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Digital to use AMD K6 chip

Advanced Micro Devices enlists Digital Equipment as a customer for its K6 processor. Hewlett-Packard is expected to use the K5.

Advanced Micro Devices(AMD) has enlisted Digital Equipment as a customer for its K6 processor, the first major U.S. computer manufacturer to sign on.

The deal bolsters AMD's worldwide customer base for the K6. Already on board are Vobis in Europe, which ranks in the top 20 computer makers worldwide, and Fujitsu-ICL, another large European manufacturer.

Digital says it will use the K6 in a business desktop line to be announced in the next 30 days. Hewlett-Packard is also expected to state next week that it will be using the Pentium-class AMD K5 chip in a PC, according to sources familiar with the announcement. The K5 is an older design than the K6 and performs on par with low-end and mid-range Pentium processors such as the 133- and 166-MHz Pentium.

AMD announced the K6 at the beginning of this month, running at speeds of 166, 200, and 233 MHz. AMD said it had already shipped 10,000 of the processors to PC makers and expects to ship hundreds of thousands from April to June.

Smaller firms such as MicroExpress and Tatung have already announced systems using the K6 processor.