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Intel 866MHz, 850MHz will be launched today

And a quick look at chip availability...

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As expected, Intel is expected to announce the arrival of 866MHz and 850MHz Coppermine Pentium IIIs, when the company opens its portals at eight o'clock AM, Santa Clara time. (See link at end of story -- Intel has just posted the press release 15.52 UT). The company is also expected to announce the arrival of Xeon versions of these microprocessors. The prices of such parts, when they become available, are expected to be very close to the figures we published last week, and there will be no price adjustments to accompany the PR fanfare, we understand. However, the Pentium III 850MHz in SECC2 (Slot One) format is already for sale in Tokyo's electronics area, according to Pricewatch Akihabara. There, the part is advertised at ¥109,800, which pans out at ~$1,035. Gateway Country 1GHz Athlon systems are already on sale at Akihabara, reader BATTLAX informs us. We have had confirmation that these systems have also started to appear in US outlets. The Japanese text, according to the translation by Lernout & Hauspie software, adds that the Pentium III 800MHz part is in extremely short supply. So how is availability on our UK barometer for AMD and Intel processors? A check at the Intel page at SMC Direct, shows some improvement on previous weeks, but still a desperate shortage of some Pentium IIIs. There is a temporary shortage of 733MHz and 666MHz processors, while a 550MHz processor has a due date of the 12th of May. One 750MHz and one 800MHz chip are due at the end of this month. There are also big shortages of Xeon processors. On the AMD front, there are shortages of the Athlon 850MHz, while the 800MHz processor is available. The 550MHz Athlon, which we confidently expect to be resurrected to compete against future Celerons based on Coppermine technology, are not currently listed at this AMD listing at SMC Direct. Meanwhile, sources close to AMD have confirmed that its Dresden fab 30 will come on stream in Q2, although full production is likely towards the end of the quarter, in June. AMD is to produce Thunderbird chips with on-die cache during this period. Intel's press release has just been posted and is here, with prices which differ from those which OEMs told us last week. ®

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