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Intel unveils new Pentium III, its fastest chip ever

Intel introduced the 550-megahertz Pentium III on Wednesday

CNN's Don Knapp says new chip could dramatically change what you see on the screen
Windows Media 28K 80K


February 17, 1999
Web posted at: 11:13 p.m. EST (0413 GMT)

From Correspondent Don Knapp

SAN JOSE, California (CNN) --- With smoke, music and a great deal of hoopla, Intel unveiled Wednesday the fastest computer chip that it has ever built -- the 550-megahertz Pentium III.

"What you'll see is a much richer involvement of data (and) information coming to you on the Internet," said Craig Barrett, Intel's chief executive officer. "This chip was designed to improve multimedia performance."

Intel promises that the new chip will provide more realistic games, better speech recognition, Internet images that viewers can grasp and turn over, and smooth video that's more like TV.

However, the promised benefits come only with new programs designed to take advantage of the Pentium III's speed and efficiency.

"What Intel hopes it will do is attract consumers and commercial buyers back to a more expensive PC, so they can sell their higher-end processors," says industry analyst Van Baker of Dataquest.

Helping Intel's strategy is the huge success and appeal of the Internet, which becomes easier to use with faster chips. But Intel is not the only chip company going after that market.

AMD, which has been eating away at Intel's market share with low-priced chips, is now going after the higher-end market as well, which could be good news for consumers.

"There will be a combination of prices dropping as well as performance escalating," said Atiq Raza, chief operating officer of AMD.

But one feature built into Intel's new chip is drawing flack from privacy advocates -- it contains a distinct serial number that others may be able to track. However, Intel's Mike Aymar insists customers will still be in control.

"This serial number is not automatically broadcast. It is not automatically available," Aymar says. "It is only available if a consumer allows it to be available."

Game developers rally behind the AMD-K6
February 17, 1999
Opinion: Privacy aside, why chip IDs are a bad idea
February 16, 1999
Graphics applications scream on Intel Pentium III
February 15, 1999
How to install a faster processor
February 4, 1999
Power Technology provides an alternative to Pentium's ID chip
February 2, 1999
Boycott widened over new Intel chip ID plan
January 29, 1999

   •Pentium(R) III Processor
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