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AMD will become the world's "number 1" chip-making company

Ruiz talks up AMD aims, says Hammer is a "Xeon-killer"
Mon Nov 18 2002, 20:20
AMD BOSS HECTOR RUIZ says AMD is "dead serious" about ousting Intel to become the number one player in the "computational processor market".

"We're not just trying to be a good number two," he said.

Ruiz claimed its "competitor" had done "everything possible" to keep it from competing in new segments of the market but, despite Intel's best efforts, AMD was on course to make significant progress in a number of areas.

In his speech at the Lehman Brothers Semiconductor and Computer Systems 2002 Conference, ahead of his appearance at Comdex tomorrow, Ruiz had first to outline how AMD would move towards "sustainable economic health". He claimed the restructuring the company was currently undergoing was designed to produce "operational flexibility" within the company. Unfortunately, Ruiz echoed a certain Michael Capellas in suggesting the company would turn itself round within 180 days. Before Capellas' 180 days ran out his company - Compaq, you may remember - was snapped up by the old HP.

Ruiz pointed at recent market share figures from IDC which he said showed AMD was sustaining its market share although the data did not include Japan and South America - two areas where he claimed the firm was particularly strong. He said the full data would show that AMD had increased its market share in each of the past three years.

Ruiz claimed AMD had made "huge progress" in the server market in just over a year. He pointed at the Red Storm project with Cray and Sandia as an illustration of the acceptance of AMD chips in significant projects. He said such deal as the supercomputer powered by 10,000 Opterons illustrated the faith potential customers may have in AMD in the server space.

IDC, said Ruiz, was predicting explosive growth in the 32- and 64-bit server space, right where Opteron would land. He said there would be a huge need for the capability of running legacy 32-bit applications on 64-bit platforms, which will give Operton the advantage. He said Opteron would hit "smack right against Xeon" but would deliver 64-bit performance at 32-bit pricing. Ruiz claimed the SPEC performance benchmarks show Operton far and away outperforms its competitor.

"We call Opteron the Xeon-killer," he said.

Ruiz outlined other areas in which AMD would expand its presence to eventually overturn Intel. He said he expected the company's Mirrorbit flash to be adopted by cellphone makers and said the company had already secured a deal with "top three" cell phone maker. He said that China would soon account for some 80 per cent of world wide cellphone production and expected that AMD's Mirrorbit flash chips would appear in more offering from Chinese manufacturers.

He also claimed AMD would achieve greater penetration in the market for mobile processors. He said the company had achieved 13 per cent penetration in the full-size mobile market, which he said was the slowest-growing segment. He said the company would extend this success through to the thin and light sub-segments. He then claimed that having acquired Alchemy earlier in the year the company would push further into the personal communications solutions market (whatever that is).

In terms of manufacturing Ruiz claimed the progression from 130nm processes to 90nm processes would be completed by the second half of 2003 and into volume production by 2004. He said the company was on course to introduce 65nm processes by 2005. µ


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