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Updated: IBM will make K7s too

Plot thickens by the day

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Although on the face of it IBM and AMD have no cross licensing deal on x.86 technology, it now appears that Big Blue will make K7 chips. The complex cross licensing technology on copper technology -- which exclusively prevents Intel from using it -- is likely to lead to boards from IBM later in the year. Last week The Register exclusively reported that a 1GHz K7 will emerge from AMD at the beginning of next year. As reported here earlier, AMD has a complex cross licensing agreement with Motorola on process technology, allowing it to leapfrog chip giant Intel. Further, IBM also has a set of complex cross licensing agreements with a number of senior industry players, including National Semiconductor, Intel and many others. No one from IBM Microelectronics was available at press time to either confirm or deny that it had cross licensed AMD technology. Rana Mainee, director of research at AMD Europe, said: "The deal with IBM is still in place, although we said in September that we did not need to use it." He said: "To some extent we're still supply constrained but in 1999 we'll achieve more parity between supply and demand." That was due to increased production at Fab 25 and output from Dresden when production started. Compaq was reluctant to comment. Its involvement is that Dirk Meyer formerly worked on the Alpha platform. The Alpha platform is now part of Compaq's brief. And, ironically (or should it be copperonically), Intel is forced to manufacture Alpha chips for its competition, because of a timely US government intervention. However, Terry Shannon, editor of industry newsletter Shannon knows DEC said that it was highly unlikely there was close collaboration between Compaq and AMD at the high end. ®

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