Chip giant Advanced Micro Devices Inc laid out ambitious plans this week to combat Intel’s multimedia domination in the Windows world. Chairman and chief executive officer W.J. Sanders announced last week that forthcoming versions of AMD’s K6 processor would incorporate new 3D technology aimed at delivering near theater quality experience on Windows platforms. He also said the company was planning to launch a K7 processor that was mechanically identical to Intel’s Pentium 11 Slot 1 in 1999. In the first half of 1998, we plan to introduce the AMD-K6 3D MMX Enhanced Processor with initial clock speeds of 300MHz and moving to 350MHz, Sanders said as part of a keynote address to the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California. Geared towards the consumer market the AMD-K6 3D processors will use twenty four new proprietary instructions developed by AMD and supported by Microsoft Direct X and leading 3D game developers. The processors will enable accelerated and enhanced graphics with full-featured MPEG-2 video and AC-3 sound. The company has said it is working with independent software vendors to write gaming software that can take advantage of the 3D instructions. Analysts said after the conference that AMD may be over-committing to an aggressive road map. By his own admission Sanders said the company was struggling to meet demand for its existing K6 processor. Despite getting rave reviews and signing new customers agreements with the likes of IBM, the company hasn’t managed to get as many good 233MHz Pentium Pro-compatible K6 processors from its manufacturing process as it had hoped. Earlier this month it reported a third quarter loss of $31.76m.
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