Notebooks in Demand
The big story for Intels first quarter was its notebook chip business. Demand for notebook processors, where Intel and its Centrino brand are particularly strong, benefited the chip maker during the quarter."Ive seen a dramatic increase in mobile [processor] unit shipments" from the chip maker, McCarron said. "From what I had seen, it was a fairly significant departure from normal trends. The numbers are indicative of a pretty fundamental change in the PC market" toward notebooks and away from desktops.AMDs upward movement can be attributed to the companys product mix. "When you look at what happened in 2004, the two key contributions for AMD were Athlon 64 beginning to ship in measurable volumes and the redevelopment of its value product line with Sempron," McCarron said. Click here to read more about AMDs plans to continue to tout single-core processors for certain applications. AMD, McCarron said, hamstrung itself for a time by using its Athlon XP chip to cover both the low-end and parts of the midrange of the PC market. Starting in the third quarter of last year, it introduced the Sempron chip line for low-price PCs and diversified its Athlon 64 processor line with several new models, which covered a greater swath of the midrange market. The companies rivalry is likely to heat up again in coming quarters, wherein they will compete with dual-core chips. AMD, which recently retired its Athlon XP brand, has introduced new dual-core Athlon 64 X2 chips, which will come out in PCs in June. Intel already has a dual-core desktop chip, the Pentium Extreme Edition 840, which is available now in PCs. Read more here about Intels plans to focus on improving its desktop and server platforms for businesses. It has announced plans to add numerous others as well, including a more mainstream dual-core chip, the Pentium D, which will come out next month. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.