Intel looks set to escape anti-trust investigation by the US Department of Justice after it won the support of former competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
The news comes in the face of a massive sale of Cyrix/IBM chips to large corporations and users in the financial quarter leading up to Christmas.
This threatens both Intel and AMD, because of higher performance and lower costs for businesses, although both firms insist the Cyrix platform is no use for games.
Three years ago, AMD accused Intel of trying to dominate the market and CEO Jerry Sanders III declared: 'Only real men have fabs.'
Most thought the comment was a dig at Cyrix, which had to use IBM and SGS Thomson fabs to survive.
AMD has signed deals with Intel to cut out Cyrix and other x86 makers, according to distributors. It also cuts IBM out of the microprocessor picture, according to sources at IBM, Cyrix, SGS Thomson, TI and UMC in Taiwan.
Cyrix/IBM chips are fast outselling Intel and AMD outside America, the distributors claim.
Dave Frink, head of PR at AMD in Texas, agreed that the enemy was without rather than within. He said: 'We care because we compete with Intel. We are working with Intel but that does not mean we agree with them.'
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