AMD cuts prices, launches 1.1GHz mobile Athlon 4

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. launched three new chips on Monday, and cut the prices on all its mobile chips as well as its Duron desktop line.

AMD launched the new 1.1GHz Mobile Athlon 4 on Monday, once again bringing AMD and Intel Corp. within arms reach in the speed war. Intel's fastest mobile processor, the Pentium III-M, currently runs at 1.13GHz. AMD launched the first Athlon chips two years ago.

AMD also used the occasion to launch a 900MHz mobile version of its entry-level chip, the Duron processor, and a 1GHz desktop version of the Duron as well, the company said in a statement. The 1GHz Duron is AMD's first offering based on the new core called "Morgan," which is designed to offer better performance on Internet multimedia applications that involve content such as photos, music and video.

Compaq Computer Corp. will be among the first vendors to launch systems based on the new processors, offering both new mobile processors in its Presario 1200 family of notebooks, AMD said.

To make room for the processors, AMD also cut the prices of all processors in the Mobile Athlon 4, Mobile Duron and desktop Duron lines, according to information on the company's Web site.

Price wars between AMD and Intel have escalated recently; Intel has not cut prices since July 15, but is expected to do so soon. Earlier this month, the stock market took a brief tumble when financial analyst Dan Niles from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said in a report that he expected Intel to cut the prices of its Pentium 4 line by up to 54 percent by the end of this month.

The 1.1GHz Mobile Athlon 4 takes the top AMD mobile price spot at US$425 in quantities of 1,000 units, a standard measurement of chip sales. The 1GHz offering dropped in price from $425 to $290; the 950MHz from $350 to $260; the 900MHz from $270 to $230; and the 850MHz processor was reduced from $240 to $195, according to AMD's Web site.

In the Mobile Duron family, the new 900MHz processor launches at $130, while the 850MHz was reduced from $197 to $100, and the 800MHz dropped in price from $170 to $90.

Finally, AMD launched the new 1GHz Duron for desktops at $89, a significant reduction from the previous fastest offering, the 950MHz, which dropped in price from $122 to $74. The company also reduced the price of the 900MHz version from $91 to $64 and the 850MHz version from $64 to $59. The 800MHz Duron for desktops, which was previously the company's least expensive desktop processor at $64, was dropped from the company's line-up, according to AMD's Web site.

AMD is currently shipping the processors, and expects widespread availability in systems in conjunction with the launch of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system, which is set for Oct. 25, AMD said.

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Douglas F. Gray

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