AMD breaks the Gigahertz barrier

A ONE BILLION clock cycles per second processor launched today by US firm AMD has been heralded as a computer industry milestone equivalent to breaking the sound barrier.

The California-based hi-tech manufacturer’s revolutionary 1GHz AMC Athlon processor will initially be available in Compaq and Gateway systems.’Attaining the 1GHz performance mark has long been a paramount goal for producers of PC processors’, said AMD chief executive W. J. Sanders III, who claimed the breakthrough would usher in a new era of information technology. ‘AMD plans to lead in the gigahertz era’, he added. ‘The real beneficiaries are PC users everywhere.’

The 1GHz processor will offer business and power computer users even more rapid results than AMD’s fast 950MHz and 900MHz processors. Analyst Nathan Brookwood at Insight 64 said: ‘In the nine months since it launched its first AMD Athlon processor, AMD has dramatically quickened the pace of performance improvement and permanently altered the competitive landscape in the microprocessor industry.’

Chief technology officer Peter Ashkin at Gateway said that the processor could spark the development of new applications capable of taking advantage of ‘speed and performance.’