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AMD Duron

The AMD Duron is an x86-compatible computer processor manufactured by AMD. It was released in the summer of 2000 as a low-cost alternative to AMD's own Athlon processor and the Pentium III and Celeron processor lines from rival Intel.

The Duron is pin-compatible with the Athlon and virtually indistinguishable from it, operating on the same motherboards in most cases. The differences between the two processors are internal. The Duron has the same 128K of level 1 cache as the Athlon, but only 64K of level 2 cache, as compared to 256K on the more expensive chip. Because of this, the Duron generally lags behind the Athlon on business applications, but keeps up in floating-point operations thanks to its powerful FPU, which is identical to the Athlon's. The original Duron was limited to operating on a 100 MHz front-side bus speed, while the Athlon at the time could run on a bus clock of 133 MHz. Later Durons supported a 200MHz bus.

The original Duron, on the "Spitfire" core, was manufactured in 2000 and 2001 at speeds ranging from 650 to 950 MHz. It was based on the "Thunderbird" Athlon core. The second-generation Duron, the "Morgan" core, is sold in speed grades between 1000 and 1300 MHz, and is based on the Athlon XP "Palomino" core.

AMD plans to discontinue the Duron line sometime in 2003, when the x86-64 "Hammer" processors will push the Athlon into the low-end market.

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