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The much-hyped AMD Thunderbird is to bare its teeth at Chipzilla at Computex next Monday. The souped-up Athlon will launch at 750MHz and feature 256KB of on-die cache, finally allowing Chimpzilla to compete on even terms with Intel's Coppermine Pentium IIIs.

But the most significant change will be in manufacturing costs – without expensive off-die cache memory, Thunderbird will be considerably cheaper to make than Athlon in the same way that Coppermine slashed assembly costs for Satan Clara.

Copper Thunderbirds will come from AMD's Dresden plant, while aluminium Thunderbirds will be produced in the US at its Austin fab.

June looks set to be a busy month for AMD, with Thunderbird's baby brother, the Celeron-basher Duron, now slated for launch on 12 June. ®

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