AMD Update

The Inquirer provides a few extra details about AMD’s plans next year.

Thoroughbred has been pushed off to Q2, how far into Q2, we don’t know. There will be a 2600+ (2.06GHz) chip coming out Q3.

All these chips will have a default voltage of 1.6V (not much of a drop) and use maximum power of about 72 watts at 2.06 GHz.

All will use a 266Mhz FSB, which means that motherboards that are not hardware-capable of sustaining a multiplier greater than 12.5X may have some problems with these chips.

(BTW, the five-pin FID standard goes up to 18X. That’s been available on Athlon mobile chips, but hasn’t officially been implemented on XPs yet.)

Thoroughbred will go through .09 shrinkage in 2003. That has been inferred by some earlier AMD roadmaps, but this confirms it.

What still remains a mystery is Barton. Barton is essentially a Thoroughbred using SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology. It didn’t even get mentioned in the recent AMD conference calls, and while it’s still supposed to be out sometime the second half of the year, that’s still about all we know about it.

Earlier AMD roadmaps showed their processors not increased much in speed until late in the third quarter. The problem with reading deeply into that is that you don’t know if that’s a technology bottleneck, or just because Intel doesn’t plan on having anything above 2.53GHz by that time.

Intel’s Northwood still seems to be a bit raw compared to what it needs to be by the end of the year. We may find Thoroughbreds much the same. I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect the initial ones aren’t going to crank up a whole lot, maybe 2GHz or a little beyond without extreme means.

This will still leave AMD very competitive against overclocked Northwoods until the fall. If I’m wrong, and they are capable of something more like 2.3GHz or better without heroic means, it’s hard to see how overclocked Northwoods can generally keep up until the fall or later.

In short, overclockers upgrading this spring will either be faced with a close call, or it will be a “DUH” for AMD.

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