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AMD sets Q3 release for workstation-happy, dual-core Opterons

100 Series prepares for liftoff

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It's getting warm here in Chicago, and the birds are out in full force. Thankfully, one rather knowledgeable chirper stopped by the office today with a short but concrete message about AMD's Opteron plans.

In the next couple of days, AMD will deliver word that the dual-core version of Opteron meant for one-socket workstations and low-end servers will ship in the third quarter. This 100 Series processor follows the 800 series chips that arrived for midrange servers in April and the new 200 Series for one- to two-way servers.

Is this a surprise? Well, no.

Given that we're already in June, it would be hard to imagine AMD stretching must past the third quarter to deliver such a chip. The likes of HP, Sun and smaller hardware makers will be expected to use the 100 Series processors.

Our sources indicate that AMD has received tremendous interest in its dual-core chips with orders for more expensive, higher-powered versions of Opteron exceeding expectations by leaps and bounds. AMD is hoping to capitalize on a more than six-month lead over Intel, which won't have a dual-core Xeon until 2006.

AMD, however, could use a major dual-core boost since it has fallen well behind initial shipment expectations for the Opteron processor. The company once predicted that it would grab 10 per cent of the server processor market by the end of 2004. Instead, AMD held just 6.5 per cent of the market in both last year's fourth quarter and this year's first quarter, according to IDC.

In a recent interview with InfoWorld, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz ignored IDC's most recent numbers and put out a bold prediction for 2005.

"If you believe the IDC numbers, then we ended up the year around 8 per cent share. I would be very disappointed, stunned, and surprised if we don't go out this year with at least a 50 per cent growth over that, which puts us at a minimum of 12 per cent."

Or if you use the real IDC figures, at still less than 10 per cent (9.75) - AMD's original goal for 2004. ®

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