Intel insisted today that it will extend its new Celeron architecture to all types of PC manufacturers, denying rivals' claim that it is restricting sales.
Clonemakers AMD and Cyrix had suggested that the chip major is steering tier one vendors, such as Compaq and Dell, to the fully fledged Pentium II, rather than the cutdown Celeron version, which ships in April.
A highly placed source at Cyrix said today: ?They [Intel] want tier ones to use expensive PIIs but the tier ones are talking to either us or AMD.?
He continued: ?It seems that most of the tiers are not being offered Covington [Celeron's former codename] and there?s been a rush from them to Cyrix and AMD, but they?re not being offered it at the right price.? This would mean that the top vendors would find it prohibitive to go into the burgeoning sub-$1,000 PC sector.
The claims were vehemently denied by an Intel representative, who said that the Celeron was available to all vendors, irrespective of tier.
The Cyrix source claimed that there is now an all-out war between the Slot One and the Socket Seven architectures, with the entire entry level market at stake.
Compaq refused to comment on whether it was readying a Celeron machine in early April.
Meanwhile, US reports said today that Intel would take legal action against companies that infringed its patents by manufacturing alternative chipsets - the semiconductors and software surrounding the processor that make the 'brain' of the computer.
The reports claimed that Intel was contemplating legal action against third party Taiwanese manufacturers which had created chipsets to support Intel's Pentium II platform.
Intel refused to comment on the story.
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