Ever since AMD’s repositioning of its Socket 7 based K6-III processor for exclusive use in mobile PCs in the second half of 1999, Intel’s Celeron range of processors had enjoyed a position of dominance in the low-cost market segment. In mid-2000 AMD sought to reverse this trend with the announcement of its Duron brand – a new family of processors targeted at value conscious business and home users.
The Duron is based on its more powerful sibling, the Athlon, and takes name from a Latin derivative – durare meaning to last unit. It has 128KB/64KB of Level 1/2 cache – both on-die – a 200MHz front side system bus and enhanced 3DNow! technology. The 64KB of Level 2 cache compares with the 256KB of its Athlon sibling and the 128KB of its Celeron rival. AMD believed this was sufficient to provide acceptable performance in its target market whilst giving it a cost advantage over its rival Intel.
Manufactured on AMD’s 0.18 micron process technology the first Duron CPUs – based on the Spitfire core – were available at speeds of 600MHz, 650MHz and 700MHz. Confirming the transition away from slot-based form factors, these processors were available in AMD’s new 462-pin Socket A packaging only.