Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reclaimed the clock speed crown on Monday when it released a 750MHz version of its Athlon microprocessor.
Intel briefly held the title when it released a 733MHz Pentium III last month, but AMD said it expects to manufacture almost one million of the high speed chips this quarter for customers such as IBM and Compaq, to use in their high-end consumer models.
AMD chief executive, Jerry Sanders, said the company has learned from its history of production problems, adding that he did not anticipate any manufacturing issues with the new Athlon. "I am confident we can keep up with demand," he said.
The new processor is the first to be built using AMD's aluminum 0.18 micron manufacturing process. Referring to the fact that only AMD and Intel have mastered 0.18 micro manufacturing, Sanders said: "You have to remember that what we are trying to do is hard - no-one has done it before."
AMD's manufacturing problems caused several PC makers, including Gateway, to move away from the company, but there are indications that several will return to the fold. Gateway is expected to begin shipping Athlon-based products on 29 December and Intel said it plans to unveil Pentium chips running at 800MHz and 1GHz, in the first and second half of 2000, respectively.
AMD said it expects to have an 800MHz chip in the first quarter and a 1GHz chip in the second. As well as launching the new chip, AMD also unveiled a 200MHz bus to further boost the processing speed of Athlon-based PCs.
After several consecutive quarters of losses, AMD said it hopes to make a profit in the fourth quarter fuelled by the renewed popularity of its microprocessors.
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