Gateway resurrects AMD-powered PCs

First Gateway's CEO attacks Intel over its chip shortage. Now Gateway is set to use AMD's Athlon chip in its Select PC

On Monday, Gateway will resurrect its Select line of PCs with new models that offer AMD's Athlon processor.

The Select PC line, which will be for consumers and small businesses, will offer a range of Athlon speeds, sources said. However, details on the exact configurations and pricing were not available at press time.

The announcement will give consumers a wider range of choice among vendors from which they can purchase Athlon-based PCs. At the same time, it renews the relationship between AMD and Gateway, giving Gateway a second source for high-performance PC processors.

Late last year it appeared as if the companies' relationship had gone sour. In fact, it did after Gateway pulled the plug on the Select PC line, and then announced that it would no longer offer K6-2 chips in its Profile all-in-one PC, which was displaced last November with the Intel Celeron based Profile 2.

Recently, however, there had been much speculation that Gateway would resurrect its AMD relationship by offering a PC line with the Athlon chip. The announcement, ironically or not, comes at a time when Gateway has publicly criticised AMD rival Intel over a shortage of high-performance Pentium III chips, which it says hurt its ability to sell high-performance PCs.

While the shortage has eased, according to PC makers, the lasting affect hurt Gateway's fourth-quarter earnings, according to the company.

While executives at AMD would not comment on a deal with Gateway, they no bones about the fact that the Intel chip shortage helped their Athlon business.

"I think it's been pretty public that we've gotten business as a direct result of people saying, 'We just can't get enough parts,' " said Gary Bixler, field marketing manager for channel sales and marketing at AMD. "In general, OEMs [original equipment makers] put a tremendous value on having a second source for this very reason ... where there's an inflection (in supply)."

AMD on Thursday announced its had begun shipping an 800MHz Athlon chip.

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