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Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 10:36 GMT
Fastest PC chip unveiled
Speed matters but price is the key Speed matters but price is the key

Computer chip maker Advanced Micro Devices unveiled on Monday a new Athlon microprocessor that runs at a faster speed than Intel's latest Pentium III chip.

Intel had led the race for the speediest computer chip with its latest Pentium IIIs running at speeds of 733 megahertz.

But the new Athlon chip reaches speeds of 750 MHz.

There have also been industry rumours that AMD will reveal a one gigahertz chip early next month, around the same time that Intel are expected to showcase a 750MHz Pentium.

Fine-featured

The 750-megahertz Athlon chip is the first to be made using AMD's 0.18 micron manufacturing process, which creates transistors with linewidths just 1/500th the width of a human hair.

Intel also makes chips using its 0.18 micron technology, considered as important in a strategy to lower manufacturing costs for the higher profit margin chips.

While processor speed often grabs the headlines, more important to the business success of chip manufacturers is the pricing of the chips and the ability to supply them.

Intel has had difficulty keeping up with demand for its higher speed Pentium IIIs, particularly its Coppermine processor, a 733 MHz Pentium III chip.

AMD said its new Athlon processor will be used by Compaq, IBM and other PC makers, largely in high-end consumer models. AMD said it plans to sell the Athlon chip for $799 each, in batches of 1,000.

AMD also attacked Intel at the lower end of the market with the announcement of a 533 MHz K6-2 chip. Intel's fastest low-end Celeron microprocessor runs at 500 MHz but the company is expected to unveil a 533 MHz version next month.

Computer maker Compaq has selected the AMD K6-2 for its upcoming Presario Internet PC. The processor is priced at $167.

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See also:
09 Aug 99 |  Sci/Tech
AMD's fastest chip to challenge Intel
02 Sep 99 |  Sci/Tech
Apple launches 'desktop supercomputer'
22 Aug 99 |  The Company File
Chips are down in price war
02 Sep 99 |  The Company File
Nintendo to use UK chips
16 Jul 99 |  Sci/Tech
PC-on-a-chip launched

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