AMD to start shipping 0.13-micron chips this month

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is ready to start shipping Athlon processors, code-named Thoroughbred, made using a 0.13-micron process to customers later this month, the Sunnyvale, California-based company announced at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany on Wednesday.

While few details have been made available, the switch could mean faster Athlon chips that require less power.

The announcement of the switch to a 0.13-micron process came as AMD introduced three additions to its Athlon processor line: Athlon XP 2100+ for desktop PCs, Mobile Athlon 4 1600+ for notebooks, and Athlon MP 2000+ for servers and workstations. Currently, Athlon chips are produced using a 0.18-micron process. Switching to the more advanced 0.13-micron manufacturing process allows AMD to produce more chips on a single wafer as the 0.13-micron chips are around 38 percent smaller than Athlon XP chips made using the 0.18-micron process, the company said.

AMD did not disclose the clock speeds of the Thoroughbred chips that would begin shipping to customers this month but the 0.13-micron process opens the door to Athlon chips that run at higher clock speeds and consume less power than chips made using the 0.18-micron process.

AMD first demonstrated the Thoroughbred processor at the US Comdex trade show in November last year. At that time, company officials said three versions of Thoroughbred would ship during the first of 2002: a desktop version, a mobile version, and a server version for use in multiprocessing systems, including workstations.

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