New AMD Quad-Core Athlon II Chip Priced Below $100

AMD is rolling out its first quad-core Athlon II processor at a price of $99 for system builders. The processor is part of AMD's Mainstream Desktop Platform that combines both the computing chip and graphics capabilities from AMD's ATI business. The rollout comes a day after iSuppli said that rival Intel had increased its lead over AMD in the global microprocessor market, in part because of AMD lowering the average price on its chips in the second quarter.

Advanced Micro Devices has rolled out a quad-core desktop chip for system builders priced at $99.

AMD announced the pricing for the 2.6GHz Athlon II X4 processors Sept. 16. Combining the processor with the 785G chip set, which includes ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics capabilities, brings the cost to about $170.

AMD officials touted the energy efficiency of the 45-nanometer processor platform and how the graphics capabilities-through DirectX 10.1 and ATI Stream technology-will support a fuller experience for users of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

The chip also offers both DDR2 and DDR3 memory and AMD's PowerNow 3.0 technology, which enables chips used in laptops to dynamically throttle down the chip speed depending on demand.

While aimed at the consumer space, AMD officials said the chip platform can also be used in commercial systems.

AMD rolled out the first Athlon II processors in June, though those earlier chips were dual-core.

The rollout of the newest of AMD's Mainstream Desktop Platform comes a day after analyst firm iSuppli said that rival Intel increased its global microprocessor market share lead over AMD in the second quarter. Intel garnered 80.6 percent of the worldwide chip revenues-the largest in almost four years-while AMD's share dropped 0.4 points, to 11.5 percent.

Analysts with iSuppli said that Intel was helped by a small spike in the demand for PCs. AMD's slight drop was an indication that its chips were selling at a lower average price than in the first quarter, they said.