RealTime IT News

AMD Adds Athlon to its Fanless Chips

Hoping to bring more PC-like functions to non-desktop devices, AMD took the wraps off the latest round of its Geode NX processors.

Based on the company's x86 Athlon architecture, the new Geode NX 1250@6W chip is designed for thin clients, printers, point of sale, information and transaction kiosks and telecommunications networking equipment.

The Geode processor family is part of AMD's non-PC Internet Appliance market. Along with its Alchemy processor family, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker is targeting multimedia, access devices, computing devices, with growth opportunities in consumer electronics and communication segments.

The Geode NX 1250@6W chip runs at 667MHz and is supported by the AMD Geode NX DB1500 development board. Built using the .13 micron fabrication process, the processor also comes with alternatives such as 128 or 256KB L1/L2 cache, a 266MHz Front-Side Bus, floating point logic, AMD's battery-saving PowerNow! technology, Socket A compatibility, 3DNow!, MMX and SSE Instruction Sets.

Fanless chips have been gaining in popularity of late. Both Intel and Transmeta have already announced embedded versions in thin-and-light notebooks. AMD is planning version for its new Sempron processors.

AMD said its Geode NX 1250@6W chip is supported by the AMD Geode NX DB1500 and is compatible with previous 1.4 GHz versions such as the AMD Geode NX 1500@6W and Geode NX 1750@14W processors.

Priced at $45 in 10,000-unit quantities, the Geode NX 1250@6W processor is currently sampling with partners and is expected to debut in products as early as October 2004.

"Expanding our AMD Geode product family to include the Geode NX 1250@6W product provides extensive design options for customers needing a low-power, high-performance processor," Erik Salo, AMD's director of marketing for the Personal Connectivity Solutions Group said in a statement. "The addition of the AMD Geode NX 1250@6W processor gives our customers more options to innovate designs with a high-performance, fanless solution that is ideal for any environment from the home to the enterprise."

Built on the GeodeLink architecture design, AMD said its Geode GX processors run at slower clock rates but maintain their performance. The chips are also designed for the thin client, single board computers and mobile device markets. AMD acquired the product line and technology from National Semiconductor last year.