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AMD launches processors

Advanced Micro Devices will today launch a new family of desktop processors that should narrow the performance gap with rival Intel. The Sunnyvale chip maker plans to release the first two products in its Phenom line of processors for personal computers: the 9500 running at 2.2 GHz and 9600 running at 2.3 GHz. Both will have four cores, or computing engines, to improve performance. The company said faster models are expected in the first and second quarters of next year. A 9700 version running at 2.4 GHz and a 9900 version running at 2.6 GHz are anticipated in the first quarter. A model running at 3.0 GHz is expected in the second quarter. While the new products will help the company keep pace, "they need to be above 2.5 GHz to compete head to head with Intel," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at the research firm Insight 64. New products from Intel have improved that company's competitive position this year.

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