AMD to unveil 350MHz K6-2 today

Advanced Micro Devices will ratchet the speed of its K6-2 microprocessors up another notch today with a version running at 350MHz. AMD will position the chip as a viable competitor to Intel's Pentium II processors in the market for performance desktop PCs. The chip includes AMD's graphics-enhancing 3DNow technology, which may make the K6-2 an attractive processor for users running 3-D applications including video games.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. will ratchet the speed of its K6-2 microprocessors up another notch tomorrow with a version running at 350MHz, a company spokesman said today.

AMD will position the chip as a viable competitor to Intel's Pentium II processors in the market for performance desktop PCs, spokesman Scott Allen said.

The chip includes AMD's graphics-enhancing 3DNow technology, which will make the K6-2 an attractive processor for users running 3-D applications including video games, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Dataquest Inc., in San Jose, California.

The chip also includes a 100MHz front-side bus -- a performance-boosting feature that increases the speed at which the processor communicates with the rest of the system -- up from the 66MHz front-side bus in AMD's 333MHz chip.

The increased bus speed alone should improve overall system performance about 15 percent over the 333MHz version, Brookwood said.

Intel on Monday released its fastest Pentium II processor yet, which runs at 450MHz and also includes a 100MHz system bus.

Whether users opt for an AMD or an Intel-based system, they still get a good deal for their money.

"The winner in all this is always the buyer of the system, because you get a lot of performance," Brookwood said.

AMD would not disclose pricing today, nor would it say which PC makers plan to offer the chip in their systems.

A source close to AMD said IBM Corp. plans to include the device in its Aptiva desktop line.

Hewlett-Packard Co., Acer America Corp., Everex Corp. and CTX Computer, a subsidiary of Taiwanese firm Chuntex Electronics, also currently offer K6-2 processors in some of their desktop systems.

AMD is based in Sunnyvale, California, and can be reached at +1-408-732-2400 or on the World Wide Web at http://www.amd.com/.

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