Chip maker AMD has revealed it is set to run out of Athlon processors before the end of the year. It has also cancelled Mustang, an upcoming server chip.
Jerry Sanders, AMD president, confirmed the news last week, blaming high demand for the shortages and saying the company simply did not have sufficient production capacity. However, the news is a reflection of the growing popularity of Intel's biggest competitor.
Mustang was axed in an attempt to allow the company to concentrate on the development of the Palomino line of processors instead, a company representative claimed. "Our customers wanted us to concentrate more on the Palomino," he said.
The Mustang line, which was never given an exact launch date, was a larger-cache version of AMD's Athlon processor, targeted at server/workstation and performance markets. Palomino will operate in the 1.2Ghz-plus range, but the company has yet to reveal the differences in cache size between it and the Mustang.
AMD also said that Duron is encountering problems because of a lack of integrated chipset support. However, production of Via's Duron-based KM133 chipset should begin next month.
Sukh Rayat, managing director of distributor Avnet, said the current shortages were good news for Intel. "We have stocked up on AMD chips because we anticipated the demands over the Christmas period, but it may still not be enough. If [we fall short] none of our AMD customers would be worried about swapping to Intel because it offers a good alternative. Intel will see this as an excellent opportunity."
Intel's Pentium 4 hit UK shelves on Monday. Systems based on the new 1.5Ghz chip include Dell's Dimension 8100, Gateway's Performance 1500XL and IBM's NetVista A60i, which retail for $3398, $3499 and $3259 respectively.
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