Athlon FX Likely Successor to Duron

With its Duron processor lineup phasing out, AMD may be looking to a variation of its Athlon series to serve as its lower-price point chip.

A recent report suggests the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based semiconductor maker is looking at its yet to be released Athlon FX as the likely successor to Duron as volume production is underway.

Back in April 2002, AMD chairman Jerry Sanders said the chipmaker would begin to phase out its less pricey Duron processor line in favor of its Athlon and Opteron brands. The company’s decision to phase out the Duron was based mostly on being able to make the Athlon chip cheaper. The last Duron – a 0.13micron Appaloosa was released in June 2002.

Since that time, AMD has been aggressively updating its “Barton” core versions of its 32-bit Athlon processors and is expected to debut its Athlon 64-bit series in September.

The Athlon FX reportedly is using the company’s “Thorton” core, a scaled-down version of Athlon XP’s current Barton core that uses 256K of L2 cache instead of 512K.

The chip is expected to be released with four processor speeds between 1.65 GHz and 2.06GHz, according to sources.

The news comes at a time when the chipmaker is reportedly making a huge sales push in China. AMD senior product marketing manager for Greater China Thomas Tong told Reuters his group is, “getting a lot more support, a lot more resources than in the past.”

Tong said the revitalized sales effort is part of CEO Hector Ruiz’s promise to make China a top priority.

“Our new CEO is putting a lot of focus on China,” Tong told Reuters.

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