In the microprocessor market, AMD is on fire. Itís rapidly stealing Intel market share and getting ready to make a few substantial changes to its product. But the upcoming Conroe processor will completely change what we think of Intel. Is AMD prepared to stay on top, or will Intel steal its CPU crown back?
AMD has the Momentum
By looks of reports for the chipmakers' first quarter, AMD is finally flexing its muscles. And Intel can't quite compare.
AMD ended at $1.33 billion on March 26. That's up 70 percent from the first quarter last year. Last year, AMD ended with a net loss of $17 million. This change has something to do with AMD's 40% share of the flash memory company Spansion doing better. It also comes from scraping off some points from Intel.
Chipzilla had to issue a warning to investors that it would finish the first quarter about $600 million below their expectations. According to Intel, the reason for this is "primarily due to weaker than expected demand and a slight market segment share loss." In other words, the new Pentium D 9xx processors that were introduced in January and Intel Macs released shortly after aren't selling like expected.
AMD is gaining, but Intel still owns the market. Compared to AMD's $1.33 billion, they posted that they would make at least $8.7 billion. Things hardly ever change suddenly, but it looks like AMD has the forward momentum lately. Their share in new desktops, laptops, and servers is increasing.
Both companies are preparing for some pretty serious competition in a few months. AMD's new socket AM2 chipset is a hot topic online, and the company has remained downright silent about it. From the few product samples they released, we can start to get an idea of what this might mean for the company. AMD has also announced that it is going to license out its HyperTransport technology to other companies, which seems like a very interesting decision.
Intel, in the meantime, is hardly letting AMD go without a fight. Intel has shrunk to 65nm features for their processors, and they are tweaking them to load on the cores and optimize out of order processing. In a few months, Intel is preparing to release Conroe, which is a newly reworked and more efficient core.
Is AMD prepared enough to take on Intel's new core?
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