Seeking to further bolster enterprise sales, Advanced Micro Devices today introduced a new chip designed for dual-processor workstations and servers, the 1.8GHz Athlon MP 2200+.
The new Athlon MP, priced at $224 in $1,000-unit quantities, is the third and final product to migrate to the chip makers 0.13-micron manufacturing processor, which allows for smaller transistors and processor features that can produce faster and cheaper chips than was possible using an earlier 0.18-micron process.
AMD, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a relative newcomer to the multiprocessor market, having introduced its first dual-chip platform last year. The move marks yet another step in the companys efforts to sell its products to enterprise customers, a market segment dominated by longtime rival Intel Corp.
While more than 34 computer makers worldwide are expected to feature AMDs newest processor in upcoming systems, the chip maker has not yet been able to secure a design win for its enterprise processor among major U.S. manufacturers, such as Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM, who rely solely on Intel to supply the 32-bit processors that power their business PCs and low-end servers.
But cracks are beginning to appear in Intels enterprise foundation as HP this month introduced its first AMD-based business PC, the Compaq D315. HP executives said the company finally embraced AMD in its business-class machines due to the chip makers recent market share gains in the enterprise fueled by the support of small vendors known as white-box makers. Despite being shunned by dominant computer makers last year, AMD chips appeared in about 20 percent of all enterprise PCs sold, according to International Data Corp.
The chip makers position is even stronger overseas, where the support of such large vendors as NEC Corp. has enabled AMD-based systems to capture more than 30 percent market share in select regions.
AMD is hoping to build on the momentum it has gained in the enterprise market since introducing its Athlon line three years ago with the launch late this year of its first 64-bit processor, code-named Clawhammer, and the release a few months later of its first 64-bit server chip, Opteron.
The chip maker is betting companies and consumers will be attracted to the potential power of its 64-bit chips, which will be able to also run existing 32-bit applications, such as Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP and compatible software.
But while 64-bit processors are valued by software developers and high-end business users for their abilities to address large amounts of memory and process more data simultaneously, they may be seen as having little value for companies currently using 32-bit business applications, and more especially for consumers, for which 64-bit applications have yet to be developed.
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