Intel vs AMD

Cliff Edwards

Could it be the folks over at Intel are getting a little nervous?
Word on the street is the rival Advanced Micro Devices has been eating their lunch in the small, but very lucrative four-way server business (that's four or more processors in one system). AMD also is doing brisk business in the entry-level server market.
Never a company to take any lost sales standing still, Intel announced today it "is accelerating the availability" of its dual-core Xeon and Xeon MP processors, introducing new chips at some unspecified time this year instead of next. They'll be targets at "early adopters and evaluators of dual-core technology."
In an oddly worded release, the chipmaker then adds that these new processors really are a prelude to two other chips that will be introduced in early 2006.
What gives? Behind the curtains, one might expect to find that Dell has been pressuring Intel to come up with something to help them compete with hot-sellig systems from HP, Sun and others, who have heartily been jumping on the AMD bandwagon.
And AMD execs likely are smirking at the idea that dual-core technology still needs a lot of testing, since their own products have been flying off the shelves. They say they have an inherent advantage over Intel because their architecture is vastly more energy -efficient, on top of being powerful in their own right.
While Intel is still making a bundle off its Xeon chips, it seems clear they're feeling the heat for the first time in a long time from AMD. And if researchers from IDC or Gartner in coming weeks confirm that AMD continues to gain share in that space, it'll be a black eye that will make Intel very unhappy indeed.

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