AMD Athlon (Slot A) microprocessor family
AMD Athlon processor family is the first high-performance CPU family using AMD K7 architecture. Like the Intel Pentium II processors, the first Athlons used backside 512 KB L2 cache running at half of the processor speed. The L2 cache was running even slower on faster Athlons - 2/5 and 1/3 of the of the processor speed. To accommodate the processor and the off-die cache the Athlons used Card Module package - a cartridge, visually similar to Pentium II cartridge. The Card Module package required a slot-type socket, which was called Slot A.
The full line of AMD Athlon slot A processors was released during 9 month period. Athlon processors were introduced in June of 1999 at speeds 500, 550 and 600 MHz. At the end of the 1999 AMD released 0.18 micron Athlons, and in March of the next year AMD delivered 1GHZ Athlons. 1 GHz Athlons were the last processors that used the Card Module/Slot A. Next generation of Athlon CPUs used Thunderbird (T-Bird) core, one of the major features of that core was on-die L2 cache running at the processor speed. Using on-die cache allowed AMD to produce processors in a smaller package - 462-pin pin grid array, that required socket 462, or socket A. Although AMD didn't release faster modifications of slot A Athlons, they did update their slot A line with the new core. Distinguishing Thunderbird Athlon processors from earlier modifications is easy - they use different naming conventions.
At a glance
0.5 - 1
L2 cache size (KB):