SAN MATEO, Calif.Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is preparing to launch a new microprocessor aimed at the low-cost desktop market: the Duron chip. Previously known by its code name Spitfire, the device features on-die L2 cache and will be produced with 0.18-micron line widths.
Duron was designed to compete against arch-rival Intel Corp.'s Celeron line, and will utilize a new packaging the company is calling Socket A. AMD is moving away from the slot infrastructure demanded by off-die caches, partly because the smaller, 0.18-micron process allows integration of L2 cache onto all of their processors.
AMD also is working on a new Athlon product code-named Thunderbird, again featuring on-die cache. Thunderbird will initially be available in both a Socket A version and a Slot A version, but that will be the company's last slot-based processor design. Both the Duron and the Thunderbird are expected to debut in the middle of this year.
AMD has two more products on its roadmap for 2000. These include Mustang, an Athlon processor with an extra-large L2 cache, and Corvette, a mobile version of the Athlon with a standard-sized cache. SledgeHammer, a 64-bit processor aimed to compete against Intel's Itanium, will debut next year.