Under terms of its deal with Cyrix, IBM manufactures the part and gets the rights to sell a portion of the chips itself. It has had plenty of success with many PC vendors preferring to do business with Big Blue rather than Cyrix itself. UK vendors committing to support the part include Time, MJN, Evesham Micros, Mesh and Carrera.
Northern Europe sales director Steve Wainwright said that IBM's advanced manufacturing capabilities were a significant advantage. "IBM is leading the charge to sub-quarter micron, six-layer metal process technology in order to reduce dye size, lower power requirements, make faster chips and reduce cost. Wainwright said pricing would be lower than, or equal to, Cyrix pricing.
PC vendors said they expected to see pricing details on Monday but said they thought it unlikely that Cyrix or IBM could stay with Cyrix's initial plans to halve Intel pricing on comparable processors. "The pricing won't be more than 25 per cent less [than Intel]," said one source. Intel is expected to announce sharply reduced pricing next week.