News Burst: AMD samples next-generation Athlons

'Thunderbird will use copper interconnects and an improved cache to outperform Intel offerings

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has begun shipping samples of its next-generation Athlon processor, code-named Thunderbird, in its latest bid to keep ahead of chip giant Intel, according to a report.

Thunderbird, due to roll out in mass-market volumes by midyear, will use such performance-enhancing tweaks as copper interconnects and on-die L2 cache; the improvements should help the AMD chips outperform Intel's Pentium III, which already uses an on-die cache, but relies on less-efficient aluminium interconnects.

AMD CEO W.J. Sanders III announced the Thunderbird sampling at a conference in Tokyo, commemorating the company's 25 years of operation in Japan, according to a report in industry journal Electronic Engineering Times.

More details to follow.

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