AMD takes speed lead with 750-MHz Athlon chip
(IDG) -- Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) will retake the lead in the megahertz race from arch-rival Intel with the launch of a 750-MHz Athlon processor, and several leading PC makers have already signed up to use the speedy chip in upcoming models.
AMD is releasing the high-end microprocessor along with a new 533-MHz version of its K6-2 processor series, confirmed Richard Baker, an AMD spokesman in the U.K.
The 750-MHz Athlon chip, the company's first chip built on a new 0.18 micron aluminum process, beats out Intel's speediest 733-MHz Pentium III processor in terms of raw clock speed. It is priced at $799 in 1,000-unit quantities, AMD said in a statement.
Several PC vendors, including Compaq and IBM today also announced their intent to ship new PC models with the 750-MHz Athlon processor. Compaq, for example, plans to use the speedy Athlon chip in a new Presario model, the statement said. Presario is Compaq's consumer-oriented PC line.
Catering to the rapidly growing low-cost PC segment, AMD today also released a 533-MHz K6-2 processor, carrying a list price of $167 in 1,000-unit quantities. Compaq, again, was among the vendors saying that they plan to use the chip, according to a statement issued by AMD.
With the release of the 750-MHz Athlon, which follows a 700-MHz version introduced a few months ago, AMD is reclaiming the clock-speed crown it briefly lost to Intel when the chip giant last month unveiled its 733-MHz Pentium III.
Intel, however, earlier this month admitted that it is having difficulties in ramping up production of its fastest processors.
AMD, meanwhile, earlier this month said that it expects to ship as many as 800,000 Athlon processors in the current quarter. Strong processor and Flash memory chip demand is expected to help the company to achieve its target of more than $800 million in revenue and break-even operating results in the current quarter, the company said.
The chip maker has been in the red for several quarters now. Only last month, AMD reported a net loss of over $105 million for its third quarter, ended Sept. 26.
AMD last month also opened a new wafer-fabrication facility in Dresden, Germany , which by the second quarter of next year is expected to start volume production of Athlons.
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