NEW YORK Fulfilling a strategic move disclosed earlier this year, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) unveiled support on Monday (Oct. 30) for double-data-rate (DDR) memory in the form of its 760 core logic chip set, which will work with the company's flagship Athlon microprocessor.
Athlon-based PCs that incorporate the chip set and DDR will be available in November from a variety of retailers, including Best Buy. On the OEM front, the initial machines with the chip set will come from MicronPC and NEC. Compaq is currently evaluating the use of the technology.
AMD said it foresees widespread availability of systems with the 760 chip set during the first quarter of next year.
AMD is billing DDR as a successor to today's SDRAM technology, but with the added benefit of a much faster peak data rate of 2.1 Gbytes per second. Memory vendors currently offering DDR modules include Micron, Samsung, Infineon Technologies, Elpida, Hyundai, IBM, Mitsubishi and Toshiba.
By publicly moving toward DDR, AMD is differentiating itself somewhat from its main competitor, Intel Corp. The latter has said it is considering the use of DDR with Pentium 4 processors, but to date has not confirmed any plans for DDR.
Ultimately, the cost differential between DDR and SDRAM is not expected to be a factor in PC designs, because DDRs incur hardly any die-size penalty compared with SDRAM.
Separately, AMD yesterday also lifted the lid off of a family of Athlon processors with 266-MHz front-side buses, in speed grades of 1 GHz, 1.13 GHz and 1.2 GHz. Current Athlons are only available with a 200-MHz front-side bus.
Additional reporting by Will Wade.