AMD moves to retake MHz crown, beef up Athlon L2 cache

Though AMD’s Athlon can claim to be the fastest x86-compatible processor around, Intel has surpassed AMD in the symbolic CPU MHz race with the recent release of a 733MHz “Coppermine” Pentium III. AMD plans to grab the all-important “bragging rights the media can understand” title again soon by introducing a 750MHz version of the Athlon CPU, is reporting. And it won’t end there:

With its Athlon chips, AMD has been targeting the more powerful and more profitable segment of Intel’s chip product line. AMD will keep that attack up with 800-MHz Athlons and a push to increase that speed rating to 900 MHz in the first quarter of 2000, Sanders said at AMD’s annual analyst meeting here.

More interesting for those in the know is the fact that AMD is planning to integrate as much as 2MB of level 2 cache into its high-end Athlon chips:

In addition, by the end of next year, AMD will debut a high-end chip code-named Mustang that will work in powerful servers with two, four, and eight CPUs, he said. The Mustang chips will come with as much as 2MB of cache built into the chip itself, he said.

Like Celeron and Coppermine CPUs, this integrated L2 cache should run at the same speed as the processor core. In light of this news, I suspect we’ll see lower-end Athlons with 256K or 512K of integrated L2 cache before long.

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