AMD the guerilla becomes virtual gorilla

Sanders looks for very graceful exit

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After once again describing 2000 as "the most successful year in AMD's history" (sales grew 63 per cent), Sanders took questions from the floor today at a shareholder's meeting in New York. Topics ranged from 0.13 micron technology, his forthcoming resignation, flash memory, and Intel advertising.

Sanders said AMD will start 0.13 micron production in the fourth quarter of the year, and expected "a complete conversion by the end of next year, or sooner."

The company does not expect to need extra fabs until 2004 or 2005, believing its existing facilities will see it through. These include its fab in Dresden, which is currently at 50 per cent capacity - it is expected to reach full output by the end of 2001.

Sanders said AMD's strategy was to make more chipsets for servers, while continuing work on PC chips.

He added that the company intended to break the Intel monopoly on consumer PCs in the US "soon", and that AMD was continuing on the road of being a "virtual gorilla" compared to Intel's "800-pound gorilla".

Regarding flash memory, Sanders said the company remained confident that growth in this market would get a kick-start in the second half of the year.

And would the AMD chief's own departure, announced earlier this year, be a graceful exit, asked one excited shareholder.

"The better we perform, the more graceful my exit will be," responded a grinning Sanders.

AMD plans to have its own version of Intel's Blue Man Group adverts on television before the end of this year. Sanders said viewers could look forward to seeing AMD TV ads for its processors in the fourth quarter of this year.

But it looks unlikely that AMD will take many tips from rival Intel's ads - which currently uses the BMG performance artists, sprayed blue from head to foot and prancing around to their own jingle, to publicise its Pentium 4 chip.

"You've got no idea how tired I am of seeing those blue men," Sanders told the audience this morning. ®

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