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AMD Readies Counterattack For Second Half

Advanced Micro Devices plans its own midyear counterattack as Intel begins to roll out new versions of its processors based on the Core architecture. AMD will refresh its entire portfolio with new chips that promise greater performance and new functionality.

The next-generation AMD processors for servers, desktops, and mobile computing will include the company's first use of DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2) memory and its embedded hardware-assisted virtualization capability, formerly known as Pacifica.

While Intel has previously used DDR2 memory in its processors, Brent Kerby, product marketing manager for AMD, says the company held off until now because DDR2 had been too expensive for the modest gains in performance it provided. As the memory has come down in price and increased in performance from 400 MHz to 667 MHz, Kerby believes the time has come for AMD to make the switch.

AMD also announced a performance boost for its existing Opteron line earlier this week. The new chips increase the clock speed of the dual-core processors from a previous high of 2.4 GHz to 2.6 GHz. The three new Opterons--the 885 for the four- to eight-way server market, the 285 for the two-way market, and the 185 for the one-way and workstation market--will all be available within 30 days.

In the desktop and mobile markets, AMD plans to add DDR2 memory and virtualization to its line of Athlon and Turion processors, respectively.

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