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In contrast to Intel Corp.’s 90nm desktop chips, AMD’s microprocessors made using 90nm process technology consume less power than their 130nm counterparts, according to recently revealed data from Advanced Micro Devices. While the current products use less energy compared to today’s flagship chips, future central processing units are expected to be in the same power envelope as today’s top 130nm parts.

AMD currently supplies three flavours of desktop processors produced using innovative 90nm process technology: AMD Athlon 64 3000+, AMD Athlon 64 3200+ and AMD Athlon 64 3500+ chips that function at 1.80GHz, 2.00GHz and at 2.20GHz respectively, pack in 512KB of L2 cache and feature 1000MHz HyperTransport bus. Higher-end processors, such as AMD Athlon 64 3800+, 4000+, FX-53 and FX-55 are still produced using 130nm process technology.

A newly released “AMD Athlon 64 Processor Power and Thermal Data Sheet” document claims the new 90nm chips have Thermal Design Power of 67W under full load, and about 21W in the so-called “Cool’n’Quiet” mode under minimum load with about 1.00GHz clock-speed. AMD’s 130nm chips devour up to 89W at full load and about 22W under minimum load at 800MHz.

Intel’s Pentium 4 chips code-named Prescott made using 90nm strained silicon process technology gained power consumption over 130nm Intel Pentium 4 products internally called Northwood due to higher number of transistors inside the new chips and as a result of certain fabrication process-related effects.

Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker still advices its mainboard partners to equip their platforms with CPU power circuitry able to provide around 105W to microprocessors. AMD’s top Athlon 64 FX-55 chip currently consumes 104W under maximum load; it is unknown which 90nm chips may devour that much energy, but AMD claims that its dual-core desktop chips that are supposed to hit the market in 2H 2005 will fit into infrastructure aimed at current 90nm products.

AMD also plans to transit its cost-effective Sempron microprocessors to 90nm manufacturing process technology shortly.

AMD makes processors in its Fab 30 located in Dresden, Germany. 90nm fabrication process with Silicon-on-Insulator technology allows the company to shrink costs of manufacturing and continue to improve performance of its chips in future.

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