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Intel's "monopoly" is at an end

But there could well be a Nashing of chip teeth
Thu Mar 16 2006, 09:13
A REPORT from senior analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight 64 to his customers said that four eras came to an end at last week's Intel Developer Forum, including the end of the firm's monopoly on X86 microprocessors.

Brookwood said: "Intel never referred to itself as a monopolist...and always maintained that it remained vulnerable to competitive challenges. The past year has demonstrated it was correct in its characterisation of the market; AMD challenged and Intel was vulnerable."

Other eras that the curtain dropped on were the Pentium, the end of Netburst, and the exit of top Chipzilla spinner Howard High from Intel.

Brookwood said that Intel's "Core" microarchitecture shows that its Israeli designers have put the firm back on the competitive landscape in the notebook and desktop segments. An introduction by Intel in Q3 of the two way Woodcrest will give it parity with AMD but it is unlikely to be able to compete on the four way front until the end of 2007, he said.

A price war is unlikely, however, said Brookwood. The X86 segment now has effectively only two suppliers and that could lead to a duopoly dubbed a Nash Equilibrium. John Nash, the Nobel laureate, noted that duopolies create production to maximise their profits with each of the firms adjusting to the other's strategy. µ

Insight 64


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