AMD Announces K6 Successor: Duron

AMD said the Duron, formerly code-named Spitfire, will begin shipping in volume in June, but the company won't disclose initial speed ratings or pricing.

The Duron is the successor to the company's K6-2 and K6-III desktop processors, said Mark Bode, a division marketing manager at AMD. The K6-2 is the company's highest-volume CPU and will likely remain on the market into next year.

The Duron - a Latin-derived name that means roughly "lasting unit" - will compete directly with Intel's Celeron processor, appearing in sub-$1,000 PCs. AMD won't disclose which PC vendors it expects to offer Duron-based systems to at launch, but Bode said users should start to see systems by the third quarter.

The company is releasing few details about the chip itself, which is based on the well-regarded Athlon design. The Duron will have a 200-MHz front-side bus, AMD's 3DNow technology and a full-speed, on-die Level 2 cache, Bode said. The company won't disclose the size of that Level 2 cache.

While AMD wouldn't offer speed or pricing details about the June launch, Bode said the first Duron will offer comparable speeds and competitive prices to Celeron products available at the same time.

What's in a name?

Announcing a new brand name for its latest processor is a smart move by AMD, said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight 64, a research firm in Saratoga, California. The move aims to let the company portray different attributes of the chip and cast off some of the limitations of the K6 brand, he said.

The K6 brand has long been associated with value pricing, but less so with great technology, Brookwood said.

AMD faces bigger problems than choosing a new name, Brookwood said. Chief among those could be convincing vendors to switch from the K-6 to the new chip, with its different motherboard requirements. "The transition could be complicated," he said.

Another potential difficulty is that Duron could cannibalize low-end Athlon sales, he said.

It's a problem Intel faced last year when its Celeron processor speeds approached the performance levels of its Pentium II chips, which hurt Pentium II sales. Intel now maintains a larger performance gap between its two processor lines, and AMD will have to work to do the same thing, Brookwood said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Mainelli

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?