1.5Ghz Athlons?

Where did you hear that one?


Do you believe anything?

This could be nonsense, but there’s one little item that makes this plausible.

AMD has been very quiet about copper-interconnect technology lately. That’s what Dresden is supposed to do. Copper-interconnects
are supposed to boost speeds, and I think 1.5Ghz qualifies as that. 🙂

What I think these rumors are talking about are copper-interconnect processors. They may not be announced next week, or even next month, but don’t be shocked if they are, and expect to
see them arrive at latest by the time DDR motherboards become available.

AMD hasn’t jumped the scales like this before, why should they now?

  1. AMD’s never been able to jump the scales like this before.
  2. If AMD can toss out even a limited supply of these, what do you do if you’re Intel?

A 1.5Ghz processor announced now or shortly puts Intel in a situation they’ve never been in before: 50% behind the competition. You don’t think the media will be all over that? You don’t think they’ll be a little more skeptical this time around about Intel announcement when they haven’t even gotten their 1Ghz breakthrough into mass production yet? 1.5Ghz with an air-cooled .18 micron Coppermine is absurd.

This also would negate the Mhz advantage of the Willamette announcement; ho hum, 1.5Ghz, what took you so long?

You thought Intel panicked before and cranked out the vaporware on AMD announcements? Imagine what they’ll do on this.

Don’t imagine, let me do it for you. 🙂

Intel can preannounce Willamette and try to rush it into production. Except, of course, they really can’t because:

1. They have no memory for it. Even if the memory manufacturers said, “Yes, sir” to Intel (which they aren’t too likely to do, see this), it will take them time to convert. That might not be too bad, since I don’t see how 1.5Ghz Athlons are going to work too well without DDR, but you need some lead time to get RDRAM production going. This really will make Intel desperate for RDRAM, and might force them to go to their (probably still half-baked) contingencies. This will make AMD and the memory folks very happy.

2. You rush things, you tend to mess them up. I’m sure it would break Jerry Sanders’ heart if that triumphant Intel chipset division with their recent great successes like the 820 and that wonderful MTH might forget a few things with the Tehama board (never mind any kludges they might come up with to run SDRAM or DDR).

Speaking of Mr. Sanders, if you’ve watched him at all, you know he has a flair for the dramatic and total determination to nail Intel whenever he can. To expect him to pass on this opportunity IF he’s got the wherewithal to pull it off is, well, crazy. Especially when he’s going to have Death Star Dresden’s coming-out party. Especially when the scene has been set for an AMD stock split. This could make it the best day in his life.

For overclockers, the prospect of getting to 1.5Ghz by the fall, or certainly by the winter at a reasonably affordable price could well make AMD the O/Cers choice at least towards the end of the year, if not sooner.

Again, this is speculation, and it may well all be nothing, but if we get that announcement in a week or so, it changes the whole ball game.

Email Ed

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