Dual-Core Deliveries Set

Server makers, including Sun Microsystems, Santa Clara, Calif., and Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, Calif., are among vendors expected to announce support for AMD dual-core chips this week.

With Intel and AMD fighting to win early market adoption of those chips, channel veterans believe they and their customers will only benefit.

"It's finally a compelling message," said Robert Schaffer, president of Source Micro, a Randolf, N.J.-based system builder.

However, he said he expected that Intel and AMD dual-core processors would each be adopted for similar reasons as their single-core offerings up until now. "When it comes right down to it, some people buy from AMD because they like the underdog, and AMD usually fights to get a new product out faster," he said. But "a lot of people just want the Intel [processors] only."

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Schaffer said Intel has an advantage over AMD in that it provides and bundles its own chipset, motherboard and processors in platform-based packages, while AMD produces chips and partners with third parties on chipsets and boards.

"I hear from people they are not always so happy with the selection of motherboard they can get on AMD products," Schaffer said.

Last week, AMD reported a money-losing first quarter that disappointed Wall Street, but the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company won back support when it said it was reorganizing, spinning off its poorly performing flash memory business and shipping its dual-core chips to OEMs.

"We will be launching our highly anticipated Opteron dual-core processor" April 21 in New York, when the company marks the second anniversary of its 64-bit Opteron server processor, said AMD CEO Hector Ruiz last week during a teleconference. Ruiz said AMD also would demonstrate the Athlon 64 dual-core chip.

In addition, AMD last week said it was consolidating its processor operations into one unit to be overseen by Dirk Meyer, who will become president and COO of AMD's Microprocessor Solutions Sector. Henri Richard, another senior vice president, will now oversee its marketing efforts.

Earlier, Intel said it had begun shipping its first dual-core processors to OEMs and also plans to launch its line of dual-core chips this month.

Intel executives told attendees of its Intel Developer Forum in Taipei last week that the Santa Clara-based company had begun shipping the Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840 with the Intel 955X Express chipsets and expected the first complete systems based on the dual-core technology later this month. Another dual-core chip, the Pentium D, is expected later this quarter.

ELIZABETH MONTALBANO contributed to this story.