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AMD’s Sledgehammer: By the Numbers

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The model numbers will already be in place when AMD launches its 64-bit AMD Opteron processor for servers and workstations next month.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker Thursday introduced a new 3-digit model numbering strategy for its chips code named Sledgehammer to build awareness and familiarity with the model numbers prior to the product launch on April 22, 2003 in New York City.

AMD’s Athlon 64-bit processor for the desktop and mobile devices (code named Clawhammer) is not expected to come out until September 2003.

When they are released, the Hammers will include the AMD-8111 HyperTransport I/O hub, the AMD-8131 HyperTransport PCI-X tunnel, and the AMD-8151 HyperTransport AGP3.0 graphics tunnel. The company says HyperTransport technology helps slash system bottlenecks, boost efficiency and increase system throughput by reducing the number of buses. The Opteron is expected to run speeds of 1.4GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz.

Under the new model numbering system, AMD says the first digit in the model number communicates scalability, and represents the maximum number of processors supported by that model number:

For Example:

* AMD Opteron processor 100 Series (Example: Model 1XX) = 1-way server

* AMD Opteron processor 200 Series (Model 2XX) = 2-way server

* AMD Opteron processor 800 Series (Model 8XX) = supports up to 8-way servers

The second and third digits communicate relative performance within each product line. In this case an Opteron Model 244 will offer higher performance than an Opteron chip Model 242.

AMD started numbering the last two digits at 40. The company also says the Model numbers are not directly related to frequency.

“This gives AMD flexibility to describe AMD’s server processor performance without potentially confusing end users by starting at 10, 20, or 30, because users might mistake ‘Model 224’ with a 2.4 GHz processor,” the company said in a release.

AMD has been on the defensive this week in the light of rival Intel’s Centrino mobile chipset launch in New York City. While Intel monopolized Manhattan, AMD launched 12 different mobile processors at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany.

The company’s Opteron and high-end Athlon chips are also expected to vie for space in servers and other high-end computers in direct competition with Intel’s Itanium 2 and Xeon processors.

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