IBM has reversed its position on using AMD microprocessors and will build the Intel clone chips into its Aptiva entry level machines. The news came as Compaq ended months of speculation by confirming it will use AMD K6 processors in its entry level machines.
But AMD, despite the good news, will still not say whether it will match Intel?s price cuts on the Pentium II/233 processors, made last week.
The Compaq machines that will use the K6 processors are the Presario 224, which will cost $799 without the monitor, a price that undercuts rival Packard Bell, Compaq claims.
IBM?s Aptivas models E26 and E46 will use both the 233MHz and 266MHz K6 models.
The decision by Compaq to use the K6, (first reported on the 'VNU Newswire' last April), is a long awaited endorsement for the platform, said Joe D?Elia, senior semiconductor analyst at Dataquest UK.
He said: ?This gives notice that both IBM and Compaq have confidence in AMD?s ability to produce these products for the rest of the industry. It is absolutely what AMD needs to give them credence.?
He believes that AMD, which suffered during the past two quarters from an inability to produce sufficient K6s, would do well this year. ?IBM and Compaq are sticking with the established K6 products and not speculating on AMD?s ability to deliver its 3D products. This augurs well for AMD this year,? he said.
A representative for AMD gave a terse ?no comment? when asked whether it would cut its chip prices to match Intel?s recent price reductions, and further ones planned for later this month.
But D?Elia said: ?They [AMD] won?t cut prices on the K6 until Intel does its move at the end of the month.?
IBM's Personal System group maintained last year that, if it used any non-Intel processor, it would be its own 6X86 processor, which is jointly manufactured by its Microelectronics division and Cyrix. Its decision to use the AMD part is probably connected with National Semiconductor's decision to buy Cyrix last year, observers speculated.
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