Microprocessor manufacturer AMD has demonstrated a working system using its forthcoming K6 3D chip and shown benchmarks which show it performing three times as fast as an equivalent Pentium II.
The AMD system used the 640 100MHz local bus chip set, running Microsoft DirectX 5, optimised for the platform. The company has already received source code for DirectX 6.
Dana Krelle, senior VP of marketing at AMD, said the company had deals already in place with third party chipset and motherboard manufacturers including ALI, VIA and SIS and would be able to produce volume of the new chip in the first half of next year.
"Our microprocessor map is still on track," said Krelle. The .25 micron parts are continuing to sample to lots of different companies and we've started production wafers for launch early next year."
He said AMD was working hard to eliminate the problems associated with producing the current generation of K6s. Two weeks ago, AMD admitted it was still having difficulty meeting its targets.
A UK distributor, who wished to remain unnamed, said last week he was still on strict allocation for K6 parts and demand vastly outstripped supply.
"We think we've found the recipe now," said Krelle. "There are already lots of 233MHz chips on the .35 micron and .25 is where we want to be."
He said AMD will produce a .25 micron part suitable for the notebook market in the first quarter of 1998 and many OEMs had already expressed interest in the product.
Krelle said that the K6 3D was now sampling and had been "especially sampled" into the software community. The investment AMD made in Digital Anvil recently was because it was a games startup whose executives had a good track record.
AMD was also cooperating with Dteamworks Interactive and Krelle showed a demonstration of a game called Trespasser due for release in the first half of 1998 on both the K6 3D and the Pentium II.
The game, set in a 15 square kilometer virtual island, uses 35Mbytes of texturing and ran faster on the AMD PC than the machine using the Pentium II. The game takes advantage of the 3D physics used in the AMD chip, said Krelle.
Krelle also outlined the future of AMD without Vinod Dham, a senior VP who left the company unexpectedly last week.
He said: "In his time at AMD, he has made tremendous contributions in the methodologies he introduced and these will live on without him."
The loss of Dham had not affected morale at AMD, said Krelle, and the designer team was not affected because it was run by Atiq Raza, who was CEO of NexGen before it was taken over by AMD.
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