AMD considers bus speed increase for next Athlon XP

Advanced Micro Devices said it is still evalutating its plans for its front-side bus speed of its next Athlon XP processor.

Advanced Micro Devices said it is still evalutating its plans for its front-side bus speed of its next Athlon XP processor.

It was reported that AMD has told its motherboard and chipset partners in Taiwan that it would increase the speed of the Athlon XP's front-side bus from 333MHz to 400MHz for its next release in May.

The front-side bus acts as the main highway between the processor core and the memory module, and is a key component to overall processor performance.

AMD said, that it however, had no plans for a 400MHz front-side bus, but is evaluating the technology based on customer feedback. It would include the faster front-side bus to remain competitive with rival Intel until AMD's Athlon64 is launched in September.

Intel will launch a Pentium 4 with an 800MHz front-side bus, as well as faster chipsets, before the launch of Prescott, its first 90-nanometer chip later this year.

Despite the differences in clock speed and bus speed, AMD said its processors performed as well as or better than Pentium 4 chips because of a more efficient processor core that does more work per clock cycle.

Benchmarks and other independent tests show the chips have fairly comparable performance when measuring chips of equal speed grades, depending on the applications used in the testing process.

For the Athlon XP 3200+ to launch on time, partners will need two to three months of lead time to validate their chipsets and motherboards for the front-side bus, analysts said.

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