News Burst: Intel leaving 'dead zone' open to competition

An industry analyst says Intel is leaving a 12-month gap in its roadmap for AMD to step into

Intel is leaving itself vulnerable to a serious attack from AMD microprocessors over the next 12 months, according to an industry analyst.

The dominant microchip manufacturer, whose chips run the majority of PCs, is not planning a high-end chip for PC systems costing under $2,000 (about £1335) until mid-2001, leaving the market open to a series of planned products from smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), according to a new report by analyst Bert McComas of InQuest Market Research.

In mid-2001 Intel is planning to release a Pentium III based on the 0.13-micron manufacturing process, creating a low-cost, fast processor to boost its ageing Pentium III line. In the meantime, the Pentium 4 processor, set for launch later this year, will not make it to the sub-$2,000 market until Q3 of 2001, McComas said.

In the mean time, AMD -- whose strength has always been in the lower-cost market -- is planning a series of fast desktop processors aimed at the sub-$2,000 market, including ever-faster versions of its Athlons codenamed Thunderbird and Mustang.

"Already, the industry seems to agree that Intel has fallen behind AMD in terms of its ability to ship high-speed P3 processors. From Q3 '00 until Q3 '01, this situation is expected to worsen," McComas said in the report, published on the company's Web site. "This is where AMD will really be able to threaten Intel."

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

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