AMD Launches Athlons for Desktop, Mobile

AMD launched new chips this week to capture the
attention of both the home and mobile office user.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker Thursday introduced its
Athlon 64 FX-53 processor. Designed for gamers and PC enthusiasts, the chip
is initially available in limited quantities from a handful of AMD’s

The company said it would send out more in the next few weeks to
fill orders generated by hard-core gamers and digital content creators. The
chip is priced at $733 in 1,000-unit quantities.

The launch of the FX-53 processor comes several months after the debut
of AMD’s inaugural Athlon 64 family and its much-hyped FX-51 processor.

chips are based on AMD’s 64-bit architecture with backwards compatibility
for 32-bit applications and both sit on similar sockets for easy upgrading.
AMD said the FX-53 would also include Microsoft’s Data Execution Prevention
from part of its upcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2.

So far, AMD has managed to carve out a niche for it self with its 64-bit
banner. The company’s aggressive push has even caught its main competition
Intel off guard at first glance. Intel, however, was quick to
follow suit with its extensions for both its Pentium and Xeon lines.

Approaching the white-box market place has also helped AMD’s
strategy. The company lists more than 35 vendors like CDC in Europe,
Alienware and Voodoo in the U.S, and Thirdwave in Japan.

“While AMD may be able to feel good about being first to market and
having forced Intel to follow them this time, the real challenge is
marketing their story to the same customer base that Intel’s 32-bit family
already owns. Displacing an entrenched competitor is a tough task in any
war,” American Technology Research analyst Rick Whittington said in a recent
e-mail to investors.

On the lighter side, AMD took the wraps off of its new low-power mobile
AMD Athlon XP-M processor 2100+ for thin and light notebooks in mainstream
and value markets.

Priced at $97 in 1,000-unit quantities, the chip comes with extended
system battery life and wireless compatibility.

Already, Fujitsu said it will stock its North American market with
LifeBook S2000 notebooks running on the 2100+. AMD said computer
manufacturers in China and Taiwan are planning to offer systems during the
second half of this year.

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