The IBM PC Company has chosen to use AMD K6 chips in a range of its consumer machines in favour of its own Cyrix-designed chips.
James Firestone, general manager of IBM?s consumer division, said: ?We look forward to offering new IBM Aptiva personal computers using AMD?s technology.?
Vinod Dham, group vice president of AMD?s computation products group, said: ?This validates the growing acceptance of the K6 processor.?
The deal pleased Wall Street by giving AMD another tier one PC vendor in its fold. The share price rose by $5 yesterday when the deal was announced.
But some commentators wondered why IBM had decided to use AMD?s technology rather than its own, designed by Cyrix and built at IBM fabs.
Joe D?Elia, senior semiconductor analyst at Dataquest UK, said: ?I can?t see any reason why they shouldn?t use their own devices. From a compatibility and performance point of view, they?re very similar.?
But, he said, it was possible that it was more economic for IBM to buy from outside. ?Perhaps they get a better price from AMD,? he said. ?If they can sell every [IBM] device they make on the open market, they make real dollars on it. Because AMD has to get these devices into first tier vendors, it is likely K6s are offered at very competitive prices.?
AMD has steadily built up a core of first tier PC makers prepared to use its K6 chip since its launch earlier this year. These include Digital, Acer and now IBM. But the real win would be if a company such as Compaq put its considerable muscle behind AMD in its war of attrition against Intel.
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