AMD launches its 64-bit processor for notebooks

AMD has officially introduced its range of Turion 64 mobile processors. Aimed at the market currently dominated by rival Intel’s Centrino technology and Pentium M processors, AMD is touting the chip as bringing 64-bit performance to the notebook market.

AMD launches its 64-bit processor for notebooks

The new range of Turion chips will initially be between 1.6 – 2.0GHz. Each will have a level-2 cache of between 512 Kbytes and 1Mbyte. This is considerably less than the equivalent Pentium M chips which have caches of between two and four times the size. However, AMD says it should have an advantage with the deployment of its HyperTransport technology, but only independent benchmarking will be able to tell for sure.

The company has launched a raft of Turion processors – models ML-37, ML-34, ML-32, ML-30, MT-34, MT-32, and MT-30. AMD says that the first letter in the nomenclature refers to the processor class. Then as the second letter approaches the end of the alphabet, `higher` letters indicate greater ‘mobility’. The numbers indicate relative performance within the processor class. Higher numbers indicate higher relative performance.

As an illustration, the ML series has a maximum power consumption of 35 watts, whilst the MT family has a consumption 25 watts. This is in contrast with current Mobile Athlon 64 notebooks whose power usage goes all the way to 62 watts. Battery life is extended further by the use of AMD’s PowerNow power management technology.

Unlike the Centrino offerings, AMD is not building a complete platform which OEMs to base their machines on. Instead, it is relying on third parties such as SIS to provide the chipsets

Notebooks featuring the Turion should to hit the shelves before the end of this month. Acer – which already has a best selling ‘Ferrari’ desktop replacement based on the Athlon 64 and Fujitsu-Siemens are among the OEMs who will have product available.

AMD Turion 64 chips areML-37, ML-34, ML-32, ML-30, MT-34, MT-32, and MT-30 are priced at $354, $263, $220, $184, $268, $225 and $189 respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities.

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