Mobile K6-III P ready to roll

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Mobile K6-III P ready to roll

Advanced Micro Devices will ship on Monday the mobile version of its K6-III P processor.

So far this year, AMD has managed to outdistance Intel Corp. in the notebook chip speed race. While Intel announced a new 366MHz Celeron chip on Monday, AMD’s K6-III P will be available in 350MHz, 366MHz and 380MHz versions.

Compaq is expected to offer the K6-III P in its Presario consumer notebook line this quarter.

The mobile K6-III P will have the same tri-level cache design as its desktop twin. It will offer 64 kB of Level 1 and 256 kB of Level 2 cache integrated into the chip, and either 512 kB or 1MB of external Level 3 cache. Performance is about 12 percent better, AMD officials said, based on system benchmarks.

AMD’s 350MHz mobile K6-III P will sell for $249, the 366MHz K6-III P will sell for $316 and the 380MHz K6-III P will go for $349.

Power consumption is also slightly higher, AMD admits, leading to battery life that is about 20 minutes shorter than the K6-II’s or Intel’s 366MHz Mobile Pentium II.

But it’s all a trade-off: AMD offers a higher-speed memory bus for notebooks, at 100MHz, vs. Intel’s 66MHz. K6-III P also supports AGP and offers AMD’s 3DNow set of instructions to enhance 3-D graphics performance.

Intel will not offer its enhanced instruction set for notebooks until the debut of the mobile Pentium III at 450MHz in September. By that time, AMD will have increased the K6-III P’s clock speed again.

Company officials would not say how fast K6-III P is capable of going, but a higher performing version of the chip, code-named Sharptooth CS50 and based on AMD’s 0.18 micron manufacturing process, is due in the second half. The chip is currently at .25 micron.

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