AMD is set to up the ante in its ongoing processor race with Intel.

Sources close to AMD said the chip maker plans to soon release latest versions of its Athlon and Duron units for desktop PCs.

A 1.2GHz Athlon chip should appear sometime near the end of this month.

At the start of August, Intel released a 1.13GHz Pentium III chip and then shortly ran into problems with production.

By the end of August, Intel recalled the chip after reports that some CPUs froze while using it under certain conditions.

Intel would not say when it might start selling the 1.13Ghz units again but claimed that even faster chips will be ready this year.

An Intel spokesman said the vendor will release Pentium 4 chips at speeds of 1.4GHz and higher by the fourth quarter of this year.