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Friday, March 10, 2006
AMD DDR2 Laptops, Desktop Chips by Mid-year

AMD's upcoming chips will support a DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory that run at 667MHz or faster, AMD executives said in a press conference at the Cebit IT show in Hanover, Germany.

AMD said that both dual and single core desktop processors will both be out at the same time.

The company's desktop version, the Athlon 64 socket AM2, has already received broad motherboard support from companies showcasing finished designs at Cebit. According to spec sheets from various board makers, the chips are meant for use with DDR2 memory chips, a speedier generation of memory already available that run at 667MHz or faster.

Intel believes that by reaching the 667MHz or 800MHz would end up getting a significant performance advantage over current DDR architectures. Although DDR2 commands a premium over older DDR the performance advantage gained would make sense for AMD to push a chip that supported DDR2.

The first few series of DDR2 ran at only 400MHz and 533MHz, which caused some analysts and systems makers to balk at the added cost. They became popular in laptops since the main advantage they offered was power savings. But DDR2 has had a tougher time in desktops, where DDR chips that run at 400MHz, or DDR-400, have enjoyed a long reign as the most widely used memory chip.

But more advanced DDR2 chips offer better performance and an advantage in power savings, which will be good for servers, desktops and laptops, according to AMD. That's why AMD will offer a host of chips in the middle of the year, including an update to its Turion laptop processors.

Chipset makers and motherboard companies at Cebit were already showing broad support for the next generation of AMD Athlon processors.

Taiwanese motherboard maker Elitegroup Computer Systems has two designs for the AMD processors at its Cebit booth, one dubbed the A25G that uses a chipset designed by Via Technologies, and another one, the A33G, with a Silicon Integrated Systems chipset, the SiS 761 GX+964. The spec sheets beside the two motherboards say they both support dual channel DDR2 running at 667MHz, and can carry a maximum of 2G bytes of memory on board.

Giga-byte Technology have two AMD motherboards on display that use chipsets from graphics designer Nvidia and support dual channel DDR2. Giga-byte's GA-MXE-S4 motherboard carries an Nvidia nForce 570 SLI chipset. The other motherboard, the GA-MN-S3, has an Nvidia nForce 4-4x chipset on board.

MSI is also displaying three motherboards that support DDR2 for the AMD microprocessor, while Hon Hai Precision Industry and Asustek are also showing off such motherboards.

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