The First Palomino - For Notebooks Only!
AMD doesn't see the time ripe to release its next Athlon-version for desktop computers just yet. It is much more important that AMD is finally claiming its (market-) share in the constantly growing mobile market segment. Previous mobile AMD-processors based on the K6-architecure were only good for 'value' notebooks, because they were unable to reach the performance as well as the low power standards of Intel's mobile processor offerings. Only recently AMD started shipping mobile Duron processors, which are based on the same core as AMD's value desktop processors. While those CPU's are certainly able to provide sufficient performance, the power requirements are still rather high, and therefore not really good enough to be found in the prestigious high-end notebooks that are so important to establish a brand name in the mobile field.
The new 'Mobile Athlon 4', based on the 'Palomino' core, is supposed to bring AMD the same success in the mobile arena that it enjoys in the desktop market for quite some time already. The new mobile-Palomino has all that it takes. Excellent performance, a reasonable thermal envelope and low power consumption should be enough to guarantee its success. Over are the times when the vast majority of notebooks were equipped with Intel processors only.
Palomino For Everybody
There is no reason to despair if you should be a die-hard desktop user, who doesn't care much for those little expensive mobile computers. In only a few weeks AMD will release the workstation Palomino's for SMP-operation and a few months later we'll finally be blessed with the normal desktop Palomino. Each of those processors will carry the name 'Athlon 4', making it easy to differentiate between the 'Thunderbird' (just 'Athlon') and 'Palomino'-core ('Athlon 4'). The difference between those different Athlon 4 versions will mainly be on validation level, while there won't be any architectural differences. Mobile Athlon 4 needs to be validated for safe operation at low power consumption, Workstation Athlon 4 will have to be operating reliably in multi-processor configuration, while Desktop Athlon 4 has the lowest requirements, since it will operate with plenty of power and in single-CPU configuration only. You can imagine that Mobile Athlon 4 will reach the lowest possible clock speeds, Workstation Athlon 4 will reach higher clocks and Desktop Athlon 4 will be the fastest of the bunch.