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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  • HighCalibreHooch - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    How likely is it that the Sempron will go past 2800+ for Socket A?

    By the way, Netopia, I'm a fan of ST:TNG and I didn't get your reference. What do you mean?
  • Netopia - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    "Always RON"...

    I have to ask... was that in anyway an homage to the creator of DATA and LORE on ST-NG?

    Sorry... HAD to ask.

  • Stuke - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    actually a Duron has 128KB of L1 cache and 64KB of L2 cache. So the Sempron has 4x times cache of the Duron.
  • nserra - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    AMD said that their PR rating was compared to a thunderbird, will these be the same?
    Or this PR rating will be in a direct compare to duron?

    Will be based at Thoroughbreds I bet, barton is a crap! More cache, but less speed (mhz), higher manufacturing cost, more heat, more power requirement.
    Amd should have improved the Thoroughbreds core instead of making the barton.
  • Dantzig - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    Any product name with "pron" in it makes me giggle.
  • notoriousformula - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    i was at the AMD Spring Tech Tour today in Vancouver BC, AMD Marketting Spokemen Mark confirmed that Semprons are here to Replace Durons not Athlon XP's...These are only targetted towards Basic Internet/e-mail/Home users and willbe priced very cheap.
  • Pumpkinierre - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    "Always-RON" maybe we will see it in a Big Mac soon Ha Ha! Sorry could'nt help it!
  • Lotec13 - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    No Execute is the Enhanced Virus Protection also know as NX MMX SSE and 3dnow will still be there dont worry
  • BUBKA - Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - link

    "Sempron won't support No eXecute instructions."

    is that MMX, SSE, 3DNow?
  • kuk - Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - link

    Sempron, on a portuguese pronouciation, sounds like "Sem-pron", or "Without-pron". Although this has no meaning (and probably won't effect sales), a name that starts with 'without' is not very ... err ... common. Regarding the technical details, it looks like the SocketA Sempron would be similar to the Thoroughbred, so one should expect higher working frequencies than a similar rated Barton. We'll wait and see.

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