Intel has today launched a 1.13Ghz version of its Pentium III processor aimed at power users and gaming enthusiasts.
PC manufacturers including Dell and Compaq are also expected to launch systems based on the new chips this week.
The systems are also expected to be available in limited quantities in Europe, unlike Intel's 1Ghz processors, launched earlier this year, which were only initially available to customers in the US.
A spokesman for the chip giant said that the processors will be available in volume by the fourth quarter of this year.
"Volume quantities of our 1Ghz processors are kicking in about now," he said.
Industry analysts have previously questioned the need for chips running at such high speeds and have predicted that demand for machines based on these processors would be low.
Dataquest analyst Thomas Reuner said: "In the professional space, no one would buy 1Ghz machines at the moment - 650Mhz is more than enough. [Network] bandwidth is more important in a corporate environment."
It is the same story in the consumer market, according to Reuner. "Only a handful will buy machines at that speed," he said.
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