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Dell 'sourcing AMD-based PCs from Taiwan'

The last in line finally succumbs?

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Dell has contracted three Taiwanese manufacturers to supply it with PCs based on AMD processors, the Asian press has claimed.

According to Chinese Language newspaper Economic Daily News this past weekend, Asus, Quanta and Hon Hai Precision (aka Foxconn) are all developing AMD-based systems for Dell. Their specialisms suggest the PC giant is buying desktops, notebooks and servers, respectively.

Dell has traditionally been an Intel-only house, and is the only major Wintel systems vendor to hold out against AMD. Some observers claim Intel makes it worth Dell's while, but Dell is canny enough to play the two chip makers off against each other to ensure it always gets the most favourable terms.

Every so often, Dell drops hints it might launch AMD-based systems, much to the joy of AMD fanboys, but somehow never quite manages to do so. This month it began selling boxed AMD processors, seen by some as a change of heart - or a bulwark against any fall-out from AMD's legal challenge to Intel. AMD accuses its arch-rival of deliberately attempting to harm its business, a charge Intel refutes.

And of course Intel now has a second exclusive customer: Apple. The Mac maker's decision to turn to Intel for its x86 chips could be seen to weaken Dell's bargaining position, though in reality the scale of its processor purchasing activity dwarfs Apple's. ®

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