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Intel Celeron under threat from NatSemi-Cyrix front

Company to unveil x86 chip to drive down prices more

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A year ago From The Register No. 72, posted 6 April 1998 The future of Intel's Celeron chip looked even shakier today as National Semiconductor, which bought Cyrix last Autumn, announced a processor which could make PCs cost as little as $450. Celeron, a cut down version of the Pentium II without on-cartridge cache, is due for roll out in just over a week, but NatSemi-Cyrix will, later today, introduce a highly integrated processor expected to be in production by this time next year. Brian Halla, CEO of National Semiconductor, will announce further details of the processor at a conference in Arizona today. It is expected to include integrated graphics functions, be available in a small form factor, be a low power device, include soft modem firmware, Ethernet and other functions, using as many as a 100 million transistors. As reported here after last year's Comdex/Fall in Las Vegas, NatSemi-Cyrix has its eyes on the low-end market. It is already producing a range of cut-price machines in a US supermarket chain, sold at give-away prices and intended to pull customers into the shop to buy other goods. While Intel still maintains there is a large market for high-end processors, most industry observers see the introduction of the Celeron as a way to address a high volume, lucrative, entry-level market. Last week, The Register reported that NatSemi-Cyrix was concentrating on fighting at that end of the market, and one AMD executive said that between them, the clone-makers could capture as much as 75 per cent of retail business from Intel. ®

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