AMD introduces sixth-generation AMD-K6 MMX processor; fastest processor for Windows computing ships in volume to PC manufacturers.
"With today's announcement AMD has changed the competitive landscape of the PC industry," said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and chief executive officer of AMD.
"Today marks the return of competition in Windows compatible processors. We have already shipped thousands of units and are ramping production in order to ship hundreds of thousands of AMD-K6 devices this quarter and millions more during the balance of the year," said Sanders.
Equipped with x86 instruction set multimedia extensions (MMX), the AMD-K6 processor is the fastest x86 processor for desktop computers. This processor brings sixth-generation performance and MMX capability using the optimum performance provided by the existing, low-cost Socket 7 infrastructure.
"Today, for the first time in the history of the PC, systems manufacturers, resellers and end users have a choice at the leading edge of a new generation of performance with multimedia capability," said Sanders.
The Superior Engine for Windows Computing
Based on tests using the industry-standard Ziff-Davis Winstone 97 benchmark, the AMD-K6 processor provides the best Windows-based performance of any PC processor. This performance stems from AMD's advanced, six-issue RISC86 superscalar microarchitecture. (See the AMD-K6 processor editorial backgrounder for additional design details).
Winstone 97 tests show that a system based on the highest performance AMD-K6 processor delivers superior performance to a comparably configured system based on the fastest available Pentium Pro processor when running either the Windows NT or Windows 95 operating system. (See attachment for complete Winstone 97 scores and system configurations).
AMD-K6 family members introduced today include products at clock frequencies of 233, 200 and 166 MHz.
"The AMD-K6 processor is smaller, faster, easier to use, more energy efficient and less expensive than Pentium Pro, making it the superior engine for Windows computing," said Sanders. "It will enable systems manufacturers and resellers to deliver differentiated, high-performance, MMX-capable desktop systems at affordable prices and expand the market. Competition is good."
Socket 7 Compatibility for the Optimum Desktop Solution
More than any other available sixth-generation processor, the AMD-K6 processor is designed to enhance the affordability of high-performance, MMX-capable personal computers. It was designed to be compatible with the Socket 7 environment because Socket 7 is the industry's optimum-performance desktop PC design platform.
Socket 7 also is the industry's most cost-effective and widely used PC infrastructure (motherboards, chipsets, and BIOS). More than 80 percent of the approximately 75 million desktop personal computers expected to ship in 1997 will employ the Socket 7 infrastructure.
By working within the robust Socket 7 environment, PC manufacturers and resellers can leverage today's existing, high- volume, low-cost system designs. Because Socket 7 is a proven infrastructure, manufacturers benefit by using the high-performance AMD-K6 processor without the increased research and development costs associated with a new platform. This speeds time to market and provides for more affordable high-performance systems. Socket 7 compatibility will also enable an easier, more cost-effective upgrade path to future high-performance members of the AMD-K6 processor family.
"New platforms from our principal competitor require systems manufacturers to use new motherboard designs that increase their cost structure, allow no flexibility for differentiation, and ultimately provide no new benefit to end users," said Sanders.
AMD is working closely with third-party suppliers to ensure a Socket 7 infrastructure that supports the AMD-K6 processor and successor AMD processors with a wide range of optimized, feature- rich and affordable solutions. Chipset products for the AMD-K6 are available from key members of AMD's FusionPC program, including Acer Labs, ITE, National Semiconductor, OPTi, SiS and VIA. BIOS support is provided by leading third-party suppliers, including American Megatrends, Inc., Award Software, and Phoenix.
To augment third-party solutions, AMD recently introduced a highly integrated chipset solution, the AMD-640 Chipset, which delivers high performance for Socket 7-compatible processors.
Windows Compatible by Design
AMD, the world's second largest supplier of Windows compatible processors, has supplied nearly one hundred million x86 processors, including 50 million Windows compatible CPUs in the last five years. The AMD-K6 processor, like previous AMD PC processors, is licensed by Microsoft to carry the Designed for Microsoft Windows 95 logo. The processor executes all leading operating systems, including the Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 3.x, MS-DOS, Novell NetWare, OS/2 Warp, Unix, Solaris, and Vines operating systems, as well as 60,000 other software packages and the latest MMX-enabled multimedia applications.
Advanced Process and Interconnection Technology
The 8.8-million-transistor AMD-K6 processor is manufactured using AMD's 0.35-micron, five-layer-metal silicon process technology at AMD's state-of-the-art Fab 25 wafer fabrication facility in Austin, Texas.
The AMD-K6 processor is packaged in a Socket 7-compatible, 321-pin ceramic pin grid array (CPGA) packaging using C4 (Controlled Collapse Chip Connection) flip-chip interconnection technology. AMD uses the C4 process with the AMD-K6 processor because of its reliability, performance, and manufacturing advantages.
C4 technology makes the most of silicon "real estate" by allowing the chip's entire area to be used for I/O (Input/Output) connections. With wire-bonding techniques, only the perimeter of the circuit is usually used for I/Os, resulting in larger die size and higher manufacturing cost. C4 technology's use of solder bumps instead of leads also improves the processor's electrical performance because signals travel a shorter distance from the bond pad to the package.
"AMD now has put in place the intellectual property, process technology, manufacturing capacity, design capability and product roadmap to ensure that we can deliver competitive processor solutions that are contemporaneous with those of our principal competitor through the end of this century," Sanders said.
Pricing and Availability
The AMD-K6 MMX processor is available now. The AMD-K6-233 processor is priced at $469; the AMD-K6-200 at $349; and the AMD- K6-166 at $244, each in 1,000-unit quantities.
"With the AMD-K6 processor, systems manufacturers can have it all -- highest performance and lowest price," Sanders concluded.
AMD (NYSE:AMD) is a global supplier of integrated circuits for the personal and networked computer and communications markets. AMD produces processors, flash memories, programmable logic devices, and products for communications and networking applications. Founded in 1969, AMD is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has sales and manufacturing facilities worldwide. The company had revenues of $2 billion in 1996.
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in is news release are forward-looking statements regarding AMD microprocessors that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially including the timely development and market acceptance of new products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development of wafer fabrication process technologies, the effect of changing economic conditions, and such risks and uncertainties detailed from time-to-time in the company's SEC reports.
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AMD-K6, AMD-640 and RISC86, are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. FusionPC is a service mark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMD, the AMD logo and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks, and Windows NT is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
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AMD-K6 MMX Processor The Superior Engine for Windows Computing ------------------------------------------------------------------- Winstone 97 Benchmark Comparison Performance PC: Winstone 97 under Windows 95 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Processor AMD-K6-233 AMD-K6-200 Pentium Pro- Pentium-200 w/ MMX MMX 200 MMX processor processor processor processor Score 53.8 51.6 49.2 49.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------- Performance PC: Winstone 97 under Microsoft(R) Windows NT 4.0 Processor AMD-K6-233 AMD-K6-200 Pentium Pro- Pentium-200 w/ MMX MMX 200 MMX processor processor processor processor Score 72.2 68.7 69.9 66.0 ==================================================================== System Configuration Performance PC Configuration -- Base Configuration: Matrox Millenium (4MB) Graphics Adapter, DPT PM2144UW Caching Controller, SCSI UW Seagate Cheetah 4LP HD, 1024x768x16 bits/pixel -- AMD-K6: FIC PA-2011, VP2 Chipset, 512K L2 Cache, 64MB SDRAM -- Pentium Pro: Tyan S1661, Intel 440FX Chipset, 256K L2 Cache, 64MB EDO DRAM -- Pentium w/ MMX: Gigabyte GA-586HX, Intel Triton HX Chipset, 512K L2 Cache, 64MB EDO DRAM --------------------------------------------------------------------
David Frink, 408/749-2922
Scott Allen, 408/749-3311