Worldwide distributor Karma International claimed a victory in Europe today as it signed a deal to sell AMD K6 chips across the region.
The deal, which came as a surpise to AMD UK, means that Karma can ship motherboards, chipsets and K6 processors to system builders using the Socket Seven, non cartridge, interface.
But Karma has already struck deals with European system builders, AMD executive Jochen Polster said earlier today. In a release which must have been approved by top officials, he said Karma had scored a pan-European victory.
That adds to Karma's success earlier this month when it became a pan-European distributor for hard drive manufacurer Iomega. (See separate Iomega story.)
Alvi Mazon, MD of worldwide company Karma said: "We are targeting small and medium-sized system integrators who want to differentiate themselves from the Intel market and offer an award-winning product with an excellent cost-performance value."
His statement was backed up by W.J. Sanders III, CEO of AMD, and along with Andy Grove, now CEO of rival company Intel, a former employee at Fairchild Semiconductor. Sanders said: "The AMD K6 processor is smaller, faster, easier to use, more energy efficient and less expensive than Pentium Pro."
Polster, now field manager of AMD in Central Europe, said Karma had a strong customer base.
But Karma's win on European business could pose problems for AMD as it seeks to position its K6 processor against offerings from Intel on the 6 May. In the past, AMD has cleaned up behind Intel as it moved onto future processing offerings, but, in this case, Polster's boss, Sanders, has positioned the K6 directly against the Pentium II chips due next week.
Sanders is keen to distance his company from that past. He has allied his company with Microsoft, managed to persuade Digital that it will use its chips and is expected to cut deals in the next week with a variety of other first tier vendors including Compaq, ALR and Mitsubishi, according to informed sources.
Karma takes the view that K6 beats the Pentium II using currently accepted benchmarks - a view that Intel's CEO Andy Grove disagreed with at Compaq's Innovate 97 Forum two weeks ago, as previously reported.
System builders want Socket Seven and not cartridge technology, Karma thinks.
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