SAN JOSE, Calif. Executing on its goal of keeping pace with archrival Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices rolled out its first 65-nm x86 CPUs Tuesday (Dec. 5). The new Athlon 64 X2 cuts die size in half and power by a third in existing 90-nm desktop processors.
AMD is maintaining its position as a fast follower of giant Intel with plans to ramp its 65-nm process quickly and ship its first 45-nm devices by mid-2008.
The new dual-core desktop processors have a maximum power consumption of 65W down from 89W. They come in existing speed grades of 2.1 to 2.6 GHz and costs ranging from $169 to $301.
AMD said its dual-core processors have lower power consumption than rival parts from Intel when both are in low-power states. In idle mode, the 90-nm AMD CPUs dissipate about 3.8W compared to about 14.3W for similar Core 2 Duo parts from Intel.
Early next year, AMD will apply its 65-nm process to other desktop and notebook CPUs. Some of those new parts will use the new process to cut power consumption while maintaining data rates; others will keep power consumption steady and raise data rates about 30 percent above current levels.
The 65-nm process will also be the enabler for AMD's Barcelona products, server CPUs that will be AMD's first to combine four X86 cores on a single die.
A handful of top OEMs, including AMD's newest and potentially largest customer, Dell Computer, said they will grab up the new desktop parts that started shipping Tuesday.
"With the new energy-efficient AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processors, Dell OptiPlex and Dimension desktops can provide customers breadth of choice and personalized, dual-core performance and power efficiency that meets their office productivity or entertainment needs," said Vivek Mohindra, vice president of desktop product marketing at Dell which was until recently and Intel-only shop.
Other OEMs planning to use the devices starting next year include Acer, Founder, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Packard Bell and TongFang of China.