Shocking Everyone

By eweek  |  Posted 2004-04-28 Print this article Print

What do you think of Michael Dell personally? Hes an incredibly smart guy. Shrewd. Very personal. I find him delightful to talk to. And I have a good relationship with him, to the point that either he or I can just pick up the phone and talk to each other. Theres no secretary that screens you out and calls you back. None of that. Its really a good relationship.
But hes facing a very challenging thing. Hes got a commitment for $5 billion of product from a company [Intel Corp.]. How do you ever flip that? Thats pretty hard to do. And I can understand that.
But you know, Dell prides themselves on not being a leader in things of technology, they pride themselves on being a strong follower. But I never dreamed that they would be dead last following, I mean, theyre running at the very end. Theyre going to be at the caboose of the [Opteron] train. And its just kind of surprising to me that theyd wait that long. We still have hope and confidence that theyll see the light. At an event celebrating the one-year anniversary of Opterons launch, Ruiz said he expects Dell to join the fold within the next year. To read the full article, click here. Any other OEMs that are right around the corner? You know, I dont know if there are. Truthfully, I couldnt tell you or if wed even be allowed to tell you. But Id think were going to have a number of Asian OEMs be very officially on board here, if theyre not already. And of course, Fujitsu, Siemens in Europe already. In places where names dont mean a lot to you, because theyre not well-known, but eventually theyll be well-known. In China, weve got major players fairly involved with the products. Observers say AMD is on track with its first year of Opteron, but the real measure of success for the year coming up will be your ability to branch out into other form factors, like blades and four-way servers. Are you comfortable that you have enough processors out there now? We have roadmap that when you look 12 months out, its pretty firm. You look 12 to 24 months, and its almost firm. And then you look beyond that, and its always subject to modifications of the market. When we look out to, say, the end of 2005, we are enabling customers to really create a tremendous breadth of product lines. One of the most powerful things next year is going to be our dual-core product. To me, thats going to really shock the hell out of everyone, because its going to be hardware-compatible, infrastructure-compatible, pin-compatible. I mean, people that have a 2-P system can slap in a dual-core product and end up with a 4-P system for the price of a 2-P. Thats been the biggest drawback, everyone tells me. What keeps them from going from a 2-P to a 4-P system? Its price. AMD recently enlisted server makers Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. to expand their Opteron-based offerings with existing chips. Click here for the full story. As far as the blade market goes, does AMD have to do anything special to get the Opteron down and into blades? There are a number of things going on in the blade market, theres this IBM-Intel alliance thats trying to establish a standard that no ones paying attention to. So, thats sort of confusing things a little bit. Then you have other players, and each of them have their own view of what a blade should look like … . So, were just picking those customers were already working with to say, How can we help enable you get to a blade Opteron as fast as possible? What are they saying? Frankly, some are ahead of others because theyve actually been thinking about it for a long time. Others are confused by this Intel-IBM standard setting that they want to do. But well see Opteron blades before the end of the year. Before the end of this year? Yes. Next page: Improving margins on the memory side.


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