AMD Battles Sales Decline With Faster Chip, New Flash
Seeking to lift sagging sales, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. last week released its fastest mobile chip yet and began production shipments of a new type of flash memory that it claims doubles the density of standard flash memory devices without compromising performance or reliability.
The worlds second-largest PC chip maker and biggest seller of flash memory products has been hard hit by the downturn in computer sales and price competition with Intel Corp. To ignite demand, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company continues to pump out new products, such as last weeks launch of a notebook processor, the mobile Athlon XP 1800+, with a frequency of 1.53GHz. The chip, priced at $335 in 1,000-unit quantities, is AMDs first mobile chip offering since it released the mobile Athlon XP 1700+, clocked at 1.47GHz, in April.
In conjunction, Hewlett-Packard Co. unveiled two consumer products that will feature the chip, the Pavilion ZE1250 notebook, available now in U.S. stores, and the Compaq Presario 900 series, to be available via direct order at www.hp.com.
Acer Inc. also said it will offer the chip in a new notebook, the Aspire 1300, being sold in Europe.
In addition, AMD is hoping that its 64M-bps MirrorBit Flash memory, a new high-density design for use in cell phones, personal digital assistants, TV set-top boxes and other products, will combine with a renewed growth in high-end cell phones overseas to fuel increased sales this year.
However, continued price cutting by companies will undermine profits, one analyst said. "The four major factors that contribute to greater price aggressionsoft demand, component availability, company focus on market share and industry profitabilityremain largely in place," said Andy Neff, an analyst for Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., in New York.