updated 10:30 am EDT, Thu May 31, 2007
AMD Sempron 2100
Following its preview of the performance-minded Phenom earlier in the month, AMD today revealed new chip technology that could bring 64-bit code to the very smallest computers, including those built for the developing world. The Sempron 2100+ (PDF) includes the same architecture as the Athlon 64, including an integrated memory controller and HyperTransport for shuttling data quickly to other parts of the system; a 1GHz clock speed and optimizations, however, drop the peak power of the chip down to 9W. The drop is drastic enough that the CPU can run completely fanless while saving battery life for those handhelds and other portables. It also sits in a shockproof socket to prevent damage from bumps.
Joining the company's lineup at the same time is the Geode LX800, a new variant of the company's 32-bit 500MHz chip used in the One Laptop Per Child project and other extremely low-power systems. Its power use has shrunk even further, AMD says: the power draw has dropped from 1.5W to 0.9W without sacrificing speed, allowing it to last longer and run in tighter cases. The update also runs in more extreme conditions ranging from a cold -40F to as hot as 185F.
Boards and other components made to use either the Sempron 2100+ or the Geode LX800 are available today, though computers, media players, and other devices that can use the new CPUs will come in the next few months through separate announcements.