AMD will make the first chipset for its upcoming Hammer processors available during the fourth quarter, the firm announced today. Hammer is AMD's first family of 64bit processors.

Chipsets are companion chips that handle much of the integration between the processor and the rest of the computer. The chipset is designed to be used in desktops, workstations and servers, AMD said.

The AMD-8000 chipset series for the Hammer processor will initially include three chips: the AMD-8111 HyperTransport I/O hub, which is designed to replace the Southbridge chip used in Athlon chipset configurations, the AMD-8131 HyperTransport PCI-X tunnel, which offers two PCI-X bus bridges and the AMD-8151 HyperTransport AGP3.0 graphics tunnel which support AGP-8X graphics.

All three members of the AMD-8000 chipset series support AMD's HyperTransport chip interconnect technology, which offers a peak aggregate bandwidth of up to 12.8GB per second. The 'tunnel' function offered by the AMD-8131 and AMD-8151 allows downstream devices to be connected to the host via a HyperTransport connection, AMD said.

In addition to the AMD-8000 chipset vendors Acer, Silicon Integrated Systems, nVidia, and Via Technologies are also expected to produce chipsets for Hammer.

Samples of ClawHammer, the first member of the Hammer series, are expected to begin shipping during the second quarter with volume shipments set to begin before the end of the year.