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AMD Travels Through Time: Athlon XP 2800+ with Dual-DDR

History: Protection Against Thermal Death

About a year ago, THG stirred up quite a commotion in the industry with its article Hot Spot: How Modern Processors Cope With Heat Emergencies . Accompanying the article was the very first downloadable video, which shows the dramatic behavior of an AMD Athlon with a Palomino core, equipped with a thermal diode, when the CPU cooler fails during operation.

The alarms sounded at AMD, and the THG crew met several times with engineers from the manufacturers in question (AMD and Siemens). A few weeks later, AMD introduced a new circuitry logic to a small group of people. This was supposed to turn off the power supply as soon as the die temperature surpassed 85 degrees Celsius.

In order to guarantee faultless protection, the CPU temperature is measured by the thermal diode in very short time intervals, which ensures that the power can be switched off in time. Currently, all motherboard makers have a copy of the new "Thermal Guide" from AMD.

Comparison: T-Bred "B" Vs. T-Bred "A" Vs. Palomino

Processor coreNumber of layersCPU classes
AMD Thunderbird6Athlon 650 MHzto 1400 MHz
AMD Palomino7Athlon XP 1500+to XP 2100+
AMD Thoroughbred "A"8Athlon XP 1700+to XP 2200+
AMD Thoroughbred "B"9Athlon XP 2400+to XP 3000+
Processor (Thoroughbred "A")FSB frequencyClock frequencyModel Number
AMD Athlon XP 1500+133 MHz1333 MHz1500
AMD Athlon XP 1600+133 MHz1400 MHz1600
AMD Athlon XP 1700+133 MHz1466 MHz1700
AMD Athlon XP 1800+133 MHz1533 MHz1800
AMD Athlon XP 1900+133 MHz1600 MHz1900
AMD Athlon XP 2000+133 MHz1666 MHz2000
AMD Athlon XP 2100+133 MHz1733 MHz2100
AMD Athlon XP 2200+133 MHz1800 MHz2200
Processor (Thoroughbred "B")FSB frequencyClock frequencyModel Number
AMD Athlon XP 2400+133 MHz2000 MHz2400
AMD Athlon XP 2600+133 MHz2133 MHz2600
AMD Athlon XP 2700+166 MHz2166 MHz2700
AMD Athlon XP 2800+166 MHz2250 MHz2800
AMD Athlon XP 3000+166 MHz2xxx MHz3000

With the launch of the Thoroughbred core in the "B" version, AMD Athlon reaches the fourth level in its evolution. After the K7 in 1999 the first core with integrated L2 cache, the Thunderbird, was introduced about two years ago. AMD made a further step in October 2001 by introducing the Palomino core, which essentially consisted of the SSE command set expansion and optimized cache lines.

The Thoroughbred core has been around since June 2002, and this one involves a rearrangement of the CPU's internal components, as well as smaller structures (0.13 micron). Detailed information is given in the table below. The animated GIF graphic gives you an idea of how the size has changed with the individual CPUs. In order to give you a complete picture, we've included the data for the Barton core, which is expected to be out in Q3. The Barton represents the fifth and last level of development of the Athlon program, based on Socket 462.