On the eve of the Intel Developer Forum, chief rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc briefed reporters on its second-quarter roadmap, which includes new dual-core mobile chips and a new desktop motherboard.
The company also is planning to release mid-year new desktop processors that may compete with Intel’s latest push into low-powered products that promise greater battery life.
You can assume mid-year we will offer processors that are more energy efficient, that consume less power, said AMD Athlon 64 marketing manager Teresa deOnis.
AMD also is on track to transition its entire desktop processor line to a new motherboard socket, called AM2, during the next calendar quarter. Essentially, the new socket enables DDR2 memory and AMD virtualization technology.
DDR2 has been on the market for some time, and currently is used in Intel processors. But deOnis said the company did not previously transition to it because its 64-bit architecture provided better performance, and DDR1 pricing and availability was much better.
But next quarter the performance, pricing and availability of DDR2 will hit a sweet spot, she said, which is why AMD is taking it on board. She declined to give any performance benchmarks for the upcoming DDR2 motherboard, but said it would be forthcoming with the release.
AMD virtualization enables IT managers to co-locate different versions of operating systems on a single machine, or to emulate a virtual machine. It enables companies to migrate from old to new operating systems, or to test new software, without disruption, deOnis said.
AMD has been talking for some time about its virtualization technology. This is really just the ability to bring it in on the hardware side, deOnis said of the upcoming socket.
While AMD is not yet releasing pricing details of AM2, deOnis said it would lower OEM costs. Currently, AMD’s Sempron processor can be sold with a choice of two different motherboards. By having just one, it would lower complexity for OEMs and, as a result, price, she said.
Hopefully this will mean lower price points for the end user, she said.
On the mobile side, AMD mobile product manager David Rooney confirmed the companies forthcoming dual-core mobile processors will be branded Turion 64 x2.
Aimed at the thin-and-light notebook market, the Turion 64 x2 will become the only 64-bit mobile dual-core processor on the market, Rooney said. Our competition’s devices [Intel Core Duo] are 32-bit only.
Intel’s bi-annual US Developers Forum kicks off in San Francisco today.