AMD's vice president and CTO, Fred Weber, has stated that AMD will indeed develop a version of its Hammer processor that supports DDR-II memory. What's more interesting, however, is that the he also clarified that desktop Hammer processors will appear in some systems in the first half of next year. However, it looks like AMD will be relying on Barton to take care of the majority of its desktop needs. Silicon Strategies reports:
"But AMD has Barton (the next member of the Athlon XP series) coming up with greater on-die cache and higher performance that will meet the demands of the desktop market for much of 2003," he added.
Comments like that don't make me hopeful that the initial availability of desktop Hammer processors will be any better than AMD's current Athlon XP 2800+. Even now, the availability of Athlon XP 2400+ processors is tight
, which makes me wonder just when we'll see Barton materialize with any kind of meaningful volume.
If Barton scales well, performs well, and is widely available in volume, AMD may not need a desktop Hammer processor until the second half of 2003. By then, of course, they'll need something to counter IBM's PowerPC 970, whose 64-bit attributes will no doubt be the subject of all manner of marketing hype.