News Burst: Athlon price cuts on the way

Meanwhile, Intel is preparing to launch faster versions of its low-cost Celeron chip

AMD is expected to announce price cuts on its top-end processors on Friday, according to reports. The California-based chip manufacturer plans to reduce prices on three of its highest speed-grade Athlon processors -- 950MHz, 900MHz and 850MHz -- by about 10 percent, according to a report citing the company.

The chips will be reduced to $899, $799 and $749 (£557, £495 and £464), respectively. The 950MHz and 900MHz chips were introduced just two weeks ago, on 6 March, at $999 and $899 (£619 and £557), respectively. Pricing of the 1GHz Athlon, also introduced on 6 March, will remain unchanged.

In the meantime, Intel is to release faster speeds of its budget-oriented Celeron chip next week, according to reports. The dominant chip maker will launch 600MHz and 566MHz Celerons. An Intel spokesman would not confirm the launch date, but said the chips will be the first Celerons to use the 0.18-micron manufacturing process.

The new Celerons will also use the Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) instruction set used by Pentium IIIs, which optimises chips for multimedia applications. The chips will be manufactured with 256kB of on-chip cache, with half the memory disabled.

More details to follow.

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