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AMD to Ship 1 GHz Athlons This Week

Last week, Intel Corp. announced plans to ship 1-GHz Pentium III consumer machines by the end of this month. But today, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) beat Intel (www.intel.com) to the punch with the announcement that 1-GHz AMD Athlon consumer PCs will begin shipping this week.

The first 1-GHz AMD (www.amd.com) Athlon consumer systems will be available from Compaq Computer Corp. (www.compaq.com) and Gateway Inc. (www.gateway.com). Both vendors will introduce the 1-GHz Athlon processor in their top-of-the-line consumer systems.

In a release today, Compaq announced that the 1-GHz Athlon processor will be available in its Presario 5900Z series. It will retail at a starting price of $2,499. Gateway's system, which is custom-built to the customer's preference, will start at $3,128.

The 1-GHz AMD Athlon processor is an x86-compatible design featuring a superpipelined, nine-issue superscalar microarchitecture optimized for high clock frequency; a fully pipelined, superscalar floating point unit (FPU) for x86 platforms; 128 KB of on-chip level (L1) cache and a programmable backside L2 cache interface; enhanced 3DNow! technology; and the AMD Athlon system bus, a 200 MHz system interface based on the Alpha EV6 bus protocol with support for scalable multiprocessing.

The 1-GHz AMD Athlon is the fastest processor on the market, at least for the next few weeks. But by being first to market, AMD hopes to capture the share of the market that will jump to buy the fastest machine available, regardless of the processor brand.

AMD also plans to release 950-MHz and 900-MHz Athlon processors this week. -- Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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