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Sempron's Roots

Sempron's roots are in two distinctly different AMD processors:

  • Socket A versions of Sempron are based on the Athlon XP.

  • Socket 754 versions of Sempron are based on the Athlon 64.

In both cases, some features are removed or simplified to create Sempron.

Socket A Sempron Features

There are actually two different versions of the Socket A Sempron:

  • Model 8

  • Model 10

To hold down cost and improve yield, Model 8 Semprons are not based on the latest Athlon XP design, Barton, but rather on the older Thunderbird-B core. Compared to Barton, Thunderbird-B runs cooler and offers a smaller die size, thanks in large part to its smaller L2 cache size (256KB), versus 512KB for Barton. Although Sempron has only half the L2 cache of Athlon XP Bartons, Sempron's 256KB L2 cache is four times the size of the L2 cache in Duron. Thanks to a larger cache and faster clock speeds, Socket A Semprons run much faster than Durons.

The major features of Sempron Model 8 include:

  • processor clock speeds ranging from 1.5GHz (1500MHz) to 2GHz (2000MHz)

  • 128KB of L1 cache

  • 256KB of L2 cache

  • 1.6V core voltage

  • 62 watt maximum thermal power

  • thermal diode for overheating protection

  • 333MHz front side bus

Sempron Model 8 is essentially the same as the 333MHz front-side-bus versions of the Athlon XP Model 8, with a few differences in clock speeds offered. One major difference between Athlon XP Model 8 and Sempron Model 8 is in the calculation of processor model number. For example, the Sempron 2200+ runs at an actual clock speed of 1.5GHz, while the Athlon XP 2200+ Model 8 runs at an actual clock speed of 1.8GHz. Why the difference? Although AMD doesn't admit it in so many words, benchmark tests of Semprons against the latest Intel Celeron processors, the Celeron D versions, suggest that Sempron model numbers are intended to compare the processor to the Intel Celeron, just as Athlon XP model numbers were originally intended to be comparable to the Pentium 4.

I've never been fond of AMD's processor model numbers, but if you know the actual clock speed of the processor and its other features, you can make your own comparisons.

The AMD Sempron Model 10 has the same features as the Model 8, but is available in only two clock speeds. It is apparently based on the AMD Athlon XP Model 10 with 256KB Level 2 cache (Thorton).

You can learn more about the underlying Athlon XP architecture and features used by Socket A Semprons by reading my articles about the Athlon XP:

Sempron Socket 754 Features

The Socket 754 Sempron, officially known as AMD Sempron, enables you to move into Socket 754 computing at a strictly 32-bit level. This offshoot of the Socket 754 Athlon 64 Newcastle drops support for 64-bit operating systems, but offers high-performance memory support and ECC error correction with its built-in memory controller. The major features of the initial AMD Sempron version (code-named Paris) include:

  • processor clock speed of 1.8GHz

  • 128KB of L1 cache

  • 256KB of L2 cache

  • 1.4V core voltage

  • 62 watt maximum thermal power

  • thermal diode for overheating protection

  • 333MHz front side bus

  • single HyperTransport connection to chipset

Additional processor models running slower and faster than the 3100+ (1.8GHz) are expected later.

Sempron Ordering Part Numbers (OPNs)

Table 1 cross-references the model numbers for all current Sempron versions to the ordering part number (OPN). You can use this table to determine whether a particular Socket A Sempron is a Model 8 or Model 10 processor; the OPNs used for each model are different.

Table 1 – AMD Sempron Ordering Part Numbers (OPNs)

Processor Model #

Actual Clock Speed

Processor Family

Socket Type

Ordering Part Number



Model 8





Model 10





Model 8





Model 8





Model 8





Model 8





Model 8





Model 10








*also known as Socket A

Note that Model 8 processors are identified with an OPN resembling SDAxxxxDUT3D, while Model 10 processors are identified with an OPN resembling SDCxxxxDUT3D. Socket 754 processors' OPNs also start with SDA, but the ending is different: SDAxxxxAIP3AX. In each example, replace the xxxx with the four-digit model number (the + is not used as part of the OPN).

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