AMD Preys On Intel's Market Share

Advanced Micro Devices recently rolled out its dual-core Opteron processor as part of its drive to usurp market share from Intel by developing what it believes is a distinct product advantage. in an interview with Editor In Chief Michael Vizard and Senior Editor Edward F. Moltzen, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz discussed how Opteron will shape the Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker's battle to win the minds of system builders.

CRN: Over the past year, Intel has taken more of a platform approach to the market, which seems to be much different than AMD's approach. How much of a difference is there in the companies' go-to-market strategies?

Ruiz: The good news is that you have a differentiated approach to the market, so channel partners now have a choice. How Intel and AMD are approaching the market is clearly different. We believe Intel's platform strategy is designed to continue their domination and control the market. But you can pick any period [over] the last three years, and it shows that Intel generates all the profit and everybody else loses money. We believe that's crazy.

System makers want people to buy their brand because it has good value in it, not because it has Intel inside it. This is giving us an opportunity to go to customers that are becoming more interested in getting state-of-the-art CPUs from AMD and state-of-the-art motherboards from Foxconn to create a best-in-class system with their name on it. Our strategy is to continue to offer customers the option of not being marginalized. Any system builder that thinks warming up to the Intel platform brand is anything other than giving their soul away is nuts.

CRN: When do you think dual-core Opteron systems will make an impact in the market?

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Ruiz: I divide it into two parts. It will be rather dramatic in that it will force people to rethink their designs, but it will take some time to get things started. So the volume impact for us will probably be next year.

CRN: Given that, how much of an advantage do you think AMD now has over Intel, which is expected to roll out its dual-core offerings next year?

Ruiz: Intel is a strong company and very capable. We just think this requires a lot more than a desire to do it. I don't know if you can retain their existing bus architecture and change it enough to get the level of performance and value that we have. If they change the architecture, that is not a trivial thing, so it will take them longer.