AMD Microprocessor Plans for 2004

AMD Athlon 64 4200+, Athlon FX-55 Uncovered

by Anton Shilov
12/12/2003 | 01:20 PM

Sources close to Advanced Micro Devices unveiled some of the company’s plans concerning next year desktop central processing unit products. As anticipated, the company will continue to use Socket 754 and 940 form-factors till some point, but will also bring 939-pin 64-bit processors with faster bus.


As noted officially, AMD will utilize 6 cores for its microprocessors next year. AMD will produce CPUs in various packages using the same cores, therefore, there will be no strict correlation between a core and a type of packaging. Moreover, currently there is no severe correlation between speed-bins and cores at this point. According to our sources, there will be following processor types next year:

ClawHammer core will be available in both 940-pin and 939-pin versions. The former type of packaging will require registered DIMM memory modules, while the latter will be able to function with typical unbuffered memory modules. Sources close to AMD confirmed the company’s plans to support the 940-pin microprocessors throughout the year 2004, though, they noted that AMD may end up the Socket 940 for desktops with its AMD Athlon 64 FX-53, while the FX-55 will be Socket 939 only.

The Athlon 64 FX-53 processor in 940- and 939-pin packaging will be unveiled in the first quarter next year to fight with higher-end Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.40GHz. In the third quarter next year AMD will offer the Athlon 64 FX-55 chip for Socket 939 platforms. The code-named San Diego core with 1MB L2 will be the next stand for the Athlon 64 FX processors.

The last 754-pin CPU is most likely to be the AMD Athlon 64 3700+, according to the information we received. The Athlon 64 processors in 939-pin packaging are set to boast with dual-channel memory controller next year. Being based on the Newcastle core they are likely to pack only 512KB of level-two cache memory.

Expect the Athlon 64 3400+ and the Athlon 64 3000+ to show up in the Q1 2004. The Athlon 64 3700+ for both 754-pin and 939-pin Sockets will emerge in the early Q2 2004. In order to boost adoption rate of the 939-pin platform, AMD will also add Athlon 64 3400+ for Socket 939 into the family. The 90nm version of Newcastle – the Winchester – will incorporate 512KB of L2, hence, the greater part of Socket 939 processors next year will be able to provide only 512KB of level-two cache.

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ and AMD Athlon 64 4200+ slated to come in the Q4 2004 and the Q1 2005 respectively will be intended only for Socket 939 platform.

To serve the lowest-end of the market, AMD introduces Socket 754 Athlon XP processors with 256KB of level-two cache in 2800+, 3000+ and 3200+ version in Q3 2004, Q4 2004 and Q1 2005 respectively. In fact, the lifetime of the Athlon XP processors for both 462-pin and 754-pin sockets it stretched till 2006.

To summarize the facts known about desktop AMD64 products, there will be no 64-bit processors with single-channel DDR controller in AMD lineup introduced after the Q2 2004. Moreover, all Socket 939 microprocessor are expected to feature 1000MHz HyperTransport bus; it effectively means that all AMD64 processors will begin to get faster bus starting from early Q2 2004.

In view of the fact that details of AMD’s 90nm ramp are not clear, it is now hard to make suggestions in regards particular cores to power the mentioned microprocessors from the Sunnyvale, California-based company. Every individual product line may represent different cores with the same model number.

Neither clock-speeds nor prices of central processing units mentioned herein are not known. AMD officials do not usually comment on unofficial information.