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The popular story is that Advanced Micro Devices is good for the channel primarily because it gives us "choice." That's true. Until AMD emerged as a challenger in the x86 processor market, Intel called all the shots.
But Hector Ruiz knows that's only part of the story. Succeeding AMD founder Jerry Sanders as CEO in 2002, Ruiz has guided the 38-year-old, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company through arguably its most important period. With the launch of the Opteron server processor in 2003, AMD became a true competitor to Intel. Later, AMD would beat the chip leader to the punch with the first widely available dual-core x86 processor. AMD still challenges Intel with its quad-core Opteron and Phenom chips.
But AMD isn't merely a price spoiler. The chip maker has truly been an innovator. When Intel broke first with its quad-core product, AMD went ahead and designed a "native" quad-core chip, code-named Barcelona, which has the channel abuzz.
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