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AMD Processors

For a number of years, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have produced "x86" processors as a rival to those of Intel. From beginnings as a second source (licenced production) manufacturer of processors for Intel, AMD have developed a range of processors of independant design. This site will cover only the more recent processors produced by AMD, such as the K5®, K6®, Athlon and Duron processors.

The following pages deal with AMD processors.

AMD Processors, an Overview

The AMD K5 processor: Image courtesy of AMD Corporation The AMD K6 processor: Image courtesy of AMD Corporation The AMD K6-2®  processor: Image courtesy of AMD Corporation

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) have been involved in "x86" processor production since the early days of the PC in the 1980's. They operated as a source of licenced production processors to enable Intel to meet demand for its 8086, 80286 and 80386 products. As a result AMD are very experienced manufacturers of "x86" processors.

It was during the long reign of the 386 that AMD realised that it too could gain a lucrative share in the PC processor market, and thus the AM486 was born. The AM486® was an excellent processor, especially in its ability to be overclocked (run at a higher clock multiple/bus speed), and has gained the acolade as the most overclocked processor in PC history.

1996 saw the introduction of AMD's first truly independant processor design in the shape of the AMD K5® . This processor met with a very cool reception from the computing world and was discontinued in 1997, with the introduction of the K6® processor.

The K6® processor launched in 1997, was in many respects a response to the poor reception of the K5® . The core of the K6 was developed by aspiring processor manufacturer NexGen who were bought by AMD in 1996. The K6® met with a rapturous response from the computer world as the first "x86" processor to truly challenge the all conquering Intel Pentium. In many respects the K6® was faster than the Intel Pentium MMX with which it was competing against. The K6® also managed to be a strong challenger to the Intel Pentium II.

1998 saw the most significant enhancement of the K6® with the addition of 13 new 3D instructions called "3DNow!", and the introduction of the 100 Mhz bus, in the AMD K6-2® . This processor is set5 to be further enhanced in early 1998 with the incorporation of 256 Kb of level two cache onto the chip, in the guise of the AMD K6-3® .

1999 has seen the launch of the Athlon processor which has allowed AMD to claim that it now makes the fastest x86 CPU.

The following pages deal with AMD processors.

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