AMD Sets Up Low-Power CPU Storm

AMD’s Mobile Athlon 64 Roadmap Unveiled

by Anton Shilov
06/11/2004 | 10:34 AM

A forum member over web-site has posted a slide presumably from an Advanced Micro Devices’ roadmap concerning the future of the company’s low-power offerings, revealing expansion of AMD’s chips with 25W and 35W power consumption.


64-bit Notebooks Looming

Today’s Mobile Athlon 64 microprocessors for notebooks from AMD are available in two kinds – with 62W and 35W thermal envelope. There are three flavors of powerful chips with 2800+, 3000+ and 3200+ model-numbers functioning at 1.60GHz, 1.80GHz and 2.00GHz respectively. The CPUs have 1MB of full-speed on-die L2 cache and single-channel DDR SDRAM memory controller, like the majority of other AMD Athlon 64 processors in 754-pin packaging. Additionally, AMD has two chips internally named Lancaster with lower power consumption – AMD Mobile Athlon 64 2700+ and AMD Mobile Athlon 64 2800+ – clocked at 1.60GHz with 512KB and 1MB L2 cache.

A number of notebook designers released AMD Mobile Athlon 64-based notebooks, including names like eMachines (Gateway), despite of relatively high consumption of power by the higher-end models.

Mobile AMD Athlon 64 chips with thermal design power at about 62W will continue evolution as expected, but AMD seems to extremely serious about the low-voltage 64-bit processors, according to the leaked roadmap.

Low-Power Mobile Athlon 64 Breakthrough

Already this quarter AMD is likely to expand its Mobile Athlon 64 lineup with 3000+ and 2800+ models with 512KB of L2 cache as well as 2.0GHz and 1.80GHz clock-speeds respectively. The microprocessors code-named Oakville are projected to devour up to 35W.

Additionally, AMD preps a low-power breakthrough this quarter – Mobile Sempron 2800+ and 2600+ with 512KB cache and 25W thermal design power.

Please click to enlarge

Next year the Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker will offer more powerful 64-bit and 32-bit processors with 25W and 35W thermal envelopes for Socket 754 infrastructure.

Intel’s Pentium M processors specifically tailored for notebooks consume up to 24.5W at 1.70GHz. Intel’s Pentium 4-M processors at 2.40GHz and 2.50GHz typically consume 30W and 35W respectively under maximum load. Mobile Pentium 4 processors that are designed for DTR laptops have TDP of 60W – 94W at clock-speeds from 2.40GHz to 3.20GHz.

90nm, 130nm?

AMD said it would start commercial shipments of 90nm offerings in the Q3 2004. However, according to the company’s roadmaps, code-named Odessa CPUs were scheduled for introduction the second half of the year, while the Oakville was said to emerge in early 2005. It is not clear whether AMD is ahead of the schedule with its mobile 90nm parts or its internal code-names were shuffled and the chips are to be made using 130nm fabrication technology.

AMD declined to comment for the report.