Advanced Micro Devices has started shipping a 1.1GHz version of its Athlon processor to PC makers, and expects the first desktop systems based on the new chip to go on sale August 28, AMD announced yesterday. The California-based chip maker didn't say exactly which PC makers will use the new processor. Vendors offering Athlon PCs today include Compaq, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers BV, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and NEC. The 1.1GHz systems are expected to be priced around £1,800, AMD said in a statement. Athlon is the brand name for AMD's high-performance chip family, which competes with Intel's Pentium III. For sub-£1,000 systems AMD offers the Duron processor, which competes with Intel's Celeron. Intel launched a 1.13GHz version of the Pentium III on July 31, which is available currently from various PC vendors. Both Intel and AMD have had trouble keeping pace with demand for their fastest processors. An AMD spokesman acknowledged Monday that supplies of the new 1.1GHz chip won't be in abundance when the chip is first released. Also Monday, AMD announced a round of price cuts for its existing Athlon and Duron processors, as the chip vendor gears up to make the most of what's traditionally the strongest buying period in the PC industry. With the PC market outlook strong, AMD said it expects to meet its goal of selling 3.6 million Athlon and Duron processors this quarter, and to double that figure to 7.2 million units in the fourth quarter of this year.
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