AMD boosts notebook chip

Advanced Micro Devices has released a 450MHz version of its mobile K6-III processor, which it claims is the highest-performance chip of its kind on the market. The news was tempered by reports that Gateway plans to stop using AMD's chips in its PCs.

AMD also launched the product at 433MHz and 400MHz.

Intel's current fastest processor for notebooks is a mobile Pentium II running at 400MHz. Clock speed is only one measure of processor performance, but AMD said other features in the K6-III, including a faster memory bus and larger on-chip cache, make it faster than a mobile Pentium II. AMD released results from a handful of benchmark tests to back up its claim.

Meanwhile, Gateway declined to comment on a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, that it plans to stop using AMD chips after it refreshes its current PC line up. Gateway began using AMD's chips in February, and offers them in its Select and Profile desktop PCs.

"Gateway has been a good customer and we will continue to compete for their business," AMD spokesman Scott Allen said, declining to comment further.

The report in the Journal, which cites unnamed sources "close to the matter", said Gateway's decision to drop AMD reflects renewed gains Intel has made in the price-sensitive consumer market. Intel has been aggressively cutting prices in the past year on its notebook and desktop processors.

Also announced at the launch were faster K6-2 mobile processors, aimed at lower-cost PCs. The K6-II is now available at 475MHz, 450MHz and 433MHz.

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James Niccolai

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