At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, AMD demonstrated a 1.1GHz Athlon processor that uses standard cooling techniques.
In addition to its high speed, the new processor is noteworthy as the first demonstrated Athlon with an on-die secondary (L2) cache, although officials wouldn't disclose the size of that cache. Current Athlon processors use an off-die 512KB L2 cache.
Despite the unexpected 1.1GHz demonstration, an AMD spokesperson says the company has not accelerated its projected date for shipping 1GHz Athlon processors in volume. Company executives have said only that they expect to ship an Athlon product at that speed sometime later in the year. Intel is also expected to ship a 1GHz processor this year.
AMD created the processor it demonstrated using its 0.18-micron technology, and it features copper interconnects. Current Athlon processors use less-advanced aluminum interconnects, as do the latest Intel Pentium III processors. The new chip was produced at AMD's recently opened Fab 30 facility in Dresden, Germany, says Drew Prairie, AMD spokesperson.
In January, AMD demonstrated a 900MHz Athlon using standard cooling techniques at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Prairie says. At that same show, Compaq unveiled a Presario desktop PC with an overclocked Athlon running at 1 GHz and using KryoTech's Super G cooling technology.
Overclocking a processor enables it to run at faster-than-standard speeds but requires special cooling techniques to prevent the chip from overheating. Intel has demonstrated an overclocked PIII running at better than 1 GHz. The company discussed on Monday an upcoming 1GHz PIII using standard cooling techniques, but has yet to demonstrate the part publicly.