AMD intros mobile Athlon 4 processor

— 1:02 AM on May 14, 2001

Well, it's official. The press release just hit my inbox:

SUNNYVALE, CA-MAY 14, 2001-AMD today announced two new mobile processors primed with industry-leading features, the mobile AMD Athlon(tm) 4 targeted for the performance space, and the new mobile AMD Duron(tm) processor for value-conscious buyers. Both processors deliver performance that is the highest in the mobile PC industry for their respective market segments.
Oooh, tingly.

The Athlon 4 is based on AMD's Palomino core, which should make its way to the desktop market before too long. A look at the product description hints at how Palomino has changed from the Athlon Thunderbird design. There's the PowerNow! stuff to keep battery life up in laptops. Otherwise, I see two big additions:

The mobile AMD Athlon 4 processor features a new lower power design for notebook computing, 384 KB of on-chip, full-speed cache with hardware data pre-fetch (256KB of on-chip level (L2) cache and 128 Kbytes of on-chip level (L1) cache), a superscalar floating-point unit, support for AMD's 3DNow! Professional instructions for enhanced multimedia capabilities, and AMD PowerNow! technology for extended battery life.
Hardware prefetch and an extended version of the 3DNow! instruction set lead the list of enhancements. Hardware prefetch ought to help the Athlon 4 take better advantage of DDR memory and the like. Presumably, 3DNow! Pro includes support for Intel's SSE instructions, but AMD isn't mentioning Intel or SSE by name—they just say there are "52 new instructions." You can read more at AMD's mobile Athlon 4 FAQ. Cheesy AMD benchmarks are here.
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