AMD’s Sempron processor brand has had polarized chip fans since it was introduced in laptops back in 2004. However, a fresh new brand of this exact processor is being developed by the company, a brand that is specifically targeted at desktops.
This new brand of Sempron processor will go into low-priced desktops priced around $399. Very bare desktops could be built starting at $60 with just a Sempron chip and motherboard, according to Desktop Product Marketing Manager for AMD Adam Kozak.
In addition to that, AMD also introduced new Athlon chips, which usually come with more features and a larger price tag than their Sempron counterparts. However, both the chips have been upgraded with the latest Jaguar microarchitecture and Radeon GCN. In addition to that, these new chips will also support up to four CPU cores, 16GB of memory and USB 3.0.
The Sempron brand is the lowest rung of AMD chips and its entire existence has been plagued by poor performance. However, it has found a niche among users looking for inexpensive desktops and is also used in some of the cheapest computers released today.
Despite this poor reputation, AMD is unfazed. This new line of chips is targeted at markets in Latin America, Japan and Asia-Pacific, markets where users on a budget shop for cheap parts and build them at home. According to Kozak, “On desktop we realized there is a lot of cachet over the brands that have served us well, like FX chips for high-end desktops.”
Sempron hasn’t been shipping in large amounts, though this new style could breathe new life into the brand, according to Dean McCaron, principle analyst for Mercury Research. McCaron went on to say, “The existing Sempron products have aged. If they wanted to keep Sempron around, they needed a product refresh.”
Kozak added that Sempron is a good alternative to AMD chips that are directly integrated into the motherboard. These new Sempron and Athlon chips are socket-upgradeable. “We’re going to have a nice road map for this socket,” Kozak added.
According to McCaron, a low-end part like this is essential for users who are extremely sensitive about price. Sempron’s popularity has died down in markets where preconfigured computers are bought directly and where people don’t do socket upgrades.
Sempron chips account for roughly 5% of AMD’s chip shipments and will go head-to-head with Intel’s newest Atom, Pentium and Celeron chips, code-named Bay Trail, which have already begun showing up in low-cost desktops and laptops.
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