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AMD bumps up speed of server chip

The chipmaker, fresh from issuing a warning about its second-quarter results, takes the wraps off a 1.73GHz Athlon chip for single- and dual-processor servers.

Advanced Micro Devices cranked up the power for servers on Wednesday with a new Athlon MP chip.

The 1.73GHz Athlon MP 2100+ processor succeeds the Athlon MP 2000+ chip, which operates at 1.67GHz. Athlon MP chips are designed for single- and dual-processor servers, which are beefier computers used to store files or conduct transactions over a network.

At least one of AMD's customers will offer the new MP 2100+ chip right away in a rack-mount server.

RackSaver's dual-processor RS-1100V BladeRack, which sells for around $2,000, is intended for customers in the oil, entertainment, and research and development fields. RackSaver can fit as many as 66 of the 1.75-inch-high RS-1100V machines into a single 7-foot cabinet, the company said.

The new 2100+ chip lists for $262 in 1,000-unit quantities.

It arrives at a difficult time for AMD. The chipmaker warned Wall Street on Tuesday that it would report a wider-than-expected loss in the second quarter because of lower demand for its chips.

AMD said revenue for the quarter would be between $620 million and $700 million, as much as $200 million lower than its original forecast of $820 million to $900 million.

The company blamed the large shortfall on the PC market, saying that sales for consumer notebooks and desktops in the United States and Europe--areas where it has traditionally been strong--were down substantially.

Sales of its chips for servers were also weak, the company said. AMD, which began shipping the Athlon MP about a year ago, said that so far 34 companies worldwide use the chip.

The Athlon MP can also be used in workstations and desktop computers for such tasks as product design or the creation of digital images.

Despite Tuesday's bad news, June has been a busy month for AMD. The company introduced a new Athlon XP 2200+ desktop chip and is expected to launch a new Mobile Athlon XP as well.

AMD uses the model number to promote the overall performance of the Athlon chip. Although the clock speed of the XP 2200+ is 1.8GHz, for example, it performs as well as or better than a 2.2GHz chip, according to the company.