Intel's biggest competitor, AMD, has introduced a Pentium Pro-class chip to its OEMs and will seek to erode the chip giant's market share in the first quarter of 1997.
AMD supplies processors to Acer, Tulip and other hardware vendors and will introduce its K6 processor, running at clock speeds of 200MHz, to the market next year. The chip will be pin-compatible with existing motherboards and will be aggressively priced.
Robert Stead, European marketing manager at AMD, said: 'This sits in a P54 or P55 socket. It goes where a Pentium or a Pentium Pro goes.'
He said that the Klamath card from Intel was an attempt by the giant to change the rules of the game. 'This is a naked attempt to move competitors away from standard pin sockets,' he said.
He added that although Intel controlled a lot of the market, it was unlikely to control the motherboard market as well.
AMD had a bad 1996, but the company is upbeat about its Pentium Pro-compatible piece. It has licensed MMX (multimedia extensions) from Intel and is now in a position to make money as the market for the Pentium Pro falls away.
Intel's strategy is to try to capture the market in 1997 with volume desktop processor cards, dubbed Klamath. PC manufacturers will have to license this design from Intel.
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