The biggest competitor to Intel has introduced a Pentium Pro-class chip to its OEMs and will seek to erode the chip giant?s market share in the first quarter of 1997.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) supplies processors to Acer, Tulip and other hardware manufacturers and will introduce its K6 processor to the market next year, running at clock speeds of 200MHz. The chip will be pin- compatible with existing motherboards.
Robert Stead, European marketing manager at AMD, said: ?This sits in a P54 or P55 socket. It goes where a Pentium or a Pentium Pro goes.?
He said that the Klamath card from Intel was an attempt by the giant to change the rules of the game. ?This is a naked attempt to move competitors away from standard pin sockets,? he said. ?We can get performance with our part.? He said that although Intel controlled a lot of the market, it was unlikely to control the motherboard market as well.
Although AMD had a bad 1996, the company is upbeat about its Pentium Pro- compatible piece. It has licensed MMX (multimedia extensions) from Intel and is now in a position to make money as the market for the Pentium Pro falls away.
Intel?s strategy is to attempt to capture the market in 1997 with volume desktop processor cards, dubbed Klamath. PC manufacturers will have to license this design from Intel and the first signs emerged last week that a licensing policy is underway.
This could polarise the market, a senior executive at AMD UK said. He claimed that PC manufacturers would find themselves ?between a rock and a hard place? as they attempted to explain to end users that pin compatibility had changed.
AMD did not say how much the part will cost but it is expected to seriously undermine the Pentium Pro price, details of which are on the record.
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