Until 2001 all of AMD’s mobile CPUs had been based on the K6 design. The company’s Athlon/Duron family of processors had already succeeded in gaining market share from Intel in the desktop arena, in the performance and value sectors respectively. Early in 2001 AMD signalled their intent to similarly challenge Intel’s domination of the mobile CPU market segment.
Based on the Duron Spitfire processor core, the Mobile Duron had similar features to its non-mobile counterpart, utilising a 100MHz double-pumped system bus (200MHz effective throughput), 128KB of on-chip L1 cache and 64KB of on-chip L2 cache. The chip’s core operates at 1.4V – compared with the 1.6V of the desktop version – which equates to a battery life of between two and three hours. The CPU was initially launched at speeds of 600MHz and 700MHz.
It was not long before the ante in the mobile processor sector was raised. When Intel announced its 0.13-micron Pentium III Tualatin core – intended primarily for the mobile sector – in mid-2001, AMD responded with its 0.13-micron Morgan and Palomino processor cores. These are differentiated by the size of their L2 cache, 64KB and 256KB respectively. The Morgan core is used in value notebooks, under the Duron brand name, while the Palomino core is featured in more expensive high-performance notebooks under the Athlon 4 branding.
By the spring of 2002 the Mobile Duron CPU was available in various speed grades to 1.2GHz.