AMD positions K7 Athlon for enterprise
A whole rash of suffixes and the K doesn't wash
A senior executive at AMD has outlined the marketing and positioning the company will use to attack Intel in the mid and high-end server markets. Robert Stead, marketing director of AMD Europe, said the company would brand the K7 the Athlon Ultra for the server and workstation market For the high performance PC market, it would be called the Athlon Professional, while the K7 may well move into the value PC area, he said. Currently, that space is occupied by the K6-III and the K6-2, according to Stead. He added: "The comparison between an Athlon and a Pentium Xeon is extremely similar. Our Athlon architecture has extremely high levels of performance on integer, FP and 3D benchmarks. We're producing performance levels of 150 per cent more than the Pentium III using the Athlon 550 on floating point." Stead re-iterated that AMD wanted 30 per cent of the x86 market by the year 2001. AMD had deliberately and successfully developed the small business and consumer markets, he said. "The K designation said it was a product which fitted into the value PC market. That logic drove us to the conclusion that with the Athlon, we needed a separate identity and helped us understand it was necessary to have different brands," he said. He claimed that although reviewers were comparing the K7 to the Pentium III processor, the real comparison was between the Athlon and Intel's up and coming Willamette architecture. "So where is it?" Stead asked. He claimed the lack of Willamette gave AMD a good chance of surpassing Intel on performance. The K6 family would "live and prosper for some time", and there was a possibility there could be a K6-III/600MHz part next year, he said. He acknowledged that the positioning of the Athlon in the workstation and server market would likely mean AMD will pitch against the Alpha processor from Compaq and API. ® See also: AMD positions K7 Athlon for enterprise AMD succeeds in producing copper K6 AMD brings forward Athlon to 10 August AMD succeeds in producing copper K6 AMD fabs first copper parts, 1GHz Athlon by year end?
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