AMD Narrows Dual-Core Turion Ship Date, Releases 'Live' Specs

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD narrowed down the delivery time frame for the dual-core Turion after pegging it for sometime in the second half in previous road maps. David Rooney, a product manager in the mobile division of AMD's Microprocessor Solutions Sector, said AMD's 64-bit dual-core part will support DDR2 memory and include virtualization and multicore power management when it ships.

The new processor will be accompanied by two mobile reference platforms that AMD developed with chipset makers Nvidia and ATI Technologies. The reference platform was developed to help original design manufacturers (ODMs) and OEMs bring new AMD-based notebooks to market faster.

At its annual partner conference starting March 12, Intel plans to announce a new whitebook initiative for system builders that includes interchangeable battery, power supplies and drives. Rooney said AMD is investigating whitebook initiatives, but he declined to give details. "We've had a lot of conversations about the whitebook market and are very passionate about it," he said.

The first AMD Live entertainment PCs are slated to show up in mid-2006, according to Teresa de Onis, desktop product and brand manager for AMD’s Microprocessors Solutions Sector. AMD touts its entertainment platform as offering choices for system builders vs. Intel's closed Viiv platform.

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AMD Live requires an Athlon 64 X2 or dual-core AMD 64 FX and Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition operating system with away mode or Windows Vista Premium, once that OS becomes available. If Windows Media Center is used before Vista ships, the PC also must be Vista-capable.

Graphics must support Vista Premium, which includes a more robust interface, as well as dual graphics for AMD Athlon 64 FX-based systems. Other AMD Live requirements include SATA hard drives or two SATA hard drives for Athlon 64 FX-based systems; a DVD/RW drive; at least 1 Gbyte of memory; VGA and digital video input or a high-definition connector (HDMI with HDCP); and a high-efficiency, low-RPM power supply with a temperature-controlled fan.

De Onis said AMD will provide an instant-on technology to help AMD Live systems turn on faster than a typical PC. Intel provides similar capabilities with Viiv, but unlike Intel, AMD won’t require a TV Tuner with remote control. That feature is optional.

Also in mid-2006, AMD plans to transition all of its desktop processors to its Socket AM2, which will support DDR2 memory. Hardware-assisted virtualization technology also will be available in some processors during this time.

AMD held briefings about its road maps as Intel kicked off its developer conference in San Francisco this week. Intel on Tuesday is expected to offer more details about a retooled microarchitecture due to ship later this year, as well as announce that better-performing dual-core server processors based on a new platform code-named Bensely are shipping in volume to OEMs this month.