AMD unleashes dual-core Turion 64 X2

— 11:22 AM on May 17, 2006

AMD has officially announced its Turion 64 X2 mobile dual-core processors. The company is quick to point out that these are the first dual-core 64-bit mobile chips for thin and light notebooks—a jab at Intel's Core Duo, which is still 32-bit. While the usefulness of 64 bits in a thin and light notebook is debatable, the new Turion 64 X2s also introduce support for AMD's hardware virtualization technology and dual-channel DDR2-667 RAM via the new 638-pin Socket S1.

Turion 64 X2s are launching in four flavors: a Turion 64 X2 TL-50 with a 1.6 GHz clock speed and 256 KB of cache per core, and TL-52, TL-56, and TL-60 chips with 512 KB of cache per core and respective 1.6 GHz, 1.8 GHz, and 2.0 GHz clock speeds. Surprisingly, AMD has managed to keep similar power envelopes to its MT-series single-core Turions. New TL-50 and TL-52 chips have a thermal design power (TDP) of 31 W, while the TL-56 and TL-60 are rated for 35 W. It remains to be seen how real-world battery life compares to the Core Duo, but these numbers certainly make AMD look competitive. Intel's T-Series Core Duos are rated for a 31 W TDP, although Intel measures TDP slightly differently than AMD.

The new Turion's TDP may be in-line with that of the Core Duo, but AMD is undercutting the Intel by a fair amount on the price front. Turion 64 X2s are selling for $184 for the TL-50 (1.6 GHz/256 KB), $220 for the TL-52 (1.6 GHz/512 KB), $263 for the TL-56 (1.8 GHz/512 KB), and $354 for the TL-60 (2.0 GHz/512 KB). In contrast, Intel charges (PDF) $241, $294, $423, and $637 for its 1.66 GHz, 1.83 GHz, 2 GHz, and 2.16 GHz T-series Core Duos, respectively. As far as system integrator and ODM support goes, AMD is already boasting initial support from Acer, ASUS, BenQ, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, MSI, NEC, Packard Bell, and others. No Turion 64 X2-powered notebooks appear to be selling just yet, but AMD claims they will become available by the end of the quarter.

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