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Advanced Micro Devices is expected to introduce its “Energy Efficient” lineup of microprocessors with significantly lowered power consumption in summer 2006. The processors may reach the market as early as in June or July, which coincides with the release of Intel’s first desktop code-named Conroe.

AMD Trims Desktop Power Consumption

In a bid to make computers quieter and their energy consumption lower, AMD is expected to introduce AMD Sempron, AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Athlon 64 X2 chips with reduced power consumption, according to sources familiar with the plans of the world’s second largest maker of x86 microprocessors. There will be two versions of chips for socket AM2 designed for small form-factor systems: with 35W and 65W thermal design power (TDP).

According to some documents, AMD will start to produce the Energy Efficient lineup of processors starting in Q2 2006. However, there is nothing new in the initiative from technical point of view: the maker has been supplying AMD Opteron processors with power consumption of as low as 30W for single-core chips and 55W for dual-core chips for years now.

Lineup Details Revealed

The initial family AMD Sempron with 35W TDP will include models 3400+, 3200+ and 3000+, but by Q4 the company is expected to add model 3500+ as well. AMD will not put a lot of effort into creating a lineup of energy efficient single-core Athlon 64 chips: there will be only one model available: 3500+ with 35W thermal guideline, which will be supplied for quite a while. All Sempron processors today have 62W TDP, whereas the Athlon 64 3500+ may have thermal guideline of either 67W or 89W, depending on the stepping. Typical single-core chips for future socket AM2 platforms will have 62W thermal envelope.

The Energy Efficient family of dual-core Athlon 64 X2 processors will include Athlon 64 X2 3800+ with 35W TDP, which will remain single dual-core offering with such a low power consumption till Q2 2007, as well as models 3800+, 4000+, 4200+, 4400+ and 4600+ with thermal guideline of 65W. In Q3 2006 AMD is expected to introduce the model 4800+, which is expected to remain the top energy efficient offering till the Q2 2007, with similar thermal specs. Depending on the speed bin, the dual-core desktop chips from AMD now have 110W or 89W TDP. Typical dual-core chips for socket AM2 will have TDP of 89W.

Targeting Conroe

AMD recommends its partners to prepare BIOS support for the new chips and also to incorporate automatic fan speed regulation functions.

Energy Efficient lineup of microprocessors will allow AMD to integrate its chips into very small form-factor systems, especially those designed for living rooms. Additionally, low-power Athlon 64/64 X2 and Sempron processors will help AMD to better compete against Intel Conroe processors, which will have maximum power consumption of 65W. Still, AMD’s new Athlon 64 FX-62 processor is expected to have 125W wattage whereas Extreme Edition of Conroe, also targeted at gamers, will have typical heat dissipation of 95W.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.


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