June 29, 2000:  Mustang to reach 1.3 GHz debut speeds already at 180 nm

Can AMD's circuit designers perform miracles?

It does look now if Mustang will already reach Willamette-like clock-frequencies at 180 nm! This would mean that finer process geometries in the future will provide even higher clock-frequencies then previously held possible. The speed improvements will probably  be achieved by replacing standard-cell logic with custom-cells design and by using new transistor designs (multiple thresholds?). The Sledgehammer may come sooner as expected because a modified Mustang core at 130 nm may already reach the introduction speed of 2 GHz. We expect the Mustang to have generally a higher performance at equal clock frequencies when compared with the Willamette. Early Willamette benchmark results even suggest a 20% difference..



Enhanced version of AMD Athlon processor with reduced core size, lower power requirements, and up to 1MB of on-chip, performance-enhancing L2 cache memory. Manufactured on a 0.18 micron copper process technology. Multiple derivatives of the Mustang core are planned to address the requirements of the high-performance server/workstation, value/performance desktop and mobile markets.


"Clock speeds will vary depending on the chip, but the Mustang chip for high-end desktops and servers is expected to debut at or close to 1.3GHz. However, AMD's desktop Duron, due to its market position, and mobile Duron and mobile Athlon chips, due to their mobile status, will come in at significantly lower clock speeds"


When it comes to servers, AMD expects to introduce its Mustang chip later this year. An enhanced version of the Athlon processor core, it will have up to 1MB of Level 2 cache and a new transistor design that reduces power consumption. The Mustang will be used to produce a new corporate- oriented line of processors for workstations and servers as well as higher-performing desktop PCs.
 Mustang is also expected to yield a new Athlon mobile chip, known by the code-name Corvette.