The rumours are true. Three new AMD processors, running
at 366, 380 and 400MHz, were announced today to coincide with the
opening of Comdex '98. No official benchmark data published yet, but
check the CPU Scorecard rankings for
our estimates based on past performance. Stay tuned for the hard data as
soon as it's available.
While Intel mimics Cyrix, AMD will mimic Intel with a
Slot-1esque design for its newest flagchip.
Double the bus speed. Double the floating point speed. And all the
3D-Now! Should be a winner.
AMD frees Microsoft patch
November 26, 1998
Previously reported in September, a Windows 95 glitch
sometime halts boot-up on a PC running a K6-2
350MHz (or higher) CPU. A software timing loop problem, Microsoft
developed a fix but was charging up to $35 to those users who needed it.
Only Windows 95 users were affected ('98 & NT were fixed
previously), and not many at that. But now the patch is available direct
from AMD. For free. Win95 SR2 (4.00.95B) only. Most everyone else running
machines that fast will likely have upgraded anyway.
Though not officially released yet, benchmarks of AMD's
new K6-3 (code-named Sharptooth) have
been published on the AnandTech site. The preliminary numbers show that
Sharptooth outperforms Intel's Pentium II at the same clock speed. Find
out where these new chips rank in our own benchmark
Intel notes some computer makers are finding P2-266
& 300 CPU's in short supply. Claims inventory bottleneck. Perhaps
related to recent price increases in said chips? Faster (and pricier)
New Pentium II, Celerons unveiled!
August 24, 1998
Intel puts the cache back in its Celeron
to get more cash out, and adds a new performance leader.
In an announcement that made even my head spin
around, Intel revealed that it plans to resurrect pin-based socket
architecture for its next Celeron chips.
You'll remember that Intel poo-pooed the Socket-7,
still performing with excellent results for its competitors, in favour
of its arguably better (and Intel-patented) Slot-1 design. Now Intel
wants to put its new Celerons back in the socket. Not Socket-7, of
course, but something new and again proprietary.
Is Intel conceding again that it cannot compete on a
level motherboard playing field with AMD and Cyrix et al? It seems they
would rather try to gain market share by creating another incompatible
motherboard design than by actually furthering chip technology.
Well--maybe some people are. But if there's any
anticipation for Intel's newest generation of processors, with an
expanded multimedia instruction set squarely aimed at competing with
AMD's 3D-Now technology, it's not very evident. Computer sales are
climbing as we rush into the holiday season. Unlike a couple of years
ago, Santa's not waiting for Intel.
November 17, 1998
Seeing entry-level PC market share going to AMD, Intel
plans to foray into more integrated chipset designs, a strategy
pioneered by Cyrix. Ironically, Cyrix isn't making many gains with this
strategy so far.
Intel looses its grip
December 9, 1998
This week, SiS;
last week, VIA Technologies--both
have now signed agreements with Intel to produce chipsets for the Pentium
II line. With the onset of the Pentium II, chipsets (the
controllers between the CPU and the rest of the motherboard components
and peripherals) became an exclusive domain of Intel. Other
chipset manufacturers were relegated to supporting only AMD, Cyrix, and
Intel's other rivals. More competition in this area should provide
better features at lower overall prices for machines with Intel inside.
Though Intel so far refuses comment, PC hardware &
software makers are concerned about new security functions planned for
chipsets accompanying the Katmai and newer CPU's. These 'features' could
shut down operating systems or software not meeting Intel's
authentication or copyright protocols. Direct support of data encryption
over the internet and tamper-proofing of networked PC's are some of the
intended 'benefits'. But your next BIOS or software upgrades and other
system capabilities may soon be more widely controlled (or at least
monitored) by Intel.
New year, new chips from Intel,
December 21, 1998
Starting Jan. 4, Intel will be unveiling faster Xeons,
II's, and its new Katmai line. AMD
to follow suit with faster K6-2's and
its new K6-3 for notebooks. If you
haven't bought that Christmas computer yet, maybe wait awhile for better
deals coming soon...
The Microprocessor Forum wraps up, and it looks like
the race to establish the fastest, most popular chips in the land may
sacrifice compatibility, as the major players race off in different
Chips from Space!
November 13, 1998
Secretive Transmeta CPU technology
starting to be revealed with new patents granted. Smaller, faster,
cheaper than Intel--a significant new competitor, or just another
X-File? Time will tell...
Traditionally seen as an environmentally benign
industry, the semiconductor business is having to face up to its
not-so-benign impacts. The chips in your computer are low-power, clean,
and green. But the volumes of chemical by-products required to make them
that way are starting to be noticed in Silicon Valley water supplies and
U.S. Chip Industry gets R&D
December 9, 1998
The U.S. semiconductor industry will partner with
university researchers and Department of Defence funding in a $600
million-dollar bid to advance chip technology over the next 10 years.
More research should help maintain Moore's
Law. But D.O.D. involvement might more likely invoke Murphy's