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AMD Dual-Core Challenge - Intel No Show!
By Zachary Chan
Category : Events
Published by Vijay Anand on Tuesday, 6th December, 2005


Chatting with the Boss

The next session proved to be more exciting as we had about a 40-minute media chat with AMD's CEO Dr. Hector Ruiz. Hector Ruiz was confident of AMD's strength into the future with continual annual revenue growths from 28% in 2004 to a 35% projection by end of 2005.

AMD CEO Dr. Hector Ruiz giving a brief history of AMD's rise from being a follower ten years ago, to a contender and now a leader in 64-bit and dual-core microprocessor technology.

Among the other topics covered were AMD's lawsuit against Intel for unfair practices and the Turion vs. Centrino battle in the mobile segment. While AMD's lead in the desktop and server market is undeniable, Intel still has the stranglehold on the mobile segment with the Centrino platform. However, Hector pointed out that AMD only began to attack the mobile market with the 64-bit Turion processor late in the second quarter of 2005 and have already increased unit growth by 72% from Q2 to Q3. He also mentioned that while Intel's component integration with Centrino is an all round good product, individually, each part (processor, chipset and wireless) is only 'mediocre'. AMD's approach to mobile computing will be the same as their desktop, promoting an open 'best-in-class' solution. The Turion64 till now still remains as the only 64-bit mobile solution available as well. We noted that Hector didn't go into battery life and power-efficiency, something the highly integrated Centrino is able to outdo any 'open ' mobile platform today and we would certainly not call the Pentium M a 'mediocre' product.

Hector weighing in a question from the floor before attempting an answer.

By the end of the session, Intel was a no show, not that we were surprised to any degree. We've even tried to contact Intel for an official statement on AMD's challenge, but we've been led to believe that there will be no further response on the matter from Intel.

Intel is right about one thing though; AMD's challenge is but a marketing ploy, but a hugely successful one at that. AMD has always been taking subtle jabs at their competitor over the past three years (remember the AMD Solo 2 motherboard demos of the Claw Hammer and 8000 series chipset that had a logo of a hammer on top of a series of musical notes, which turned out to be Intel's jingle?). This time, AMD has thrown down the gauntlet with a full frontal attack on dual-core processor power, performance and efficiency and the only reason they can do so now is because they know they have the advantage. With mounting industry support from heavyweights like HP, Sun and IBM backing AMD's Opteron server platform, AMD has also managed to gain up to 10% in the X86 server market share in recent studies, up from a whopping 0% not more than 2.5 years ago when they first got into the server market.

Intel knows this and AMD's challenge is really a lose-lose situation to them, whether they turn up or not. Of course, Intel is far from shying away. They've lined up a very exciting next generation platform, which they've been keeping mum about and the new Yonah mobile processor can be seen as the all-important stepping-stone to recovery. However, these are all still products 'on the horizon' and AMD has their own upgrades over the next few years to keep things interesting. For anything in the future, we can only adopt a wait-and-see stance, but in the meantime, AMD has every right to bask in their success.

A definitive 'Where's Waldo' moment.

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