SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- In another attack on Intel Corp. in the microprocessor market, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is expected to announce its fastest processors for the low- and high-end PC markets.
AMD will announce two processors--a 1.4-GHz Athlon and a 950-MHz Duron--at next week's Computex trade in Taipei, Taiwan, according to sources.
On the high-end, AMD's 1.4-GHz Athlon processor narrows the performance gap between the Sunnyvale-based company and Intel, analysts said.
AMD's fastest Athlon MPUs run at speeds up to 1.3-GHz. Meanwhile, Intel's fastest Pentium 4 processor runs at 1.7-GHz, although the company is expected to reach the 2-GHz barrier in the third quarter of 2001.
The 1.4-GHz Athlon processor from AMD has been expected for some time (see May 18 story ). Based on the older-generation Thunderbird core, the 1.4-GHz part is already sampling, with production slated for the near future.
AMD's Athlon processors continues to attack what has become a problematic gap between Intel's Pentium III and 4 product offerings. For some time, Intel has positioned its Pentium III for the mainstream desktop PC market, but the chip is only running at speeds up to 1-GHz.
The next step in the product offering is the Pentium 4, which is geared for the high-end PC or low-end workstation markets, analysts said. At present, this chip runs at speeds of 1.3-, 1.4-, 1.5, and 1.7-GHz, analysts said.
Intel is scrambling to move the Pentium 4 into the mainstream by implementing a series of price cuts on the processor line. But still, the product family is tied to Rambus Inc.'s RDRAM memory architecture.
Intel and third-party chip set vendors are expected to announce some new core-logic ICs later this year. This will enable the Pentium 4 to support less expensive SDRAM or double-data-rate (DDR) SDRAM, sources said.
In the meantime, Intel hopes to shore up its position with the introduction of its long-awaited Pentium III line based on a 0.13-micron process technology. Intel has begun sampling the so-called Tualatin family of chips to OEMs (see May 16 story ).