1.1GHz Athlon systems due this month

Advanced Micro Devices has started shipping a 1.1GHz version of its Athlon processor to PC makers, and expects the first desktop systems based on the new chip to go on sale August 28, AMD announced yesterday.

The chip maker didn't say exactly which PC makers will use the new processor.

Vendors offering Athlon PCs today include Compaq Computer, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and NEC.

The 1.1GHz systems are expected to be priced in the $US2,500 range, AMD said in a statement.

Athlon is the brand name for AMD's high-performance chip family, which competes with Intel's Pentium III. For sub-$1,000 systems AMD offers the Duron processor, which competes with Intel's Celeron.

Intel launched a 1.13GHz version of the Pentium III on July 31, which is available currently from various PC vendors.

Both Intel and AMD have had trouble keeping pace with demand for their fastest processors. An AMD spokesman acknowledged Monday that supplies of the new 1.1GHz chip won't be in abundance when the chip is first released.

In 1,000-unit quantities, the 1.1GHz Athlon is priced at $853.

Also Monday, AMD announced a round of price cuts for its existing Athlon and Duron processors, as the chip vendor gears up to make the most of what's traditionally the strongest buying period in the PC industry.

The 800GHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 950MHz and 1GHz Athlon processors are priced at $215, $282, $350, $460 and $612 respectively, each in 1,000-unit quantities.

The 600MHz, 650MHz and 700MHz Duron processors are priced at $79, $103 and $138 respectively, also in 1,000-unit quantities, AMD said. Australian pricing has not been confirmed at press time.

With the PC market outlook strong, AMD said it expects to meet its goal of selling 3.6 million Athlon and Duron processors this quarter, and to double that figure to 7.2 million units in the fourth quarter of this year.

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