Athlon is a 32-bit/64-bit microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). There are a variety of Athlon processors for desktops and notebooks, the first of which, the Athlon 64, was introduced back in 1999. Athlon processors use different CPU architectures and have changed enormously in their performance values in the ten years since their introduction. The CPU architectures are named K-generations at Advanced Micro Devices. Thus, Athlons belong to the K7 generation until the years 2002, the following ones to the K8 generation until the year 2005, then the K9 and from 2009 the K10 generation.
Technologically, Athlons are manufactured with different technologies, so the first ones in the years up to 2003 with structure widths of 0.25 µm and 0.18 µm (Athlon K7), the following ones up to 2005 with 0.13 µm (Athlon MP and Athlon XP), up to those with a structure width of 90 nm and 65 nm (Athlon 64 X2).
An even more dynamic development has the processor clock rate and that of the front site buses. While the processor clock rate evolved from 500 MHz to 1.4 GHz (Athlon K7), to 1.0 GHz to 2.1 GHz (Athlon MP), to 1.9 GHz to 3.2 GHz (Athlon 64 X2), the clock rate for the frontside bus ( FSB) increased from 100 MHz (Athlon K7) to 200 MHz (Athlon XP), and with the HyperTransport( HT) even to 1 GHz (Athlon 64 FX). Athlons are available for the CPU sockets Slot A, Socket A, Socket 754, Socket AM2, Socket 939 and 940.
The various Athlon versions had the most different codenames during their development phases. Among them Argon, Thunderbird, Palomino, Thoroughbred, Barton, Newcastle, Clawhammer, San Diego, Orleans, Windsor, Oakville, Brisbane and some others.