It was inevitable, but AMD has now formally confirmed that its Sempron range of low budget processors is joining the 64bit revolution.
Given that its flagship Athlons have been 64bit compatible since the end of 2003, it is perhaps a bit of a surprise that it has taken AMD this long to firm up the obvious. Adding 64bit functionality to a processor carries a negligible cost these days and clearly a price barrier must recently have been breached.
The development will make for a straightforward scrap with Intel’s 64bit Celeron Ds and we like nothing better than a clean fight (except when there’s some eye gouging and rabbit punching involved). When this budget battle will begin, however, is still a little grey. 64bit Celeron Ds will start appearing at any minute (given Intel’s estimate of “mid 2005”), but 64bit Sempron details remain so vague we know nothing, except that they have now been formally confirmed.
Funnily enough, with Windows XP 64 still harder to spot than Bigfoot, the Lockness Monster and Sasquatch combined, adding processor compatibility for the OS is unlikely to be a silver bullet for either company. That said, you can bet both AMD and Intel will be selling the exact opposite of that message over the coming months…