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AMD likely to beat Intel, Alpha to 1GHz punch

Another coup for the smaller contender

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It now seems highly unlikely that Intel will be able to produce a 1GHz chip based on its IA-32 architecture before AMD, and possibly even before Compaq rolls out a 1GHz Alpha processor next summer. According to information from a source close to AMD's plans, it can, as we have said before, produce an air-cooled Athlon K7 running at the magic 1GHz spot early next year, if it wants to. The fabrication of the processor has gone more smoothly than anyone could have anticipated, and the only reason for holding back on producing a 1GHz Athlon early next year is that AMD can maximise its profits by gradually rolling scaled processors out of its fabs. Compaq, meanwhile, is unlikely to produce a 1GHz Alpha before the middle of next year, according to analyst Terry Shannon. Although Intel will demonstrate a 1GHz IA-32 chip at a conference in early February, its roadmap shows that the highest clock speed on the Coppermine track is likely to be an 866MHz Pentium III at the end of Q1, 2000. However, Intel will introduce 750MHz Pentium IIIs early next year, but will not equal AMD's performance even with this introduction. AMD can roll out an 800MHz or a 900MHz Athlon just as easily as it can a 1GHz part. ®

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