The battle between Intel and clone chipmakers was thrown into sharp relief at this week's Computex electronics show in Taiwan, with the market leader under increasing pressure.
Over 60 per cent of the motherboards in the world are made by Taiwanese companies and many of these were hedging their bets at the show by demonstrating products that supported Intel challengers such as AMD, Cyrix or IDT-Centaur.
However, most of the motherboard makers believe Intel's Slot One architecture will win the day and clonemakers will need to support it soon to keep gaining market share.
Soyo, one of the larger motherboard manufacturers, was demonstrating a motherboard supporting AMD's K6-3D, formally launched last week. But the company is also supporting Pentium II and Slot One products.
Last March, Andy Grove, chairman of Intel, came to Taiwan to encourage manufacturers to develop for Slot One technology, demonstrating the importance of the country's electronics business to the chip giant.
Most, if not all, of the exhibitors have motherboard technology based on Intel's low cost Celeron processor ready now, which they will introduce if and when the chip - which so far has won limited support - takes off.
So the race remains very much open, especially at the low end of the PC market - although it was perhaps significant that the sponsor of Computex is Cyrix new parent, National Semiconductor.
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