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AMD brings forward Athlon to 10 August

Fab volumes look good, and prospects for 1GHz copper version may be improving, too

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AMD will finally take the wraps of the Athlon K7 on Tuesday 10 August, according to reliable but eminently impeachable sources. Benchmark data, however, continues to leak out early. The company had originally been planning the big push for the end of August. As this has now been brought forward by three weeks, the implication is that AMD's yields on the K7 are better than initially planned for, and that it feels sufficiently sure of supply to counter the various pre-emptive strikes Intel has been mounting. Earlier today (see story) Intel let it be known that 2 August was D-Day for 600MHz PIII, 500MHz Celeron and another round of price cuts. At the grand unveiling AMD is also expected to detail market positioning data, and is likely to provide more information about its plans for copper versions of the CPU. The company has already begun producing copper samples from its new Dresden fab (ses Dresden fabs first copper part) and is expected to achieve 1HGz from copper by the end of the year - it may well be, however, that it's now sufficiently confident in the Dresden process to accelerate this. With Athlon, AMD intends to take Intel on in terms of power, rather than price, and it will be releasing performance data and test systems to support its pitch the week after next. But some, apparently, are already out and leaking. A message posted on the Quake site, Planetquake, here yesterday includes test data from "a wonderful new K7-600 AMD was kind enough to send us." AMD may or may not have also been kind enough to ask those concerned to sign a little piece of paper as well, but frankly, that's none of our business. In Quake 3 tests, the K7 reports 49.3fps for q3tesdemo1 and 63.9fps for demo2 in normal graphics mode, and 61.8fps and 72.7fps respectively in fast mode. The K7 is also apparently blitzing its way through work units on Seti@home. ®

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