RealTime IT News

China Goes 64-Bit

Consumers in China will now be able to buy PCs based on AMD's Sempron 64-bit architecture.

Lenovo Group has announced it will begin shipping systems based on AMD's 64-bit Sempron processor today. AMD designed the Sempron for budget-priced systems aimed at consumers and other cost-conscious buyers.

Lenovo Group is China's largest PC company. Earliest this year Lenovo bought IBM's PC business (desktops and ThinkPad notebook line).

AMD released Sempron a year ago as a competitor to Intel's Celeron, similarly positioned as an entry level processor.

Despite its low price, the Sempron has several advanced capabilities, starting with its 64-bit processing including support of up to 512k total high-performance cache, advanced 333 Mhz front-side bus, AMD's 3DNow! graphics and integrated memory controller.

The Sempron can take advantage of Microsoft's recently-released Windows XP x64 Edition operating system, though there are few applications designed yet to take specific advantage of the new OS. For now, Sempron-based systems will run the tens of thousands of standard Windows applications such as Microsoft Office and games but not particularly faster than PCs using mainstream 32-bit processors.

AMD offers several different versions of the Sempron processors, the 2600+, 2800+, 3000+, 3100+, and 3300+, which are quantity-priced at $74, $83, $98, $113, and $140 respectively.

As part of its takeover of IBM's PC business Lenovo received investments from three U.S. equity firms.

Texas Pacific Group, General Atlantic and Newbridge Capital gave Lenovo Group a combined amount of $350 million as a strategic investment for its acquisition of IBM's product lines. Lenovo is estimated to now be the world's third-largest PC maker behind Dell and HP.