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First .18µ Athlons hit Japanese high street

Via Apollo KX-133 makes debut too

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Japanese correspondent Battlax, who regularly sends us a report of what is news in technology area Akihabara, in Tokyo, is reporting that the Akiba PC hotline has spotted .18µ (micron) Athlon 550MHz parts being sold in the area. At the same time, a motherboard using Via's Apollo KX-133 motherboard, designed for Athlons, is already available in Akihabara, while a SiS 300 video card has also made a debut. The Athlon product part number is AMD-K7550MTR51B A, and the news is significant because it demonstrates that AMD is moving its process technology rapidly away from .25µ technology to .18µ technology in the timeframe it said it would last year. The company will sift through yields of .18µ parts and grade them at different speeds. A .18µ process allows the die of a microprocessor to be smaller, and also gives significant power consumption benefits, which reduce the need for massive heatsinks, huge power supplies, and loud, noisy fans. There are pictures, Japanese text, and prices of the .18 micron part here, with pricing for the 550MHz Athlon at ¥25,800. Pricewatch also looks weekly at CPU prices, on this page. ®

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