Introducing the Athlon XP Processor – Naming, Market Segments

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Let me officially welcome you to the launch of the new Athlon processor, that has a full name of: AMD Athlon XP Processor with QuantiSpeed architecture. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but don’t worry, keep reading the article and I promise all will be understood.

AMD is set to add four new high-performance microprocessors into the market in October. In fact, if their planned pre-shipment was a success, you should already be able to purchase them at vendors like Monarch Computer. Not only are processors available for purchase by the hardware enthusiasts, but also due to AMD’s broad infrastructure support there should be many OEMs already offering Athlon XP based complete systems. I have confirmed that Best Buy will be selling systems from Compaq and that other companies such as Micron, NEC-CI, Fujitsu, and Fujitsu-Siemens should have systems ready as of today. Monarch has in fact had their processor in for a full week but due to NDA restriction held back all sales and shipments until AMD’s official release today.

Recently, with the leak of the Athlon XP name a while ago, there has been a lot of discussion in the AMD Forums about the new name; why they did it; whether or not the consumers will like or accept it. The Palomino codenamed processor is in fact called the AMD Athlon XP Processor. The ‘XP’ modifier signifies that the new architectural enhancements of the Palomino core deliver ‘Xtra Performance’ to the user when compared to other AMD processors and competing manufacturer’s processors. So, does AMD’s naming of the Athlon XP have anything to do with Windows XP? Not directly, but from a marketing point of view, riding the wave of XP excitement is an easy way to increase sales and market share.

As expected, AMD has all kinds of marketing ways to describe the new Athlon XP processor, and since I don’t want to keep anything from you, I’ll provide some of it below:

  • Provides a quick, effortless computing experience with no hassle
    • Boots and loads applications quickly
    • Boosts overall productivity
    • Offers rapid results with working with digital media like audio, video and image files
    • Transforms digital media files into the desired media format in a short amount of time
    • Render complex 3D images quickly
  • Designed to run flawless on the world’s most popular software
  • Has the extra performance essential to the ultimate Windows XP computing experience
    • Brings digital entertainment like games and DVDs to life with richer, smoother graphics and true to life sound
    • Delivers a phenomenal Internet experience with smoother streaming audio and video
    • Provides outstanding real-time voice, video and text messaging
    • Takes advantage of connected digital devices and their content by delivering more realistic photos, smoother videos and richer sounds

Besides the marketing garble above, you can see the physical differences as well as feature differences in the Athlon Thunderbird and Athlon XP in the chart provided by AMD below:

Finally, below is a chart of the targeting market segments for the entire AMD line of desktop processors including the XP, Thunderbird and Duron.

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