Sources close to AMD's plans have said that the company is likely to intro a 1GHz Athlon early next year.
That is likely to throw Intel into near-panic and makes the likelihood of an 800MHz Coppermine, followed by higher clock speeds shortly afterwards, even more likely.
But although AMD will formally open Fab 30 this week, doubts remain about when it will start producing .18 micron copper parts for a hungry gamer's market, even though it's theoretically ready to roll. Production will start in Austin (Fab 25), with the lessons learnt from that replicated in Germany.
Reliable sources say that its copper process is likely to start at Dresden in the middle of Q1 next year. While it could do so earlier, the loan it negotiated to build the state-of-the-art fab is such that there is little sense in shipping from Dresden before then.
Nevertheless, the fact that AMD has executed on its production plans so far flawlessly will send shivers into Intel's CEO's timbers.
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