Friday, October 5, 2007

AMD Quietly Launches New Single-Core AMD Athlon LE Processors

Until now Advanced Micro Devices was not planning to release any new single-core Athlon processors, however, recently the company quietly started to ship its new Athlon LE chips for entry-level systems with only one processing engines.

Several stores across the world recently started to sell AMD Athlon LE-1600 and LE-1620 central processing units with 45W thermal design power and 1MB of secondary-level cache. The new chips use the same type of marking as most AMD processors launched in the second half of 2007 with the first units released being new dual-core Athlon X2 BE-2000 and single-core Sempron LE-1000-series.

The new AMD Athlon LE processors 1000-series will offer considerably higher performance due to higher clock-speed compared to AMD Sempron LE 1000-series chips, however, the new central processing units will still be considerably less speedy than dual-core offerings. Initially the fresh family will contain two solutions:

Athlon LE-1620 (ADH1620IAA5DH): 2.4GHz frequency, 1MB L2 cache, Socket AM2, TDP=45W
Athlon LE-1600 (ADH1600IAA5DH): 2.2GHz frequency, 1MB L2 cache, Socket AM2, TDP=45W
It is likely that the new chips will be made using 90nm process technology and will be based on the familiar F3 core stepping, but this time their TDP will be reduced to 45W.

For some reason the processor listings in the distributor price-lists do mention that they will have 1MB L2 cache although all existing Athlon 64 processor models feature only 512KB L2 cache onboard. Maybe the new processors are designed from dual-core Windsor based CPUs with F3 stepping by disabling the second core and half of the L2 cache.

The official wholesale pricing for these processors hasn’t been revealed yet, but they are unlikely to be priced higher than the existing Socket AM2 Athlon 64 solutions. AMD may also launch another model in the LE-16xx family with higher clock speed. On-line stores are already accepting pre-orders for Athlon LE-1620 at about $60-$70. Athlon LE-1600 should be priced a little less than that.

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