The Athlon XP/2200+ is AMD’s first desktop processor built using a 0.13-micron fabrication process. As a result of this move, the chip’s die shrinks from 128mm2 to 80mm2 and the processor consumes less power. AMD has made no new architectural changes for the Athlon XP/2200+ (1800MHz), so the new processor -- known by the codename ‘Thoroughbred’ -- is no faster than the previous ‘Palomino’ model at the same clock speed. The smaller die size of the Thoroughbred means that AMD can manufacture the chip more easily. The company now has a clear advantage over Intel in this respect: the Pentium 4 has a much larger die size (146mm2), and is therefore more expensive to make. The other Athlon XP versions (1700+, 1800+, 1900+, 2000+, and 2100+) will soon be available only as 0.13-micron chips.
Thanks to its 0.13-micron internal structures, the Thoroughbred Athlon XP requires less voltage and therefore uses less power than its predecessors. The Athlon XP/2200+, whose actual clock speed is 1,800MHz, needs only 1.65 volts compared to 1.75 volts for the 0.18-micron Palomino versions. Power consumption also drops: the forthcoming 0.13-micron version of the Athlon XP/2100+ uses only 62.1 Watts -- slightly less than the 0.18-micron version of the Athlon XP/1700+ (64 Watts). The specification of the cooling fans are not smaller, however, due to the fact that shrinking the chip area from 128mm2 to 80mm2 makes heat dissipation more difficult.
Integrating AMD’s new processors into PCs will require new voltages to be available on motherboards. In most cases, this will be accomplished by a simple BIOS update. Information about motherboards that support AMD’s new processors are available on the support sites of the board manufacturers or on AMD’s Web site.
|Intel v AMD|
|Clock speed (GHz)||2.53||1.73||1.8|
|Level 1 cache (KB)||8 (+12KB Trace Cache)||128||128|
|Level 2 cache (KB)||512||256||256|
|Fabrication process (microns)||0.13||0.18||0.13|
|Die size (mm2)||146||128||80|
|Power consumption (Watts)||59.3||72||67.9|
|Price ($ per chip, in 1,000-chip units)||637||229||241|