Advanced Micro Devices Inc. confirmed that it has eliminated the "Mustang" microprocessor from its future product plans, but an AMD spokesman said the firm still plans to field a chip for workstations and servers.
"Mustang isn't currently on our roadmap," said the spokesman. "But we think that the AMD-760 MP chip set, with its dual-processor capability, will be an excellent offering for theserver market."
It was not clear whether or not the Mustang name had merely been removed in favor of the desktop "Palomino" chip, or whether the change implied a more fundamental revision. In a meeting with analysts on Thursday, company executives positioned Palomino, a successor to the Athlon,
as both a desktop processor and a candidate for 1- and 2-processor servers.
"Mustang's still a product," the spokesman said. "If the market needs it and wants it we can bring it back."
Palomino, together with Morgan and Mustang, were designed to be next-generation derivatives of the Athlon core, with differing amount of on-chip cache optimized for different markets.
Executives at AMD's analyst meeting on Thursday said that both Palomino and Morgan would also feature microarchitectural improvements designed to improve performance.
In August, AMD President Hector Ruiz said that AMD would introduce five new processors between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15, including Mustang, with on-chip caches up to 2 Mbytes; Palomino,which was originally slated to include 256 Kbytes of on-chip cache; and Morgan, which was slated to include a 64-Kbyte cache.
But late last week, the AMD spokesman declined to comment on the attributes of Mustang or Palomino, stating that AMD had only said publicly that Mustang was to offer up to only 1Mbyte of cache. He declined to comment on Palomino's features.
What is known is that AMD will begin pushing into the 64-bit market during the fourth quarter of 2001, when the company readies Clawhammer for introduction in the first quarter of 2002.
Before that, AMD's server offerings will be based around the AMD 760 MP chip set, which hasn't been formally announced but was demonstrated at the Microprocessor Forum in August. The
AMD 760 series is the first AMD chip set to use an interface double-data-rate memory and can support two processors.
Rob Herb, executive vice-president and sales and marketing officer, told analysts last week that the Clawhammer chip would be positioned as a high-end desktop PC as well as a low-end server offering. Clawhammer will be manufactured in a 0.13-micron process in less than 1002 mm smaller and theoretically less expensive than today's Duron.
Although OEMs doubted that Clawhammer will have an immediate impact, an executive at one server OEM called the chip a "dark horse". "I honestly think that the question is not whether AMD
will enter the server space; the question is when," he said.