Intel and AMD get catty at chip launch

New chips, new marketing spat...
Written by Joey Gardiner, Contributor

New chips, new marketing spat...

Intel and AMD have played their latest hands in the ongoing battle for chip supremacy with the twin launch of high-performance PC processors today. Intel unveiled two Pentium 4 processors, the fastest working at a cycle speed of 2.2GHz, and AMD has released its Athlon XP 2000+ chip, which the company claims is optimised for the latest Windows operating system. Intel said its chips are the first to use its new 0.13 micron fab technology, which enables them to be smaller, run on less power and give off less heat. The 2.2GHz P4 is available now and is priced at $562 per unit by the 1,000, while the 2GHz chip will cost $364. However, AMD insisted its Athlon XP 2000+ was the best performing chip on the market, and at $339 beats Intel on price. The company also said it has secured the backing of PC makers including Compaq, HP and NEC to put its processors in their computers. Controversially, AMD has decided to stop promoting the cycle rate of its processors, claiming the number does not truly reflect a chip's performance. The company said it called its latest chip 2000+ to indicate that it offers equivalent performance to a 2GHz Pentium processor, despite the fact it actually clocks a lot slower. Graham Palmer, UK PR manager at Intel, said: "You have to ask whether AMD's programme is designed to clarify and educate customers, or confuse them. It's clear the 2000 number is misleading customers who just want to buy a two-gig PC." However, Brian Gammage, principal analyst at Gartner Group, welcomed AMD's move. He told silicon.com: "AMD has started to move the debate on beyond cycle speeds, but it may have done so in a clumsy way. However, Intel has a confusing product range itself, so perhaps it isn't in a position to preach." He added: "What's more important is that most consumers now realise that their desktop power exceeds their requirements, so much of the trade is going on at the lower end. This is where the real fight is and is what AMD is starting to address."
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