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AMD News

AMD announces K6-2's for notebooks AMD
January 13, 1999

With a top speed of 333MHz, these new CPU's will unleash your laptop.

AMD speechless? TechWeb
February 4, 1999

Cancelling conference engagements? Fumbling to meet demand for your fastest K6-2's? Intel actually under-pricing you?
C'mon, AMD---you're making me nervous...

AMD's Sharptooth unveiled, K6-2 line extended AMD
February 26, 1999

Sporting a new tri-level cache and higher speeds, the new AMD K6-III is set to take on the Pentium III.

AMD speeds up notebooks for less AMD
March 8, 1999

New K6-2 350, 366 & 380MHz mobile CPU's fill out the laptop market for AMD.

AMD under credit review; stockholders sue TechWeb
March 11, 1999

AMD's admission earlier this week that they would not meet their production quota this quarter has prompted unwelcome interest from Moody's and a class action lawsuit from investors.

Leave it to lawyers to construe optimism as grounds for a lawsuit to recover investment losses. I say if you can't take the hype, stay out of the stock market. Still, AMD needs to concentrate on getting their K7 out on time and providing more of all their CPU's. We need hardware, not  promises.

New K-2 from AMD TechWeb
April 5, 1999

Powering new Aptiva's, AMD's new K6-2 at 475MHz keeps the pressure on.  See where it scores...

AMD's K7: Dominator or disappointment? CNet
April 29, 1999

Fairly balanced coverage of how much we should expect from AMD's next CPU line.

AMD K6-2 500 to ship by fall TechWeb
May 13, 1999

What may be the last of the K6-2's is apparently sampling now and is promised next quarter. Soon enough to catch Celerons at that speed? Not likely.

K6-III mobilises AMD
May 24, 1999

AMD transplants its K6-III technology into the notebook arena, with speeds up to 380MHz.

K7 klobbers chip king TechWeb
June 11, 1999

...according to AMD, anyway. Their preliminary numbers put the upcoming K7 ahead of both Pentium III's and Xeons. Based on this information, we can guesstimate where the K7 will score. But take these numbers with some sodium chloride until the chip is actually released for independent testing.

K7 becomes Athlon, but still not available AMD
June 23, 1999

New name, new era for AMD. As they readily admit, the company is still losing money. But as the first numbers indicate, AMD should do better as long as they can actually release the chip for general distribution before Intel catches up.

Athlons arrive (finally) TechWeb
August 9, 1999

Taking the World's Fastest (PC) CPU crown away from Intel, AMD launches its new Athlon line--at a price still less than a Pentium III. Let the showdown begin!

New K6-2 from AMD CNet
August 30, 1999

Maintaining their commitment to their successful budget line, AMD cranks up their K6-2 to 500MHz, nearly matching Intel's recent Celeron boost.

AMD mobilises notebook counter-attack TechWeb
September 20, 1999

With three new voltage-sipping processors in each of their K6-2 and K6-III product lines, AMD retakes the fastest x86 crown for both desktops and laptops.

Athlon accelerates to 700MHz TechWeb
October 4, 1999

AMD introduces newest, fastest, x86 processor. The gauntlet is thrown yet again.

AMD opens second CPU plant CNet
October 20, 1999

Predicting 1-GHz Athlons by the end of next year, AMD officially opened their Dresden, Germany fab to build them.

Compared with Intel's more than a dozen CPU fabs, this does not seem like much. But for AMD, it is a significant boost to their manufacturing capacity-- sorely needed for a long time now.

10 000+ sign Athlon motherboard petition Petition
October 25, 1999

Noting the slow industry support of Athlon-capable motherboards, a petition to motherboard manufacturers is underway.

Do you wish to add your name to the petition?

AMD takes it 'EasyNow' CNet
November 12, 1999

Wanting to cash in on the all-in-one PC market, AMD goes direct with an oval 'EasyNow' PC.

Looks kinda like a giant one-eyed monster on its side.
Who buys these things? Check this month's poll to see...

Athlon accelerates to speed lead AMD
November 29, 1999

Right on schedule, AMD retakes the CPU clock speed title with a 750MHz Athlon, their first CPU built on an 0.18-micron die. In addition, a new 533MHz K6-2 pumps up their cost-conscious processor line. Check out their scores here.

Cyrix News

Cyrix for sale! CNet
May 5, 1999

Sad to see, but not much of a surprise. Cyrix has been nearly invisible for the past year or so.

National Semi's dumping of Cyrix will be bad for competition and therefore bad for consumers. Hopefully, someone like IBM will see the CPU Lite and get back into the PC chip business with this bargain.

Cyrix still searching CNet
June 4, 1999

IBM's not interested. Neither is Taiwan. Perhaps National Semi's price is too high? Whether this is just negotiator posturing or not, every day that Cyrix is homeless puts it at least a month more behind AMD or Intel.

They'll be giving away MII's any day now.

Cyrix sold ZDNet
June 30, 1999

VIA Technologies Inc. from Taiwan has signed a letter of intent to purchase Cyrix after National Semiconductor orphaned it. With new chips now on the market, there's a good chance that Cyrix may land on its feet again, tackling Intel and AMD once again in the entry level domain.

IBM News

IBM insulates to innovate C|Net
February 16, 1999

In an effort to raise the clockspeed and lower the heat of its next PowerPC processors, IBM is pioneering Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) technology. Additional layers of silicon will be added as insulation between the circuitry. Let's hope there's more burger than bun...

IDT News

IDT: In Dire Trouble? TechWeb
May 10, 1999

Looking for partners and re-thinking their whole WinChip strategy, IDT may soon be history as a CPU supplier. With the recent similar news about Cyrix as well, I might make a comment about little furry animals leaving a sinking chip--but I won't.

IDT wants out, too CNet
July 14, 1999

Jealous of National Semiconductor's recent success in getting rid of money-losing Cyrix, IDT would like to sell off its WinChip business, also. Not that anyone will notice...

VIA buys IDT CNet
August 5, 1999

On the heels of their recent deal to obtain Cyrix, VIA Technologies once again scoops up another CPU also-ran, IDT's flailing Winchip division.

Looks like the start of another CPU competitor dynasty. Wonder what Rise thinks of all this...?

Intel News

Intel unveils new 366 & 400MHz Celerons; AMD prices to match Intel, C|Net
January 4, 1999

New Year! New chips (find out where they rate)! And lower prices! The race to the new millennium is on!

EPIC wants to add privacy issue to FTC list of Intel sins

Intel Pentium III security 'feature' a marketing tool?

January 29, 1999

Tom's Hardware, Wired
January 21, 1999

The new CPU identification code that Intel plans for the Pentium III (Katmai) may be more hype than help (oh, really?). Tom gets a hacker's view on the subject: mostly laughter. Reportedly,  software pirates are just as unimpressed. And privacy advocates are starting an Intel boycott.

Seems Intel's "trusted PC" concept isn't. Most of you agree.

New mobile chips from Intel TechWeb
January 25, 1999

Stealing thunder from AMD's recent K6-2 entry into the notebook market, Intel unveiled two Pentium II (333 and a new 366MHz speed) and two Celeron (266 & 300MHz) CPU's packaged for laptops. The Pentium II's feature 256k of level 2 cache; the Celerons, 128k. All use Intel's new BGA (Ball Grid Array) socket design.

Pentium III set to launch Feb 28; new Celeron in March TechWeb
January 28, 1999

Despite all the security vs. privacy controversy, Intel's Katmai (Pentium III) is steaming ahead for its official lift-off in February. Some Pentium III 500MHz systems may already be available, even in Arizona.

Intel objects to FTC prosecutor, without success C|Net
February 9, 1999

In an effort to delay the upcoming antitrust trial before the Federal Trade Commission, Intel wants to oust the government's lead attorney Richard Parker, due to his former ties to AMD.

Now it's getting personal, though Intel may have a point. Does Parker have an axe to grind? Maybe. Can he put the public interest before private issues? Let us hope so. Perhaps Intel is simply worried because Parker's former firm has won litigations against them in the past, so they know what they're up against.

CPU price war escalates as countdown to Pentium III accelerates TechWeb
February 12, 1999

Prices continue to crash as we head toward III-day.

The Pentium III is here Intel
February 26, 1999

Whether known as KNI (Katmai New Instructions) or SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions), Intel's version of AMD's 3DNow! routines is set to become the de-facto 3D processing standard.

FTC, Intel square off ZDNet
March 1, 1999

In preparation for their anti-trust trial due to start March 9, both the Federal Trade Commission and Intel laid out their preliminary arguments and rebuttals today.

Intel & FTC likely to settle, though it's not yet a done deal TechWeb, C|Net
March 8, 1999

In a bid to avoid potentially months of costly litigation, both Intel and the Federal Trade Commission have made a tentative agreement to settle. Specific details are sketchy, but it looks like Intel has assured the FTC that it will play nice with other companies from now on, while maintaining its trade secrets when necessary.

Smart move for Intel. The sooner they can avoid a trial, the sooner they can get back to building CPU's that actually advance rather than just refine the technology.

Preventing Pentium piracy ZDNet
March 15, 1999

Intel released a new weapon for combating Pentium-III pirates--shifty computer builders who pass off low-speed (and cheaper) Pentium's as higher-speed CPU's. The Processor Frequency ID Utility will identify if your bargain chip has been over-clocked, but won't prevent you from over-clocking on your own.

The utility will no doubt be hacked and faked by the unscrupulous for in-store testing and display purposes. As always, it's 'buyer beware' when buying bargains. But testing with the utility direct from Intel should help you ferret out the frauds.

FTC-Intel agreement signed CNet
March 17, 1999

The consent order is public. Intel gets to do what it did, but no more than that. For ten years.
Win-win? Or WIntel?

New Celeron launched Intel
March 22, 1999

Intel punches out their fastest Celeron yet--433MHz. See where it scores...

Dell discusses demise of Pentium, too CNet
April 9, 1999

Senior VP Carl Everett reported to predict the demise of Pentium II's in Dell systems, preferring to use lower-cost Celerons. And no wonder. Can you tell the difference in speed?

Pentium III to become unslotted? The Register
April 13, 1999

Feeling nostalgic and basking in the (surprise?) success of their socketted Celerons, Intel is reportedly planning to go back to the motherboard with their new Pentium III's, possibly by the fall. They may even be pushing an iMac clone by then.

If true, it would illustrate once again how Intel's slot strategy was more of an anti-competitive decision than a technological one. I wonder if AMD will now put their K7 back on the motherboard where a CPU belongs.

Newest Celeron to sing and dance--But not quite yet! Intel
April 26, 1999

Intel's newest Celeron will go the way of the MediaGX, albeit at 466MHz and beyond. Integrating audio and 3D graphics into their new 810 chipset, Intel hopes to steal all thunder from AMD's K7, coming in June. While the new Celeron was introduced today ahead of schedule (go get its CPU Score here), Intel adds that their new supporting chipset won't be available until "the second quarter 1999".

I checked my calendar--is this new target date a code phrase for K7-day?

Intel calls privacy flaw a virus TechWeb
April 29, 1999

Canadian privacy hero Zero Knowledge demonstrates once again the vulnerability of Intel's CPU ID feature. Intel brands them as outlaws.

It's the old story of the emperor without his clothes--he should have just banned eyesight.

New Pentium III released;
Old Pentium II's re-priced
Intel, TechWeb
May 12, 1999

The Intel war machine marches faster and faster, slashing their own price list in the process.

Old becomes new again at Intel TechWeb
June 7, 1999

Imagine that! A Pentium III in a socket. So 'new' thinner PC's (read notebooks or even palmtops) can be developed. Such inspiration. Yet another CPU marketing--I mean, mounting--standard to frustrate computer upgraders. Not that we didn't see it coming, of course.

Celerons & Pentium II's reduced TechWeb
June 9, 1999

Entry-level computer buyers will again welcome this latest 10% price cut by Intel. AMD is sure to follow suit, distracting them from their K7 roll-out this month.

Intel introduces new, faster CPUs ZDNet
July 27, 1999

At new speeds of 600MHz for their Pentium III line and 500MHz for their Celerons, Intel bites back at AMD's upcoming 'official' launch of their Athlon (expected August 9).

Intel: We may not be faster, but we're cheap CNet
August 23, 1999

Intel takes a page from AMD's former marketing strategy, slashing Pentium III prices before the Athlon starts shipping in volume. Obviously somebody's upset about the latest benchmarks...

Intel speeds to coppermine TechWeb
September 1, 1999

The newest, fastest Pentium III based on a 0.18 wafer could appear as early as October this year, sooner and speedier than Intel had predicted before AMD's Athlon began burning up the charts.

Of course, press releases are a lot easier to issue than new CPU's...

New mobile Celerons are here Intel
September 15, 1999

Now topping out at 466MHz, these budget notebook engines arrive just in time for Christmas.

Mobile, SpeedStepping Pentium III's delayed ZDNet
September 23, 1999

Design issues delay Intel's newly-named SpeedStep (aka Geyserville) power-saving technology for mobile Pentium-III's until next year. The first mobile P-III's are still expected in October, but will not yet incorporate this speed- and voltage-reduction technique. The intention is to add a further power-conserving feature directly to the CPU, slowing it down and dropping its voltage when running on batteries.

Intel may be better advised to SpeedStep their Pentium-III's up to match Athlon's plans...

Camino chipset chokes... CNet
September 27, 1999

On the eve of its official unveiling, Intel's much-touted new i820 chipset is delayed (until October? next year?) and motherboards already supporting it may have to be scrapped. The problem is Rambus, a new type of memory architecture promising three times the current (PC100) bandwidth, but proving out 25% slower. And signal timing issues are currently limiting maximum RAM options to two slots (512Mb), rather than the standard three.

As I recall, the car was a bit of a lame duck, too.

...But Intel coughs up new chips, anyway Intel
September 27, 1999

To help calm the dissension and disquiet surrounding their latest delay announcements, Intel introduces the 810E chipset supporting both Celerons and Pentium-III's, the latter now up to 133MHz on the bus.

Octo-Xeons stall servers CNet
September 28, 1999

Intel's Sabre motherboards running eight 550MHz Xeons (512kB & 1MB L2 cache versions) are suffering on-board voltage problems resulting in server crashes. The deluxe 2MB Xeons in this configuration appear OK. Other motherboards seem OK, too. Intel says it's a design issue with the older Xeon models.

New 64-bit element discovered: Itanium Intel
October 4, 1999

Not wanting to be upstaged for too long, Intel marketers unveil a cool new name for their 64-bit processor, formerly known as Merced. Intended for servers & workstations, expect Itanium sometime next year.

Intel goes Coppermining for speed Intel
October 25, 1999

With 15 new Pentium-IIIs for desktops, notebooks, and servers, Intel strikes back to become MHz Mega-King once again.

All their CPU scores start here!

Intel innovates VIA lawsuit TechWeb
November 1, 1999

Rather than speeding out their RAMBus-enabled i820 chipset, Intel goes after the smaller, foreign distributors of VIA's PC133MHz chipsets. Not allowed to support Celerons and Pentium-III's with chipsets faster than Intel's, I guess. Curiously, VIA's large US-based customers (IBM, HP, and Micron) have not yet incurred the same wrath from Intel, though they are also using PC133's.

Pentium III speeders spotted TechWeb
November 11, 1999

Is your Pentium-III 733 merely an over-clocked PIII-600? These days, it probably is.

Trying to cut down on 'grey-market' suppliers who sell cheaper but over-clocked Pentiums as though they were their speedier cousins, Intel has updated their Frequency ID Utility to spot these nefarious processor pushers.

Camino cometh, finally TechWeb
November 16, 1999

Intel's delayed i820 (Camino) chipset is finally unveiled, supporting RAMBus memory and 4x AGP graphics.

Now that a working Camino is available, we wonder if Intel will tone down its lawsuit against VIA Technologies with their competing Apollo PC133 chipsets?

Bad boot bugs some Coppermines TechWeb
December 1, 1999

If your computer won't boot, maybe it's your new Coppermine at fault. According to Intel, an intermittent boot problem may affect up to 2% of the processors already shipped, but so far has been found only in laboratory tests of the desktop models. They have now implemented a screening program to weed out new CPU's with this defect, which will be fixed before the next shipments.

I'll bet Bill Gates is relieved. Usually, it's Windows that won't boot.

Intel pushes proto-Itanium Intel
December 7, 1999

Although not officially scheduled for production until this time next year, Intel has started unleashing prototype systems based on its new Itanium IA-64 (aka Merced) next-generation CPU, for software developers and hardware manufacturers.

Nothing like stealing thunder from AMD's newest processor and diverting attention away from the latest Coppermine problems--all at the same time...

Intel unveils 800MHz Christmas present! Intel
December 20, 1999

After coyly released details on their new manufacturing process tweak, and cutting prices on the rest of their processors, Intel finally retakes the PC processor clock speed crown.

Top clock speed doesn't always mean top performance, though. Based on initial benchmark results, see how Intel's newest Coppermine really scores...

Rise News

Rise to the Celeron challenge CNet
May 14, 1999

Rise Technology plans to put its next mP6 II into the Socket370, hoping to displace more than its current share of Celerons. Should be a good strategy, especially now that Cyrix's market share may soon need filling.

Rise falls to SiS TechWeb
October 14, 1999

Well actually, the acquisition could save both Rise and Silicon Integrated Systems, as the chip set and CPU markets continue to heat up.

VIA News

VIA to clone Celerons CNet
November 17, 1999

VIA Technology plans to pick up where Rise left off, releasing a Socket370-compatible Celeron-killer called Joshua-- as in the fellow who felled the walls around Jericho.

Intel, can you hear the bricks falling?

Apple News

Motorola goes it alone with iMac's PowerPC C|Net
March 12, 1999

Following the break-up of their seven-year partnership, IBM & Motorola are taking PowerPC CPU development in different directions: IBM, for its house-brand server line; Motorola, for the Apple MacIntosh. It's certain to slow down Motorola's development of the next-generation G4 CPU line. Especially now that Motorola claims Intel is headhunting its key designers.

Might we one day see (gulp!) an x86 chip inside an iMac?

Faster iMac; Samer price MacWorld
May 31, 1999

Apple puts more pressure on the entry-level PC market with their different way of thinking.
See where the new iMac scores.

Jobs juices G4 TechWeb
August 31, 1999

From the Mac zone, Apple C.E.O. Steve Jobs unveiled their newest PowerMac running on the G4 Velocity Engine. Claims it will be twice the speed of a Pentium III!

Apple accused of Trojan Horse promotion to foil G3 upgrades Wired
September 8, 1999

A recent firmware upgrade put out by Apple is suspected of now preventing G3 PowerPC's from being able to be upgraded to the new G4 CPU.

Sounds like AppleG3 firmware is taking lessons from IntelSlot-1.
Mac users: Welcome to the world of PC's.

iMac DV unveiled CNet
October 5, 1999

Movie creation comes to the consumer Mac in Steve Jobs' newest, fastest, transparentest tech toy.

G4-500: delayed;
Slower system prices: now reduced.
October 14, 1999

Due to manufacturing shortages, Apple's fastest G4's are not expected until early next year. Macs powered by 350/400/450MHz versions are available now instead, directly substituting for 400/450/500MHz systems.
Originally, Apple stated that the slower systems would be sold at the same price as the 50MHz faster versions. Due to public outcry--not surprisingly--they are now discounting the slower models.

Whatever their pricing structure, can Apple keeps its 'supercomputer' speed crown until January at a mere 500MHz? Doubtful.

Apple clobbers clones Time Digital
November 8, 1999

iMac clone-makers Future Power and Daewoo are told to knock off with the knock-offs. Other all-in-one wannabe's may be next.

From the way this month's poll results are shaping up, maybe no one wants an all-in-one PC anyway?

Miscellaneous News

Rubber PC's? CNet
March 24, 1999

For all of you who have ever wanted to bounce your computer, Bell Labs may make it so. They've developed a way to rubber-stamp circuitry onto glass, plastic and other materials, opening the way to flexible computer screens, better fibre optics, and more unconventional uses.

Will we one day see prophylactic PC's? A new definition of laptop computer?

Computers stink up Silicon Valley TechWeb
April 29, 1999

And we're not just talking about the business performance of some of our favourite CPU manufacturers...

Phantom (Red) Menace? Elbrus
May 19, 1999

Couldn't resist hopping onto the Star Wars bandspeeder with everyone else, as Episode I opens today. Just thought we'd bring you an update on the latest in CPU science fantasy, direct from Russia: the Elbrus E2K microprocessor. Supposed to outperform everything from Intel's upcoming 64-bit Merced to a Cray.

And yet they are looking for a Western finance partner. Yeah, right. Hmmm...Elbrus...Rubles...coincidence?

Transmeta talks Time
September 14, 1999

C.E.O. David Ditzel dances around questions about Transmeta's patents (code morphing), products (Amiga?), and plans for the future (more secrecy).

Microprocessor Forum Summary EBNews, ZNet, CNet & TechWeb
October 12, 1999
San Jose's annual Microprocessor Forum this past week showed the majors diverging, the minors digressing, and the midgets diversifying. Keep in mind that the forum was mostly a showcase for forecasts, future paths, and post-millennial prognostication.

Here are some of the highlights:
bulletIntel & AMD to deploy 64-bit CPU's next year
Current x86 software will need to be completely rewritten to take advantage of Itanium's 64-bit instruction set, though it will offer a 32-bit emulation mode.
AMD's 64-bit Sledgehammer, on the other hand, will extend the x86 instruction set into 64-bits, for inherent backward compatibility.
bulletRise throws their Tiger into a tailspin
Expecting to unveil their new Tiger chip, a socket-compatible Celeron rival, Rise retreated to rethink their whole future processor strategy. The reason? They've languished so long at the low end, they are now left scrambling for pennies. Too bad.
bulletEmbedded processors break out of the box
Hitachi, MIPS, National Semiconductor and others unveil the latest generation of CPU's for consumer devices such as car audio systems, GPS devices, communications, networking, and office automation gadgets. Smart appliances are actually becoming smarter.

TransWhatta? Crusoe Wired
November 18, 1999

As if you haven't discovered already, Transmeta has actually posted a web site worth watching.

For all those who didn't know what Transmeta was all about last month, well-- you still won't. Until January 2000. Maybe.



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