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Athlon no threat to Intel World dominance

Pete Sherriff calls for reality check time

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Opinion It's awfully hip and trendy these days to spout on about how great it is that AMD has finally got its act together with a credible threat to Intel'sdominance. Athlon is winning plaudits from reviewers and Intel has shot itself in the foot yet again (how many feet does Chipzilla have? -- Ed) with the Caminogate cockup. And yes, it is good that Chimpzilla has a good product. It is also vastly amusing that the top banana has fallen flat on its face (that's enough metaphors -- Ed) with the i820. But in the cold light of day, sheer weight of statistics would seem to indicate that it's pretty much business as usual in the Wonderful World of Semiconductors. AMD has one fab capable of producing chips at 0.18 micron. Intel has four (and will soon have five). That's an awful lot more Coppermines than Athlons rolling off the production line, and at considerably better margins to boot. AMD has copper interconnects. Big deal. Intel says it doesn't need 'em until it gets down to 0.13 and Foster/Itanium. Chipzilla's revenues last quarter were a measly $7 billion. AMD managed a tenth of this. Intel needs a credible rival -- or at least what appears to be a credible rival -- to keep the FTC off its back. It amuses Intel to allow AMD to survive, but never forget this means AMD is effectively in the intensive care ward, under the care of Dr Chipzilla MD. And if AMD ever even looks like posing a genuine threat to Intel, Chipzilla's pricing will mysteriously plummet, effectively turning off the life support machine. This is fighting talk where we come from. ® Flame Pete Sherriff, and we'll publish your replies

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