Intel moves Pentium to 1.13GHz

Been there, done the 1GHz... Intel squeezes another speed mark out of its chips

Microprocessor manufacturer Intel introduced a 1.13GHz Pentium III processor Sunday, beating arch rival AMD to the punch in the next round of clock-speed combat.

The launch of the 1.13GHz chip -- the fastest clock speed consumer microprocessor to date -- is an important PR win for Intel, which was beaten to the all-important 1GHz mark by AMD.

Priced at $990 (£658) per unit in 1000-unit quantities, Intel says that the chip is available immediately although it concedes the chips will be in limited supply at first.

"With the Pentium III processor at 1.13GHz, PC enthusiasts will be able to get the most out of the Web and the high performance applications they use today," says Bill Siu, vice president of Intel architecture group.

Intel and AMD came in for criticism in the race towards 1GHz after repeatedly pushing forward launch dates in order to gain a superficial edge.

Shortages of high-performance microchips at Intel have since been blamed on these phantom launches. An Intel spokesman however told ZDNet Monday that technological developments mean the same shortages will not be repeated. "The beauty of the 0.18 micron process is that it allows us to role out the microprocessor quickly," he says.

This spokesman adds that Intel will immediately be able to meet the needs of high-power enthusiasts and that Intel will ship in volume later in the year.

Intel's announcement is expected to kickstart the PR battle between it and archrival AMD once again. "Doubling megahertz used to take about 24 months but now it is down to about 12," notes Andrew Norwood, senior analyst at the GartnerGroup. "This is all down to competition between these two companies."

AMD's follow up to the Athlon 1GHz is to be a 1.1GHz version. It will launch 28 August. A spokeswoman for AMD says this reflects of the company's actual ability to deliver the chip.

"We're launching when we are ready to bring to market," she says.

See Chips Central for daily hardware news, including an interactive timeline of AMD and Intel's upcoming product launches.

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