip set supports DDR (double data rate) ECC (error correcting code) memory, and supports two Athlon MP processors with independent 266MHz front-side busses, each supporting data transfer rates of 2.1G-bytes per second.

There are currently 60 system manufacturers selling Athlon MP-based systems, AMD said. That is up from 20 at the launch of the first multiprocessor Athlon in June, but still missing are large vendors such as Compaq Computer Corp., and Hewlett-Packard Co.

AMD has priced the Athlon MP 1900+ at US$319, in 1,000-unit quantities, as well as dropping the Athlon MP 1800+ from $302 to $273, the company said.

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Douglas F. Gray

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