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May 20, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:59pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp may be flying high with its ever faster ever more feature-rich processors, but no-one can expect to have it all for ever, and the latest in an emerging batch of cloners, Centaur Technology Inc has crawled out of the woodwork to launch a low- cost Intel chip alternative. Founded by former head of IBM Corp’s Austin labs Glenn Henry, Centaur, a subsidiary of Santa Clara- based Integrated Device Technology Inc, is launching its low- powered, Pentium-compatible 200MHz processor with MMX technology, which is likely to sell for some $100 less than chips with comparable performance, at around $150. Although Henry and Les Perham, chief executive of Integrated Device Technology, say their share of market is not likely to bother Intel too much, analysts reckon their vision, to build a very simple chip, poses a challenge to the mainstream, where the goal has been to build ever more complex, expensive and power-hungry processors. Henry set himself against Intel ten years ago at IBM, where he was a pioneer of RISC, or Reduced Instruction Set Computer technology, which aimed to simplify overly complex processors. The Centaur launch comes as Intel is locked in battle with both Digital Equipment Corp and Cyrix Corp over patent infringements. However, Centaur is timing is in some respects fortuitous: Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc have only recently settled their long- standing arguments over cloning rights.

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