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  1. Technology
November 24, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Denied masks for the 80386 by Intel Corp, official iAPX-86 second source Advanced Micro Devices Inc, which depends on the Intel family for a substantial part of its revenue, is somewhat stymied and left with two options: it can either develop its own 32-bit part fully compatible with the 80286, or it can continue to enhance the existing part, and for the moment, it is following the latter course. The company has announced that in the second half of next year, it will begin sampling CMOS versions of the 80286 – for which Harris Corp is at present the sole US source in speeds up to 25MHz: at present the fastest 80286 is made by Harris and clocked at 20MHz. AMD is also promising CMOS versions at 16MHz and 12MHz. It claims that by the end the year its 1988 shipments of 80286s in all speeds will total 3m, and is hopeful that a Dataquest forecast that 80286 shipments will be 10m in 1990 will come good. The company argues that the 80286 runs 16 bit code 20% to 25% faster than the 80386SX, and 5% to 10% faster than the 80386 when measured on the Norton Informati on System, Landmark Speed, MIPS and Dhrystone benchmarks – and that as almost all current software is still 16-bit, it doesn’t make much sense to pay almost twice as much for a 32-bit machine at this stage.

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