3/7/2000: Athlon to 1 GHz: the whole History
Confirmee: AMD broke the barrier, more mental than technological, of the gigahertzio (1.000 MHz, if someone doubts it still). In a press release with a tone enormously euphoric, perhaps even "pretentious" if it measures itself to not North American criteria, the AMD president gives the news and compares the fact with the break of the sound barrier (Chuck Yeager on board of Bell X-1, 1947); another analyst goes further, quoting Neil Armstrong (the first man in treading on the moon, 1969) and Edmund Hillary (the first climber of the Everest - together with the sherpa Tensing Norgay - 1953)... seems that AMD has entered the History.
Returning to the technical part of the question, in addition to the Athlon another two mikes have appeared before 1 GHz, to 900 and 950 MHz. Three mikes are made by a 0,18 microns process and have 512 KB of cache memory L2.
Nevertheless, not all sound good news: to be able to reach so tremendous speeds, the cache memory L2 uses a higher divisor of the habitual thing, working to 1/3 of the speed of the rest of the mike. Due to this, it is probable that Pentium III Coppermine of equivalent speed is something more rapid (when it goes out to the market); just in case, AMD already prepares mikes Athlon with cache memory integrated at the same speed of the mike.
The Athlon to 1 GHz will sell at 1.299 dollars in lots of 1.000 units, a quite respectable number that probably goes down soon; the first PCs with these mikes will belong to Gateway and Compaq. One hopes that Intel should react soon and should throw several new mikes, perhaps the same week. The career has just started...
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