As it is no secret, Athlon XP officially dies Q2, 2005. This time next year there will be no more Bartons or Thoroughbreds to whet your Socket A palette. However; Socket A looks to be here to stay for quite some time. In the US, Europe and parts of Asia we are constantly spoiled with the newest of the new CPUs, memory and motherboards. But the most prolific processors in the ROW market (Rest of World) remains the discontinued Duron! According to AMD sales data, the Athlon XP and Athlon 64 sales are still eclipsed by those ever ticking 1.6 and 1.8 GHz Durons in South American markets.

So perhaps for AMD the solution is not to simply phase out all of Athlon XP, Duron and Socket A, but build a new processor that mildly bridges the lower Western markets with the Rest of the World. Enter Sempron.

Sempron is described by AMD as derived from the word Semper (Latin for "always"); strong, though, robust. Maybe the derivation from a Latin word suggests strong long term marketing for South American markets? "Siempre" in Spanish means "always". In Portuguese, the official language of Brazil, the word "always" translates even better to the word "Sempre". We would like to think AMD is clever enough to not just warrant the naming as a coincidence. As you may have guessed by now, the introduction of Sempron does not bring any major speed increases for the next 12 months, even though we will see no less than seven new processors branded as Sempron before this time next year.

Now onto the dirty details about the processor: Sempron won't have 64-bit capabilities. Sempron won't support No eXecute instructions. Sempron only has 256K of L2 cache, and Sempron runs at 62W. The processor will be primarily targeted at Socket A platforms, but will also show up on Socket 754 at launch. It appears some OEM channels will have Semprons for Socket 939 by this time next year as well. Obviously the memory controller will be integrated on the Socket 754 and Socket 939 versions of the processor. Although the Sempron will have twice the cache of a Duron, judging by the naming of the new processors the clock speed appears moderately low (particularly with such high power consumption requirements).

For those of you who can't wait for the mid August launch of the processor, here is the upcoming roadmap as described by AMD. AMD claims the Sempron will coincide with Celeron naming, but does not give exact names in the newest roadmap. Check our old roadmap for details.

AMD Sempron Roadmap
Processor Socket Launch Date Initial Price
Sempron 3500+ Socket 939 Q1'05 N/A
Sempron 3400+ Socket 754 Q2'05 N/A
Sempron 3200+ Socket 939 Q1'05 N/A
Sempron 3100+ Socket 754 August $124
Sempron 2800+ Socket A August $103
Sempron 2600+ Socket A August $79
Sempron 2500+ Socket A August $69
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  • Runamile - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    #1-Sempron, on a portuguese pronouciation, sounds like "Sem-pron", or "Without-pron".

    Why would you EVER buy a chip that dosn't support pr0n?
  • Pino - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    "South American markets are just beginning to adopt Athlon XP"

    Give me a break, Kristopher!!!

    I´m Brazilian, and I am using my second Athlon XP (Tbred B 2200+) for about a year, I had an XP 1700+ Palomino and a Thunderbird 1.0Ghz before.

    And I can already order my Athlon 64 3200+ if I want. (or If i had the money :-)
  • zyzzix - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    While this is all nice to know, what would be really interesting to know is how the low wattage mobile Athlon 64's perform.
  • Wonga - Thursday, June 17, 2004 - link

    Cheers for the reply, Kristopher.

    I was hoping the Sempron would go past 2.2GHz on Socket A, but like nserra says, I guess they don't need that much raw speed to beat the Celeron.
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, June 17, 2004 - link

    Duron clocks around 1.8ghz so i was expecting 1.8 - 2.2 for now. I believe the clocks will probably line up pretty closely to Barton 2500+, 2600+, 2800+, etc.

  • nserra - Thursday, June 17, 2004 - link

    "judging by the naming of the new processors the clock speed appears moderately low "

    You are comparing the rating agains the AMD XP and AMD64, you should compare against Duron so expect 1.6Ghz and up.
    This line is agains Celeron. They don't need to much Ghz to beat them....
  • Wonga - Thursday, June 17, 2004 - link

    I'd rather know the clock frequencies of these processors, rather than their ratings. Do you know what they might be Kristopher?
  • jensend - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    High wattage, no NX, probably still based on Athlon XP rather than A64. All three of the rumors which had me interested in "Paris" squelched :(
  • Marsumane - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    So this is basically telling us what crap processor is comming out that im assuming an oced barton core will crush. Doesnt interest me too much.
  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    Basically, Sempron is just a tweaked Thoroughbred. With that power dissipation, I wouldn't be surprised if the 2800+ Sempron runs at close to 2.2 GHz. The old Thoroughbred-B 2.17 GHz was the 2700+ - or was that an early 2800+? - so that seems about right.

    Hopefully AMD is just being better about their PR naming these days. No way could you call anything on Socket A running at less than 2.8 GHz a "3200+" - that's about what it would take to bring performance close to that of the A64 3200+.

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