A former Dell executive has agreed to join the board of directors at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), strengthening ties between the two companies and raising once again the possibility that they might get together to produce servers or PCs.
Morton Topfer, AMD's newest board member, is the former vice chairman of Dell and current managing partner of Castletop Capital, in Austin, Texas. Dell's main manufacturing facility in Austin is named after Topfer, who ran the company in conjunction with founder Michael Dell and current Chief Executive Officer Kevin Rollins from 1994 until his retirement from the board of directors last year.
Prior to his tenure with Dell, Topfer was employed by Motorola, where current AMD Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Hector Ruiz once worked.
Dell has flirted with AMD's advances for years, alternately praising the chip maker's technology and fretting about the potential loss of its close relationship with Intel.
In November, Rollins provided some of the strongest words yet in the ongoing courtship, saying that AMD now had a technology lead on Intel in certain areas and that Dell would probably use an AMD product in the future.
Of course, nothing has been announced. Industry analysts agree that while AMD has been very successful persuading three of the top four server vendors to use its Opteron processor, and urging PC companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Gateway to produce Athlon 64 PCs, AMD's best chance at overtaking Intel's lead in processor market share would be to convince Dell to use an AMD product.