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AMD launches 1.6GHz Athlon

AMD is increasing the clock speed of the multiprocessor version of its Athlon to 1.6GHz.

The company this week launched the Athlon MP 1900+ and unveiled the 760 MPX chipset for the processor, which will be available on motherboards from manufacturers such as Abit and Tyan by the end of December.

By launching a new Athlon MP, AMD aims to show customers that it is in the multiprocessor system market for the long run, said one analyst. "There is a lot of sensitivity in the workstation and server market," said Dean McCarron, an analyst at Mercury Research. "By continuing to come out with products, [AMD] continually reassures its customers that it is a platform that will be around for a while."

The Athlon MP 1900+ is the first speed upgrade of AMD's multiprocessor chip, which is based on the company's QuantiSpeed architecture. While the 1900+ runs at a clock speed of 1.6GHz, AMD believes the QuantiSpeed architecture allows the chips to be compared favourably with rival chips running at up to 1.9GHz.

AMD introduced the multiprocessor version of the chip in October, less than a week after the company unveiled its Athlon XP processor family.

AMD's 760 MPX chipset supports double data rate (DDR) error correcting code (ECC) memory and supports two Athlon MP processors with independent 266MHz front-side busses, each supporting data transfer rates of 2.1Gbytes a second.

There are 60 system manufacturers selling Athlon MP-based systems, AMD said. That is up from 20 at the launch of the first multiprocessor Athlon in June, but does not include large vendors such as Compaq and Hewlett-Packard.

The Athlon MP 1900+ costs $319 (£220) in 1,000-unit quantities. AMD has cut the price of the Athlon MP 1800+ from $302 to $273.

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