AMD Mobile Roadmaps Uncovered

The answer to Penryn?

With the recent début of Intel’s Penryn-based Core 2 processors and the forthcoming release of Centrino 2, AMD needs to do some work improving its currently less than inspiring mobile offerings. If roadmaps leaked to German site ComputerBase are to be believed, that’s exactly what the company has planned.

The updated range includes, going from high- to low-end, the dual core Turion Ultra, Turion, Athlon ranges and single-core Sempron brand. All these CPUs will offer support for HyperTransport 3.0 and are built on AMDs 65nm process, so TDPs are likely to be higher than Intel’s chips. However, AMD does have a slight edge on power throttling, so in low power usage scenarios its chips should be less of a battery drain.

Turion-wise, differentiation is made both by clock speed and L2 cache sizes, the Ultra models packing 2MB and the standard CPUs 1MB, and both offer support for 800MHz DDR2 RAM. Moving down to the Athlon and Sempron branded chips we see 1MB and 512KB of L2 cache respectively but support for only 667MHz DDR2 – although the difference isn’t likely to be noticed. Turion chips will also offer more power states, including a deeper sleep state allowing better powering down of the chip when not in full use, while all but Sempron processors offer AMD Virtualization support.

More interestingly, perhaps, the Roadmap also gives 2009 as the release timeframe for AMDs Star codenamed processor. This CPU will be built on a 45nm process and will offer not only DDR3 support (possibly a viable solution by then) but also pack an integrated GPU core. Although, of course, by then Intel should also have its rival solution ready, so how they’ll compare is impossible to know right now.


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