K7 architecture to stay slottish because of technical issues

Promises bus speeds of 200MHz, huge L2 cache and insists marketing no issue

A senior executive from AMD Europe has expressed surprise that Intel is moving from slot architecture to socket architecture again, given that bus speeds will mount swiftly over the next two years. Rana Mainee, head of European market research at AMD, said that the K7 will have a slot architecture for technical and not for marketing reasons. He said: "The slot architecture is significant for 200MHz buses, which the K7 will support. Bus timings between 133MHz and 150MHz start to get very difficult to guarantee using socket architecture." Intel has promised that next year it will produce chips capable of supporting 133MHz buses. Mainee said: "As you get to 200MHz you have to make sure the handling of the signals is as faultless as possible and slot architecture allows you to terminate signals correctly." He said that AMD engineers were working on producing far more level two cache on the K7 than was thought possible. "These are more technical than marketing issues," said Mainee. "It's a topsy turvey world." Rumours have been circulating in the chip industry for some months that Intel was thinking of dispensing with slot architecture completely. At press time, no-one from Intel was available to comment. ®

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