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AMD K7 set to ship on 23 June

Processor meets deadline by skin of its teeth

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AMD has pegged 23 June as the release date for its K7 processor, OEM sources in US have revealed. That date, if correct, will mean the chip will just meet AMD's original first half of 1999 release schedule. The news, reported this week on US newswire TechWeb, confirms what The Register learned back in October 1998. The report quotes "industry sources" who claim the K7 will ship with either 512K or 1MB of off-chip L2 cache. That also suggest AMD has yet to reveal the speeds the new processor will ship at. However, when we spoke to Dirk Meyer, AMD's head of engineering for K7 (see AMD K7 snatches at Intel high-end crown), he said K7 was designed for speeds of 500MHz and up. In contrast, Intel's Pentium III will initially ship at 450MHz and 500MHz. Meyer also confirmed K7 will support up to 8MB of L2 cache, initially separate from the chip, but possibly brought on to the die in later versions to match the approach the company is taking with the forthcoming K6-3. Interestingly, TechWeb's sources state K7 will ultimately be made available in a "socket" version to offer compatibility with cheaper PCs. That contrasts with Meyer's statements that Socket 7 would be adequately supported by K6, suggesting K7 would only ship with a Slot A interface. If the sources are correct, it would appear AMD is moving away from its earlier strategy of pushing K7 at the high end and the K6 family at the low end in favour of an across the board push with K7. ®

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