AMD may launch its 1.6GHz Athlon XP part (marketed as 1900+) before Christmas, a leaked roadmap has revealed. The document, which appears on German website Threecom.de also indicates that ATI's A3 motherboard chipset will be tailored to support Athlon XP and not just Intel's Pentium 4 as had been previously assumed. The latter came as a shock to many analysts, who saw NVIDIA's largest competitor falling into a separate camp with Intel to fight back against NVIDIA's strategic alliance with AMD, otherwise known as SNAP. A3 will feature DDR200 and DDR266 memory support, with a later incarnation (known as A4-K) supporting DDR333 and using AMD's HyperTransport architecture, to appear sometime next year. The news that ATI may compete directly with NVIDIA for the integrated AMD market will hopefully drive down prices. NVIDIA's nFORCE motherboards were originally expected to be fairly pricey, an affordable luxury with A3-supported Pentium 4 chips so expensive on the other side of the fence - now the company may have to reconsider its approach. On a related note, AMD launches the Athlon MP part at 1.53GHz today, featuring XP-styled QuantiSpeed technology. Effectively an Athlon XP with dual-processing capability. Related Feature - Athlon XP review
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