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Processor News

Here you can find the latest news on processors and related issues.  All news articles are left until outdated.  Articles on older or specialized subjects in more detail can be found in the "Special Articles" section of the site.


AMD Annouces Faster K6-2 Chips

The K6-2 will now be available in 366, 380, and 400 MHz versions.   See the main page (www.altx86.com) for more information.

Rise Released MP6

Rise has annouced the release of the MP6 processor.  By the specifications it looks like a very nice chip.  It will come in 166, 233, and 266 MHz versions, and will probably use a performance rating (PR) system to stay competitive with today's higher clock speeds.  No word on when it will be in stores, and a review will be posted shortly.

Intel Debutes the Pentium II Xeon

The new chip has finally been released.  The Xeon will plug into Slot 2 and have more cache than the normal Pentium II's (the price will reflect it).

IBM 6x86MX PR333 is reported to be .25 micron

Dispite the information on IBM's site suggesting that the 6x86MX PR333 is .35 micron, sources are claiming it is .25 micron.  More information soon.

Centaur Announces Sampling of WinChip 2 and WinChip 3D

Centaur has begun early production of the WinChip 2 and WinChip 3D.   More information will be available on these chips shortly.  Most manufacturing of these chips should be done by IBM.

AMD Released the K6-2

AMD has now officially released the K6-2.  The chip should start appearing in quantities shortly.  An updated K6-2 review will be completed by the end of the weekend.

IDT Lays Out Detailed Roadmap

IDT, the owner of Centaur, the company who makes the C6, announced its new roadmap.  Details will be posted here shortly.  Until then, read the Cnet article.

Intel Licences P6 Bus

Intel announced on May 19 that they had completed the process of licencing the P6 bus to an unindentified chipset maker.  More will be known shortly, but this is definately caused by the threat of investigations by the DOJ.

AMD Renames the K6-3D

AMD just announced that the K6-3D is being renamed the K6 2.   The reason is clear.  Consumers think "II" or "2" means better performance, or at least Pentium II level performance.   What was going to be the K6 3D+ is now going to be the real K6 3D.

Intel Cuts Prices

Details are still unknown, however Intel announced another price cut in their mobile Pentium line and Pentium II line.

Alpha Buyout Approved

The Intel buyout of the Alpha from Digital Equipment Corp. has now been officially approved.  There are also reports that AMD will have access to Alpha technologies.  More will be known and posted here shortly.

AMD Cuts Prices

AMD announced that they were once again cutting K6 prices.   This comes only five days after Intel cut their prices.  The K6 300 will be cut to $246, the 266 $156, the 233 $100, and the 200 $80.

K6-3D Coming Soon

The K6-3D has been talked about like it has already been released and suppliers just can't get them.  This is not the truth, the official release date will be in late May.  According to Tom's Hardware Guide, the release date is between May 25th and 30th.  The K6-3D will run at 100 MHz bus, and will come in a 250 and 300 MHz version.  A faster version is also expected to be announced, and it with the recent Intel announcements, it will be necessary.

Intel Releases New Chips and Chipsets

On April 15, Intel announced the release of a new chipset and two new speeds of Pentium II processors.  The new processors will be the Pentium II 350 and the Pentium II 400.  The new chipset, the 440BX.

This announcement sets alternative processors farther behind again, as the fastest K6 and M II chips are only at 300.  These chips haven't even showed up yet, and Intel is going full force by getting the demand of the 350's and 400's met.   Cyrix, AMD, and Centaur need to get yeilds up as quick as possible.

Cyrix Announces M II Processor

Please read the current Spotlight article.

Centaur and Others May Use P6 Bus

Centaur recently signed a similar agreement to AMD which will make IBM the major manufacturer of its C6 chips.  It has been rumored that Centaur may have access to the P6 bus, similar to the way AMD has received it.  SGS Thomson has also announced it may design a chip to use Slot 1, and rumors are that IBM may design its own Slot 1 chip.

AMD Can Use P6 Bus

AMD has found a way to use the P6 bus legally.  Through their recent agreements with IBM, AMD can now have access to some Intel patents that IBM has.   Included is the P6 bus which is necessary for making Slot 1 chips.  AMD has been able to use the Slot 1 interface, but was unable to use the P6 bus, for their upcoming K7 processor.  AMD has so far said they are probably not going with Slot 1, but it would make sense for them to.  More will be known shortly.

K6 300 Announced

AMD's announced that a 300 MHz version of the K6 using the .25 micron process would be available in quantities shortly.

Celeron Announced

Intel officially announced the release of its new Celeron processor.   The Celeron is based on the Pentium II core, but lacks the essential cache for speed.  Early benchmarks show that the Celeron 266 can barely keep up with a Pentium MMX 200.

IBM to Manufacture C6

Centaur and IBM have signed an agreement similar to AMD, which will let IBM be the main manufacturer of the C6 line of Centaur processors.  This will help Centaur greatly, as Centaur can't keep up with demand on their own.

IBM to Manufacture K6

AMD and IBM signed an agreement allowing IBM to manufacture K6 chips to help ease the pressure that AMD's own fabs have been experiencing.  Production should be already starting.

National Gearing Up for 6x86MX

It has been reported that National Semiconductor is starting to heavily produce .25 micron 6x86MX chips.  A successful test phase is the direct cause of this (which is good).  More should be known shortly.

Cyrix 6x86MX PR266 Announced

The hype around the upcoming 6x86MX PR266 is coming to an end.   Although still not available, to most people's disappointment, the PR266 will not be .25 micron.

Cyrix Receives Permission to use Slot 1

Cyrix announced that it can now officially use Slot 1 for their processors.  The agreement comes from the strategic merger of National Semiconductor and Cyrix which gives Cyrix rights to National Semiconductor's cross-licensing agreement with Intel.

AMD Moves to .25 Micron

AMD announced the K6 is moving to .25 micron shortly after Cyrix also announced they were.  This will enable AMD to produce high-speed K6-3D chips.

Cyrix Moves to .25 Micron

National Semiconductor, the parent company of Cyrix, announced that it has successfully manufactured a functional .25 micron 6x86MX processor.  This will help yield more and better performing 6x86MX processors by shrinking the chip size from 150 mm˛ to 88 mm˛.  National Semiconductor fabs will officially start producing 6x86MX chips this summer, greatly relieving the large backorder of the 6x86MX PR233 and above.

FPU Myths

It has been recently discovered that in fact the FPUs in alternative processors from AMD and Cyrix may not be as bad as once thought.  Some programs have been found to actually be optimized for Pentium FPUs which would in effect make the performance terrible for AMD and Cyrix processors.  It has also been discovered that when all things are scaled down to equal measures, the alternative processors clearly outperform Intel processors running at the same speeds (no PR ratings).

 

Information on recently announced future processors from AMD and Cyrix can be found in the "Special Articles" section.

If you have any late breaking news that is confirmed, please send it to admin@altx86.com with as much information as possible.  You will receive credit for providing the information.