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AMD puts Intel on 1GHz ropes – confirmed

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In the frantic battle between AMD and Intel to get a working 1GHz processor to market, it seems the bantam weight has dealt heavyweight Chipzilla something of an uppercut. A message has just appeared on its Web site here, saying it will launch its 1GHz Athlon processor tomorrow. The announcement also says that PC vendors will follow it by talking about their own plans. Both Compaq and Gateway showed 1GHz Athlon demos at CeBIT ten days back. Intel was telling people last week that it would manage to ship 1GHz Coppermines at some stage this week, but not officially. When we asked the company last Monday, it was a "neither confirm nor deny" situation sort of publishing. It seems Intel told some people under embargo, but as is quite common these days, that news leaked out. Just in case AMD changes its mind about what's on its Web site, like it did last week when it stalinised references to the 1GHz chip in March, this is what some of the media alert says: "On Monday, AMD is announcing it has commenced shipments of 1GHz AMD Athlon™ processors. "Leading PC manufacturers will also make announcements on the availability of systems based on the 1GHz AMD Athlon processor. The first commercially available systems based on the 1GHz AMD Athlon processor will be available beginning Monday." The rest of the media alert gives details about different press calls it is having tomorrow. Expect vast acres of cyber and print column inches in the coming week. The race to 1GHz has, then, been won by AMD. Its share price rose by over $2 last Friday on anticipation of the move. Intel could have won this absurd PR race if it had decided to tell the world+dog about its 1GHz Cumine last Monday, when news started leaking out. Truly, this has all the feel of a desperation derby, but we fully expect the two companies to start racing to 2GHz now. Good for consumers but a tad relentless. When we were at CeBIT a week last Saturday, AMD exec Steve Lapinski gave us a key ring with an Athlon boxing glove on it. The symbolic significance of this was not lost on us. We fully expect a keyring with a sledgehammer on it when that AMD 64-bit time arrives...® See also How AMD beat Intel to 1GHz chip AMD's 1GHz chip arrives this month -- official Intel to dribble out 1GHz Cumine this month

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