AMD Chips Away At Intel Market Share

San Jose, Calif. -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. took its largest slice ever--25.3 percent--of the X86 market in the last quarter of 2006, according to a report released last week by PC market watcher Mercury Research.

"Intel has had lower [quarterly] shares than this, but this is the lowest since late 1995," said Dean McCarron, principal of Mercury Research (Cave Creek, Ariz.).

AMD gained slightly more than 2 percentage points in both desktops and notebooks in the quarter. However, Intel expanded its server share by slightly more than 1 percentage point in the period, McCarron said.

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AMD's gains came from first-time design wins in servers, notebooks and desktops from Dell and servers from Gateway. The company also got more design wins from IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun, AMD reported.

The usual boost that typically comes from consumer PC buying at the end of the year also helped AMD, said McCarron. He added, "AMD's mix is more consumer than Intel's, hence they gain disproportionately."

Nevertheless, Wall Street analysts hammered AMD when it reported a loss in its last quarter and revealed that a heated price war with Intel put pressure on AMD's business.

Mercury valued the total X86 market in 2006 at $29.5 billion.