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Chipmakers trim prices


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Retired Tech

Retired Tech

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Intel and AMD have both introduced autumn price cuts.

AMD earlier this week lowered prices on notebook processors and a few desktop units, mostly to make way for new products.

The TL-60, a dual-core Turion chip for thin notebooks that runs at 2GHz, dropped 26 percent, from $354 to $263 (£188 to £140). The TL-56, a similar chip that runs at 1.8GHz, dropped from $263 to $220. The TL-52, which runs at 1.6GHz, dropped from $220 to $184.

On desktops, the Athlon 64 FX-62, a 2.8GHz monster chip for gamers, declined from $827 to $713. AMD posts more of its updated prices on its website, but it does not list the previous prices.

The price cuts on notebook processors are likely to lead to discounts on AMD-based notebooks, if history is any indication. Notebook shipments continue to grow at the expense of desktops, although component shortages may create some supply problems this year.

AMD also said today that it is on track to ship chips produced on its 65-nanometre lines during the quarter. These chips will be faster, smaller and, ultimately, cheaper to produce than chips made on the 90-nanometre line. Intel has been popping out chips on 65-nanomteter factory lines for about a year, which has allowed Intel to put more pricing pressure on AMD.

Intel, meanwhile, made fewer cuts early this week. Most of those it did make were on the Celeron line. The Celeron D 360 for desktops went from $84 to $69, an 18 percent decline, while the Celeron 326, the cheapest chip Intel makes, went from $39 to $34. Intel prices range from $3,692 for an Itanium 2 model number 9050 to $34 for Celerons.

Intel hasn't had a large-scale price cut since the summer, so a broader price cut, along with new products, will likely occur in the relatively near future. PC makers early next year will also release notebooks based on the Santa Rosa platform, which will also usher in faster notebook chips and, in all likelihood, more notebook price cuts.

AMD and Intel used to move almost in lockstep when it came to price cuts, announcing similar cuts on similar products on the same day. The large number of models of chips both companies now sell, however, has altered that pattern.
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