AMD to release its fastest desktop chip

Advanced Micro Devices plans to launch its newest processor for desktop PCs in early May, sources have said. The chipmaker is set to deliver its new Athlon XP 3200+ chip during the first half of the month. The chip will sport at least one new feature, a 400MHz system bus, according to sources familiar with the company's plans.

The move to the faster bus, a step up from the company's current 333MHz bus, is intended to give the Athlon XP more performance by accelerating data traveling between the processor and system components such as memory.

While much of AMD's focus is on its new AMD64 chip family, which includes the recently introduced Opteron processor for servers, the Athlon XP chip is still what pays the bills for the company. It's in the chipmaker's best interests, then, to keep the desktop chip as competitive as possible with Intel's Pentium 4 processor.

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