AMD to Change its Roadmap: Thorton Starring as Duron?

by Anton Shilov
03/24/2003 | 03:12 AM

Advanced Micro Devices will update its roadmap again later this year, PC Watch Japanese web-site reports over here. Just as we told you in late October last year, the company is not going to let its Duron brand-name to sink into oblivion and later this year we will see some new CPUs branded as AMD Duron Processors. Before that we are going to see more exciting announcements of higher-end desktop and server chips.


Based on preliminary information, AMD will launch its Athlon XP “Barton” processors with 512KB of L2 cache for 400MHz EV-6 FSB next month. It is logical to expect AMD to offer a number of CPUs for the new bus, the Japanese analysts believe that there will be Athlon XP 3000+ and 3200+ running at 2.10 and 2.20GHz respectively for the fastest PSB for K7 family of processors. Earlier this year AMD reportedly planned to offer Athlon XP processor for 333MHz FSB running at 2.330GHz, but these plans seem to be abandoned.

Throughout the year AMD will gradually phase out Athlon XP “Thoroughbred” processors to leave more manufacturing capacity for the Athlon XP “Barton” CPUs. In order to fulfil the demand for lower-end processors, the company will introduce a new core called Thorton for low-cost microprocessors. CPUs based on the new core will have 256KB of L2 cache, just like Thoroughbred cores, and also will run at the same frequencies. Seems like Thorton is nothing more, but Barton chips with only half of L2 cache. I cannot state for sure, but I assume that Thorton is defective Barton with disabled 256KB of L2. Thorton processors will market under Duron brand-name later this year, starting from Summer, according to some unofficial sources.

Unfortunately, we have not received any confirmations concerning earlier than expected Athlon 64 launch, hence, still expect these CPUs to start appearing on the market this September, as originally announced. The first x86-64 processor for desktops will be the Athlon 64 3400+ running at 2.0GHz; by the end of the year AMD will boost the performance of its higher-end desktop chips to 3700+. AMD will not address only the high-end market segment with its x86-64 CPUs, expect Athlon 64 “Paris” intended for mainstream segment to follow the more powerful brother. The code-named Paris CPUs will have only 256KB of L2 cache in contrast to 1MB featured by the ClawHammer chips, unofficial sources reported. This year 3200+ to 3500+ Athlon 64 “Paris” microprocessors will be available. Eventually Athlon 64 “Paris” processors will become Duron 64 or something like that, but at the moment we do not have any official information regarding this fact.