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AMD preps for two-fisted two-socket catfight

Sock it to Intel

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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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