AMD Ships First Athlons Following 65nm Tech Transition


The more energy-efficient, dual-core desktop processors are being produced out of AMD's Dresden, Germany-based Fab 36 manufacturing facility and are now available to OEMs, the Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker said.

In the first quarter of 2007, top PC manufacturers -- including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Packard Bell -- and system builders worldwide are slated to launch new systems running on the new processors and Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, according to AMD.

Acer, for example, plans to ship Aspire systems in the first quarter that use the new Athlon 64 X2 processors. And system builder Nor-Tech also aims to use the more energy-efficient processors in its upcoming Voyageur PC line, which will run Vista.

The power savings will be significant, said Todd Swank, director of marketing at Burnsville, Minn.-based Nor-Tech. To help distinguish itself as a "green" vendor, Nor-Tech's new systems will feature 80 Plus power supply certification, which will further reduce energy usage.

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AMD expects the crossover to 65nm technology to be well under way in the first quarter of next year and to have full conversion by the end of 2007. "There's greater power savings with 65 nanometer," said Tina Brown, desktop product marketing manager at AMD. "It allows users to have a cooler and quieter experience."

AMD archrival Intel shipped its first 65nm chips in mid-October 2005.

Jim McGregor, a semiconductor technology analyst at research firm In-Stat, said that moving to 65nm technology was a must for AMD. Still, he noted that most demand for the technology is in the server and mobile PC segments.

"It has been a key factor in driving the server industry, and it's critical to lower costs and increase capabilities," McGregor said. "From a customer standpoint, you get more functionality in the same or lower power range."