AMD mobile Athlon 64 targets Intel Pentium-M

AMD's new Mobile Athlon brings 90nm technology to notebooks for the first time

AMD has fleshed out its mobile chip catalogue this week by shipping the Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3000+ processor.

It joins a range of mobile models, from 2800+ to 3400+, but is the first to be built using 90nm technology. Aimed at 'thin and light' notebooks, the first commercial use of the chip will be in new models of Acer's Ferrari range of laptops due in Europe later this month and worldwide in October.

The Athlon 64 architecture includes full compatibility with Intel Pentium 32-bit software as well as new 64-bit features and antivirus protection that prevents illicit code from running in some situations. However, mainstream 64-bit software and operating support is still limited with Windows XP 64-bit not due until next year. AMD claims that the new mobile chip goes faster than earlier versions while taking no more power, and is pricing the part at $241 in lots of 1,000.

Intel has declined to comment on when it might introduce 64-bit features to its Pentium-M processor line-up, currently marketed as part of its Centrino brand of notebook components, other than to say that it is monitoring the market and can produce a 64-bit part if conditions warrant.

AMD has consistently introduced features before Intel of late, launching its 64-bit Pentium-compatible chips in September of last year with Intel catching up five months later. Earlier this month AMD's dual-core Opteron 800 was demonstrated days before Intel showed a dual-core Itanium, and in recent benchmark tests ZDNet UK has found that for mainstream applications AMD's products have an edge in performance over comparable Intel parts.

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