SAN FRANCISCO, CA-OCTOBER 9, 2001-AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the new AMD Athlon(tm) XP processor, the world's highest-performance processor for desktop PCs. AMD also announced plans to drive an initiative to develop a reliable processor performance metric that PC users can trust. The True Performance Initiative reflects AMD's continued commitment to business and home PC users.
"For most of the PC's first 20 years, megahertz was a reliable indicator of PC processor performance because the major players used the same architecture for product design, and clock speed was a good proxy for performance. This is no longer true," said W.J. Sanders III, AMD chairman and chief executive officer. "The award-winning performance of our seventh-generation AMD Athlon processor architecture demonstrates that clock speed is only half of the performance equation. With our new AMD Athlon XP processor, AMD again accelerates innovation, reduces system cost while delivering the fastest application performance, and places the consumer at the forefront of digital technology."
Through the True Performance Initiative, or TPI, AMD is setting out to assist customers in understanding the benefits of PC performance. TPI also will help define a new, more accurate measure of processor performance for standard applications. The initiative will be chaired by Patrick Moorhead, who has been appointed as AMD's Vice President of Customer Advocacy, reporting to the Office of the CEO.
Historically, x86 microprocessors have improved both instructions (work) per clock and frequency compared to older generations. However, this is not true with some processors today. Therefore, megahertz cannot be solely relied upon as a measure of system performance.
"Consumers are beginning to understand that the true indicator of performance is how fast their applications run, not the megahertz of their processor. Megahertz measures only how many cycles per second the engine spins, not how much torque it delivers," said Roger Kay, director of client computing at IDC.
AMD introduced its brand-new processor for high-performance desktop computers, the AMD Athlon XP processor, formerly codenamed "Palomino." The AMD Athlon XP processor features the new, patented QuantiSpeed(tm) architecture, which delivers up to a 25-percent performance advantage versus competitive processors on a broad array of real-world applications, in such categories as digital media, office productivity, and 3D gaming. The new AMD Athlon XP processor offers a significant performance advantage compared to the standard AMD Athlon processor.
The new processor also includes 3DNow!(tm) Professional technology, which adds 52 new instructions, accelerating 3D performance for digital media applications such as photo, video and audio editing. The AMD Athlon "XP" modifier is designed to convey the extreme performance AMD Athlon XP processors deliver for the upcoming Microsoft Windows XP operating system.
AMD will identify the AMD Athlon XP processor using model numbers, as opposed to clock speed in megahertz, and is introducing 1800+, 1700+, 1600+ and 1500+ versions. Model numbers are intended to designate the relative application performance among the various AMD Athlon XP processors, as well as communicate the architectural superiority over existing AMD Athlon processors.
The AMD Athlon XP processor features 384KB of on-chip, full-speed cache. It is compatible with AMD's Socket A infrastructure, and supports an advanced 266MHz front-side bus.
AMD Athlon XP processors are manufactured using AMD's 0.18-micron copper process technology in Fab 30 in Dresden, Germany.
AMD's design excellence and architectural superiority of its PC processors are proven in various third-party benchmark tests that represent a broad array of real-world applications. The benchmarks used to demonstrate the relative performance of the AMD Athlon XP processor are representative of the various ways end users use their PCs, including digital media, office productivity and 3D gaming.
"Andersen's independent examination of the AMD Athlon XP processor performance benchmarks has included observations and tests of the system configuration, procedures and the recording of results," said Edward Hill, partner in Andersen's Risk Consulting group. "Andersen's examination will enhance consumer confidence in benchmark results."
Microsoft Corp. and major computer manufacturers are expressing support for the new AMD Athlon XP processor.
"The upcoming Windows XP operating system has been tailored to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the AMD Athlon XP processor, resulting in a great end-user experience. Together with Windows XP and the AMD Athlon XP, we provide users with an efficient and dependable computing experience with new tools for the digital age," said John Frederiksen, General Manager, PC Experience, Microsoft. "AMD's efforts to clarify the performance metric will give consumers additional valuable information when making new PC purchase decisions."
"Compaq and AMD have enjoyed a long and mutually successful partnership, working on behalf of PC users, and we are pleased to extend that partnership today. The AMD Athlon XP processor with QuantiSpeed architecture offers the ultimate in performance and complements Compaq's superior products that serve our customers at either the home or office," said Mike Larson, senior vice president and general manager, Access Business Group, Compaq Computer Corporation.
"Fujitsu provides the FMV Series of products, which deliver an easy-to-use, high-performance, trouble-free PC environment for various usage scenarios, including Internet, audio-visual, and multimedia applications," said Masami Yamamoto, General Manager, Desktop Products Division, Fujitsu Limited. "We anticipate that the AMD Athlon XP processor, a high-performance processor introduced by AMD, in combination with the future release of Windows XP, will enable users to experience rich content far more enjoyably in usage scenarios such as broadband and audio-visual applications. Fujitsu also intends to supply PCs incorporating AMD Athlon XP processors."
"Fujitsu-Siemens is pleased to offer systems with AMD's new AMD Athlon XP processor 1800+ with QuantiSpeed architecture in our consumer PC range," said Klaus Nicolai, Vice President Business Unit Consumer at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. "Systems with the new AMD Athlon XP processors offer excellent productivity and rapid results when you're working with digital media like audio, video and image files. Performance is what ultimately will save you time and effort, and systems with the new AMD Athlon XP processor have the performance necessary for a great computing experience."
"Best Buy is committed to helping our customers find the best solutions for their specific needs," said David Morrish, senior vice president, Business Group Leader of Computers, Peripherals and Digital Imaging at Best Buy. "PCs powered by the new AMD Athlon XP processor are a great addition to our product mix and provide more options for consumers looking for the right technology that can make their time more productive and more fun."
Systems featuring the AMD Athlon XP processor, including models 1800+, 1700+, 1600+ and 1500+, are expected to be available immediately from Compaq, Fujitsu-Siemens and NEC-CI. Other top tier manufacturers, including Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard Company and MicronPC, also are planning to offer AMD Athlon XP processor-based systems.
The AMD Athlon XP processor 1800+, 1700+, 1600+ and 1500+ are priced at $252, $190, $160 and $130 in 1,000-unit quantities, respectively. For more information on pricing, please visit the AMD website.
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