AMD Athlon 600 goes on allocation

First signs of big price actions

CeBIT 2000 Vendors and distributors at German trade fair CeBIT have said they were told last week that supplies of the Athlon running at 600MHz will now be severely restrained. This is further evidence that AMD will phase out the 600MHz in April of this year, to make use of Athlon processors with higher frequencies, and to aggressively move against Intel's pricing model. The 550MHz Athlon is due to become an end of line item tomorrow, while AMD cranks out more volume of its top-of-the range microprocessors. A plane pulling a streamer with AMD's logo was circling over the company's stand in Halle 13 at CeBIT, where the firm was showing several machines running the enhanced Athlon platform, codenamed Thunderbird. On the stand itself, executives were showing the Socket A form factor and the Thunderbird chip to journalists, who were, however, not allowed to take photographs of the parts. That suggests that AMD may displace the Slot A cartridge for its Socket A model sooner than expected. One PC vendor at the show said he was surprised that AMD was moving to cut prices of the Athlon by as much as 60 per cent. But, he added, the drought of Intel Coppermine Pentium IIIs has now ended, and he and others were beginning to receive "more than sufficient" quantities of the chips. Meanwhile, sources close to Kryotech, a US firm which offers souped up Athlon solutions which use supercooling technology, were suggesting 2GHz systems will be available by the end of this year. ®

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