Acer Inc. will be the first vendor to use the new chips, shipping notebooks this month, while Chinese OEM Amoi Electronics Co. Ltd. will use the new processors in its Va notebook line, due in the second half of 2004.The new AMD Athlon64 2800+ and 2700+ models are priced at $241 and $209 respectively in 1,000 unit quantities.
To date, AMD's 64-bit processor line has found a home only in bulky, full-sized notebooks, not the thin-and-light models that are taking a larger share of the PC market. That segment of the market is dominated by Intel Corp.'s Pentium M chip, and to a lesser extent AMD's 32-bit Athlon XP.
"AMD was the first to combine high-performance, 32-bit computing with a 64-bit turbocharger in your backpack and on your desk," Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of the microprocessor business unit at AMD, said in a statement.
"Now, thinner and lighter notebooks can be fueled with this same cutting-edge performance, plus security enhancements to be enabled by the upcoming Windows XP SP2 [Service Pack 2]."
But moving the chip into the thin-and-light category also could boost the Athlon64's presence in corporate notebooks, according to AMD. The chip includes the "Enhanced Virus Protection" security feature, which helps eliminate buffer overruns—one of the most popular forms of hacking and virus attacks. Although all of AMD's 64-bit microprocessors contain this feature, the chips require software support from Microsoft that will only be available in Windows XP SP2, due this summer.