Intel Lays Claim to Fastest PC Chip

BOSTON (03/08/2000) - As expected, Intel Corp. today announced that its 1GHz Pentium III is available -- two days after rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

(AMD) said that it is shipping its 1GHz Athlon processor.

Intel is touting its new processor as the "world's highest performance microprocessor for PCs." The 1GHz processor is available in limited quantities.

It is expected to be offered in high-end PCs aimed at applications such as digital photography, music, video editing and games.

Also as expected, computer makers today announced PCs with the new processor.

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Pavilion 1G PC, priced at US$3,499, is expected to be available next week in the U.S. Dell Computer Corp. said that it will ship its Special Edition Dell Dimension desktop, priced at $5,999, although the company didn't specify when shipments would begin.

Intel already is showing off prototype systems for a processor running at 1.5GHz, expected to be part of its next, and probably final, generation of 32-bit processor architecture code-named Willamette. Intel trotted out the prototype at its developer conference in California last month and at the CeBIT trade show in Hanover, Germany.

Although declining to put a more exact date on when such speedy Willamette-powered systems will hit the market, a senior Intel executive at CeBIT said it could happen faster than most people expect.

"The fact that we are able to show this stuff here is pretty significant," said Mike Fister, vice president at Intel and general manager of the company's enterprise server group.

While in recent years Intel often has taken about a year to get its fastest prototype chips out on the market, the Willamette might appear in 1.5GHz iteration faster than that -- or run at an even faster clock speed by this time next year, Fister said, speaking to reporters after his presentation at CeBIT.

[See "Intel Previews Itanium, Willamette Systems," Feb. 23.]Also due from Intel by mid-year is the Itanium, its first 64-bit processor family. However, Fister said that the first Itaniums will operate at 733MHz and 800MHz.

Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 or http://www.intel.com/. HP, in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at +1-650-857-1501 or http://www.hp.com/. Dell, in Round Rock, Texas, can be reached at +1-512-338-4400 or http://www.dell.com/

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