AMD launches 1.1GHz Duron processor

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) Monday began shipping a 1.1GHz version of its low-cost Duron processor, the company said in a statement.

Although it represents only a slight speed increase over the company’s previous top offering of 1GHz, the new processor widens AMD’s slight lead over rival chip maker Intel Corp. Intel’s own low-cost processor, the Celeron, currently tops out at 900MHz on the desktop. However, Intel announced on Monday a new version of its mobile Celeron that surpasses the speed of even AMD’s desktop version. The fastest mobile Celeron is now a 933MHz chip.

By bringing the desktop Duron to 1.1GHz, AMD increased its lead in the only product line in which it has a clock-speed lead over Intel.

AMD is probably hoping this week will go better than last week, in which it had two pieces of bad news in one day. On Tuesday, AMD announced it would close two of its fabrication plants in Austin and lay off 2,300 employees. The same day, users found out that PC vendor Gateway Inc. would only be using the company’s chips until its current supply was depleted.

The 1.1GHz AMD Duron processor is priced at US$103 in quantities of 1,000 units, a standard quantity for chip sales.

AMD, in Sunnyvale, Calif., is at