Chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) on Wednesday introduced a processor that uses its 0.13 micron copper technology. While the company is making inroads, one analyst said the firm's real ammunition against its competition won't be launched until early next year.
The Athlon MP 2200+ processor is aimed at small- and medium-sized organizations and delivers a dual-processor platform for the server and workstation. A typical usage for the front-end, one- and two-way server solution would include e-mail, Exchange, and file print networking application servers.
What remains a constant with this release is the company's use of Socket A infrastructure, a technological aspect AMD has used for its Athlon and XP products since 2000.
And while there is little dispute that Intel Corp. is tops in the chip provider space, AMD has announced original equipment manufacturer (OEM) deals with Hewlett-Packard Co. and Acer Inc.'s European unit to launch notebook PCs based on AMDs 0.13 micron technology. One industry analyst feels the company is making strides against its major rival.
"They're getting there, but it's a pretty gradual process for tackling the 800 pound gorilla," said Eddie Chan, research analyst at IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto. He characterized the Athlon MP 2200+ processor as one of AMD's lower-end processors.
But it seems the real test for AMD will come early in 2003 when the company will begin shipment of its Opteron line of chips that include the SledgeHammer and ClawHammer. Company spokesperson John Crank confirmed Opteron is indeed slated to begin shipment in early '03, and the company is quite confident in what its chips provide over their rival manufacturers.
"You'll find that the Opteron is a very flexible solution which is something our competitors don't offer. With our competitors, you get a binary decision, one way or another, (and) there's no flexibility in (their) offerings," said Crank, the senior brand associate for the Athlon product line in Austin, Tex.
IDC Canada's Chan agreed, and added that while Intel still retains about 80 per cent market share, the Opteron release is significant. "You (Intel) have to be worried without question, (especially since) AMD is Intel's next biggest competitor," Chan said.
Systems shipping with the AMD Athlon MP processor 2200+ are available now.
Advanced Micro Devices can be found at http://www.amd.com. Intel can be found at http://www.intel.com.