AMD's Duron to Compete with Celeron

Advanced Micro Devices has unveiled the Duron, a new family of processors that AMD says will "aggressively compete against the Intel Celeron" in the low-cost PC market. AMD named the new chip "Duron," derived from the Latin durare ("to last") and -on ("unit"), to signal that it will be long-lived, or in the company's words, "will prolong the life of a buyer's investment."

Based on the company's Athlon processor technology, the new Durons will be available this summer in sub-$1,000 PCs. The Duron differs from AMD's high-end Athlon in clock speed, price, bus speed and cache size. The new chip features on-die L2 cache memory, a 200-MHz front side system bus, and enhanced 3DNow! Technology. AMD reports that the Duron will complement, not replace, its K6-2, used in both low-cost PCs and mobile devices.

The on-die cache featured in the Duron will also appear in AMD's forthcoming Athlons, code-named Thunderbird. The Thunderbird, expected to be available in the middle of the year, is designed to address some of the problems associated with the Athlon, where off-die Level 2 cache has caused performance problems. At the high end, Athlons are reported to run only one-third processor clock speed, a problem AMD is addressing by integrating the cache onto the chip in the Thunderbird.