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Advanced Micro Devices indicated recently that its mobile processors named AMD Turion 64 and Mobile AMD Athlon 64 will be substantially improved in terms of performance next year. According to the company’s roadmaps located on the chipmaker’s web-site, the Turion 64 chips will not only gain additional processing engine, but also dual-channel memory controller.

Details that AMD released concerning its mobile processors scheduled to be released between November, 2005, and November, 2006, claim that AMD Turion 64 processors will get dual-channel DDR2 memory controller as well as will be available in dual-core flavours and will feature virtualization technology. Less advanced Mobile AMD Athlon 64 will also get dual-channel DDR2 and virtualization support, but will not sport second processing core. Value Mobile AMD Sempron chip is said to acquire dual-channel DDR2 memory interface in addition to 64-bit capability that the current Sempron products for laptops missing.

Dual-channel DDR2 memory controllers, especially if they are built into central processing units, are likely to significantly boost performance of mobile processors from AMD, as currently the company’s chips for laptops boast single-channel DDR controller that provide up to 3.20GB/s memory bandwidth, whereas dual-channel DDR2 at 533MHz would provide 8.6GB/s of peak memory bandwidth.

Dual-channel DDR2 memory is likely to require 400-pins on the processor to support memory alone, as DDR2 SO-DIMMs for laptops employ 200-pin form-factor. However, AMD’s next-generation mobile socket – Socket S1 – is expected to have only 638-pins. It is highly improbable that such a chip supports dual-channel memory controller, as 238-pins are unlikely to be enough for power and I/O needs of a processor. Nevertheless, it is possible that AMD intros two infrastructures for mobile computers: with single- and dual-channel memory.

Advanced Micro Devices did not clarify the situation nor commented on the news-story.


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