While both companies will announce chips next week, the bigger question will be which company can produce them in volume. Intel has been suffering from shortages of high-end Pentium IIIs since October. While Intel executives and analysts say the situation has improved, consumers and dealers say the fastest Pentium IIIs can still be tough to find. Computer makers have also complained about tight supplies of the fastest processors, especially the 800-MHz chip, Intel’s fastest.
AMD has had to endure similar, but less severe, shortages.
“Anyone can make an announcement. The question is who is going to have the first units for sale from a major (computer maker),” said Kevin Krewell, senior analyst with MicroDesign Resources.
Nathan Brookwood, among other analysts, has pointed out that AMD is able to boost the clock speed of Athlon fairly easily. The chip only came out last year, and AMD has yet to take full advantage of all of the potential of the new architecture.