AMD unleashes 750MHz Duron

AMD unveiled a new 750MHz Duron Tuesday, targeting cost-conscious home and business users, with heavyweights IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. showing their support.

Microprocessor maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. unveiled a new 750MHz Duron Tuesday, targeting cost-conscious home and business users. Heavyweights IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. showed their support with confirmation they would build systems using the microprocessor in coming weeks.

The Duron was launched by AMD in June to rejuvenate its budget chip range, previously catered to by the defunct K6. Aimed at the low-cost PC market, Duron is a direct competitor to Intel Corp.'s Celeron range, but benchmarks indicate it has the performance edge.

The Duron is built around the architecture of its big brother, the Athlon. It has 192KB of primary and secondary cache, compared with the Celeron's 160KB, and has a much larger front-side bus of 200MHz, compared with 66MHz. Intel is, however, expected to move the Celeron up to a 100MHz system bus during first half of next year. The Celeron has reached 700MHz, with 733MHz and 766MHz versions set to debut this quarter and the next.

The 750MHz AMD Duron processor is priced at $181 (about £112) each in 1,000-unit quantities.

AMD is wringing all the marketing significance it can out of these, possibly short-term, advantages. "The AMD Duron processor is changing the face of the value PC segment much in the same way as the AMD Athlon processor redefined the performance segment," comments vice president of marketing for the computation products group at AMD, David Somo. "Undoubtedly, the AMD Duron processor offers a superior computing solution for the value PC space."