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AMD preps for two-fisted two-socket catfight

Sock it to Intel

hands waving dollar bills in the air

AMD is hoping that its next move in the server space will bring it success in the massive two-socket market.

In a conference call with reporters and analysts after his company released its fourth-quarter 2009 financial results, AMD president and CEO Dirk Meyer cited figures that identified the two-socket arena as where "75 to 80 percent of the opportunity" is in the server market. "Really," he said, "that's where the game is played."

And that's a market that Meyer repeatedly emphasized to his listening audience, and one which he thinks AMD is ready for. When asked how AMD feels about the upcoming launch of the Magny-Cours Opteron processor and the Maranello server platform, for example, Meyer said: "We feel very good."

Not that carving out a respectable chunk of that 75 to 80 per cent will be a slam dunk - from Meyer's perspective, at least. Although he said that he "did see a second half of [last] year characterized by increasing strength in the server market," he didn't make any specific predictions for this year, merely saying that he was "hopeful that that momentum will continue a least through the first half."

But as critical as the Magny-Cours launch is to AMD's two-socket hopes, Meyer was upbeat: "We are on track for that launch next quarter," he said. "It represents the biggest improvement in performance that we'll be driving into our Opteron line-up since we introduced that product line in 2003. So we feel very good about our potential there, particularly around recapturing momentum in the two-socket space."

But it'll be a catfight. "Intel is introducing new technology, as well," Meyer noted. "So there are a lot of moving parts." But Magny-Cours and Maranello give him confidence. "I think on a relative basis we're going to have an even stronger competitive position in the two-socket space," he said. ®

Bootnote

While ticking off a list of AMD actions that lived up to promises it had made, one of Meyer's points didn't mention Intel by name, but it didn't need to: "We promised to expose the truth about the monopolistic environment in which we were operating," he said, "and we did."

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