Chip giant AMD has announced the AMD-760, a new chipset for its Athlon and Duron processors. This has created the first commercially available PC computing platform to support DDR memory technology.
"DDR memory is an evolutionary technology," said Richard Heye, general manager of the microprocessor division at AMD. "Fundamentally, it doubles a PC's available memory data transfer rate at comparable costs to today's SDRam solutions. But with DDR memory, a major performance bottleneck is removed, allowing PCs to take advantage of increasing processor frequencies."
The chipset's system bus has also been increased to 266Mhz to support the new memory. AMD has already introduced Athlon processors to support this technology, which are available at 1Ghz, 1.13Ghz and 1.2Ghz.
Third-party motherboards based on AMD's 760 chipset are scheduled to be available from the start of this month, with the company expecting widespread availability worldwide in the first quarter of 2001.
Memory manufacturers currently offering DDR memory modules include Kingston, Micron, Samsung, Infineon Technologies, Elpida, Hyundai, IBM, Mitsubishi and Toshiba. DDR memory has become increasingly popular in the PC industry in recent months, as competing format Rambus (pushed by AMD rival Intel) continues to suffer from limited supplies and higher prices.
The 1.2Ghz, 1.13Ghz, and 1Ghz AMD Athlon processors, with 266Mhz front side bus, are priced at $673, $506 and $385, respectively, each in 1000 unit quantities. The AMD-760 chipset is priced at $39 in 1000 unit quantities.
In addition, Intel has revealed the roadmap for its upcoming Pentium 4 processor. It will launch on 20 November at 1.4Ghz and 1.5Ghz, then hitting 1.7Ghz during the first quarter, with 2Ghz in the company's sights by second half of 2001.
Until then, the Pentium III will continue to fill in the market gaps. With the eventual move to a 0.13 micron process, Intel will again redesign the P3 core under the code-name Tualatin.
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