AMD cuts prices, launches 1.1-GHz mobile Athlon 4

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. launched three new chips on Monday and cut the prices on all its mobile chips, as well as its Duron desktop line.

AMD launched the new 1.1-GHz Mobile Athlon 4, once again bringing Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD and Intel Corp. within arm's reach in the speed war. Intel's fastest mobile processor, the Pentium III-M, currently runs at 1.13 GHz (see story).

AMD also used the occasion to launch a 900-MHz mobile version of its entry-level chip, the Duron processor, as well as a 1-GHz desktop version of the Duron, the company said. The 1-GHz Duron is AMD's first offering based on the new core, called Morgan, which is designed to offer better performance on Internet multimedia applications that involve content such as photos, music and video.

Compaq Computer Corp. will be among the first vendors to launch systems based on the new processors, offering both mobile processors in its Presario 1200 family of notebooks, AMD said.

To make room for the processors, AMD also cut the prices of all processors in the Mobile Athlon 4, Mobile Duron and desktop Duron lines, according to information on the company's Web site.

Price wars between AMD and Intel have escalated recently. Intel hasn't cut prices since July 15, but is expected to do so soon. Earlier this month, the stock market took a brief tumble when financial analyst Dan Niles at New York-based Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said in a report that he expected Intel to cut the prices of its Pentium 4 line by up to 54% by the end of this month (see story).

The 1.1-GHz Mobile Athlon 4 takes the top AMD mobile price spot at $425 in quantities of 1,000 units, a standard measurement of chip sales. The 1-GHz offering dropped in price from $425 to $290; the 950-MHz from $350 to $260; the 900-MHz from $270 to $230; and the 850-MHz processor was reduced from $240 to $195, according to AMD's Web site.

In the Mobile Duron family, the new 900-MHz processor launches at $130, while the 850-MHz chip was reduced from $197 to $100 and the 800-MHz dropped in price from $170 to $90.

Finally, AMD launched the new 1-GHz Duron for desktops at $89, a significant reduction from the previous fastest offering, the 950-MHz chip, which dropped in price from $122 to $74. The company also reduced the price of the 900-MHz version from $91 to $64 and the 850-MHz version from $64 to $59. The 800-MHz Duron for desktops, which was previously the company's least expensive desktop processor at $64, was dropped from the company's lineup.

AMD is now shipping the processors and said it expects widespread availability in systems in conjunction with the launch of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system, set for Oct. 25.

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