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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  • klander - Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - link

    Ive got an Athlon XP 1700+ on my
    ASUS a7n266-VM motherboard that
    is upgradeable upto athlon 2600+.
    Will i be able to put a sempron 2600 on
    my motherboard instead of an athlon 2600?
  • klander - Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - link

  • Pumpkinierre - Monday, June 21, 2004 - link

    Its good to see the Duron receiving the acclaim that it deserves. Its also good to see a cheap a64 even if it is missing its 64bits.
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, June 19, 2004 - link

    My apologies, i didnt say it like a bad thing. I was refering to AMD sales info that put the 1.6 and 1.8ghz durons far ahead of the XP in sales. The A64s didnt even seem to register on AMD's sales data. This is actually extremely common - the 1.8 durons are awesomefor the price.

    I changed it anyway.

  • zeoncl - Saturday, June 19, 2004 - link

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


    At least here in Chile, we are beginning to adopt the A64 by now... each day you see less palominos, and TB n' Barton Cores are everywhere... plz inform yourself and don't generalize when posting something like this. We are NOT aborigens walking naked n' hunting for living... PLZ

  • AtaStrumf - Saturday, June 19, 2004 - link

    512 kB 2,0 GHz is 3000+
    1 MB 2,0 GHz is 3200+

    so a 2,0 GHz/256 kB would have to be 2900+
    and a 2,2 GHz/256 kB would probably amount to 3100+.

    If that is correct, a $124 is indeed not all that bad, so asuming noramal availability, maybe there will finaly be a higher adoption rate of socket 754 platform and I can finaly upgrade my 1,5 year old 2,2 GHz Athlon XP, although I may not get much of a performance improvement.
  • Marsumane - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    I think the barton socket a's are better priced now then these will be then. (assuming 2500+ = 2500+)
  • TrogdorJW - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    I'm a little curious as to what the socket 754 Sempron 3100+ will entail. With the Athlon 64 3000+ running at 2.0 GHz with 512K of cache, the Sempron 3100+ would obviously have to be clocked higher to warrant a higher rating. 2.2 GHz is likely, but with the lack of L2 cache, I think 2.4 GHz would be a more reasonable target to get the "3100+" rating.

    At a target price of only $124, that's somewhat promising. Of course, the release is still two months away, and hopefully by that time the prices of Athlon 64 will have come down a bit more. I'm not holding my breath, though.
  • KF - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    >AMD said that their PR rating was compared to a thunderbird,
    > will these be the same?
    "AMD claims the Sempron will coincide with Celeron naming..."

    To me that means Sempron model numbers (PR?) will be the equivalent performing Celeron speed. As Anandtech showed in their Duron vs P4 Celeron shootout, that is a huge ratio, even while recognizing the Athlon to P4 ratio. P4s need everything enabled or performance drops into the abyss.

    The problem with the head to head rating, as opposed to a benchmark based rating, is going to be that Intel will, no doubt, give Celeron more of the P4 attributes as P4 nears its end-of-life and is replaced, just as they did with the P3. So AMD will have to see what Intel does before assigning model numbers.
  • Cygni - Friday, June 18, 2004 - link

    I love it that whenever something VALUE targeted is released, people jump all over the place saying "OMG What a let down"... dude, we have known for MONTHS that Paris was going to be a toned down value proc on 754/939... and what exactly did you guys expect for the Socket A final refresh? Of course it was going to be old Barton/Thronton/Tbred B cores that are sitting around. AMD isnt going to tool up a whole new proc to handle a dieing platform. Geeze!

    Personally, a majority of the comps i build for people are low end anyway, so this interests me a ton. The 754 32bit Sempron could be pretty darn attractive, and I bet it will be quite the overclocker as well, as its just a Hammer core with some features disabled.

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