Latest Duron runs at 850MHz

Faster speeds, along with new integrated chipsets, bode well for AMD's value chip

As expected, Monday marks the official launch of AMD's latest low-cost processor, Duron, running at 850MHz.

The chip, launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, was first available over US cable television channel Home Shopping Network (HSN) beginning Saturday. The chip is now available from more than 100 PC manufacturers worldwide, including Compaq and Hewlett-Packard.

New low-cost chipsets for Duron have also started to arrive from companies such as Via Technologies, making it less expensive for manufacturers to carry the chip.

Duron is AMD's answer to Intel's value-oriented Celeron processor, and is designed for PCs costing less than $1,000 (about £680). This segment is expected to grow dramatically as processing power becomes cheaper and the PC market goes more mainstream.

Industry experts say AMD's processor out-performs the fastest Celeron, but AMD has its work cut out for it competing with Intel, the world's largest chip company. Currently AMD controls less than one-third of the world market for consumer PC processors.

The 850MHz, 800MHz and 750MHz AMD Duron processors are priced at $149, $112 and $88 respectively, each in 1,000-unit quantities.

See Chips Central for daily hardware news, including interactive roadmaps for AMD, Intel and Transmeta.

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