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Advanced Micro Devices has presumably revamped its roadmap to add another pair of processors in its 64-bit lineup next year, as a French web-site called reports.

The chips to be added are called Newcastle and Winchester and are scheduled for release in the second quarter and the second half of the year 2004 respectively. The Newcastle is said to be made using 0.13 micron SOI process technology, while the Winchester will be reportedly made using 90nm SOI fabrication process. Both chips will have support for AMD’s 64-bit instructions and will boast with 512KB of L2 cache. Core-clocks of the microprocessors are to be announced at a later date, in case the rumours come true.

Presently AMD offers Athlon 64 FX processors in 940-pin packaging for high-end systems, competing with Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition and high-end Pentium 4 CPUs; AMD Athlon 64 processors in 754-pin packaging for performance-mainstream applications, acting against Pentium 4 processors; and Athlon XP processors in 462-pin packaging for mainstream and entry-level personal computers depending on the performance.

Next year AMD will offer Socket 940 and Socket 939 Athlon 64 FX processors for high-end and performance-mainstream segments, while the 754-pin CPUs are likely to form the company’s mainstream offerings. At the same time AMD is expected to offer cut-down versions of its K8 chips – code-named Paris and Victoria – seemingly without 64-bit instructions in 754-pin packaging for entry-level machines.

All currently known Socket 754 and Socket 939/940 processors have or will have 1MB of L2 cache, only code-named Paris and Victoria processors are said to have 256KB of L2. Probably, the Winchester and Newcastle CPUs with 512KB of L2 and supported 64-bit extensions for conventional x86 architecture may form a family of mainstream microprocessors with aggressive pricing, however, AMD has never told about such products it its officially discussed plans.

AMD has always claimed that its roadmap is formed according to market requirements and has managed to stick to this policy in quite a lot of cases. Therefore, I do not exclude the possibility that processors mentioned herein will emerge in the market at some point, but I should also expect them not to come in case they are unable to perform competitively against the new Intel Celeron processors with 256KB of cache and 533MHz Quad Pumped Bus.

Officials from AMD do not comment on rumours.


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