AMD Hits Server Milestone

AMD attributes its second-quarter success with x86 server processor shipments to the popularity of its dual-core Opteron chip.

Advanced Micro Devices says it has cracked the 10 percent mark in x86 server processor shipments.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker, citing fresh figures from Mercury Research Inc. in Cave Creek, Ariz., said it garnered just over 11 percent of x86 server shipments in the second quarter, versus about 7 percent in the first quarter.

This is the first time Advanced Micro Devices Inc., whose dual-core Opteron processor arrived in April, has passed the 10 percent mark in server processor shipments, according to the Mercury Research survey.

Intel Corp. held the balance of the x86 server shipments.

AMD pointed to broader adoption of its Opteron chip in the second quarter, thanks in part to the chips move to dual core, meaning that each chip includes two processor cores rather than one.

An AMD spokesperson said in an e-mail that the new figures show "proof positive that demand in the marketplace is growing for AMD Opteron."

"Clearly, AMDs customers took substantially more processors in the second quarter, resulting in higher unit shipments and greater market share of the server segment," Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research, said in an e-mail to Ziff Davis Internet News.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read a Q&A with John Fowler, executive vice president of Suns Network Systems Group, about the challenges of expanding business for the Opteron chip.

Hewlett-Packard Co., which offers Opteron in several of its servers, is among the companies that have said they see the Opteron gaining acceptance among corporations.

HP executives recently predicted that companies who were originally interested in using Opteron servers as part of high-performance computing clusters, which harness the collective power of numerous servers to crunch numbers, would begin using them for other jobs, such as databases or CRM (customer relationship management) software, soon, as well.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead details here about dual-core servers from Dell and SGI, aimed at the markets midrange.

Still, AMD has its work cut out for it now. It will have to guard its position, while attempting to continue its momentum. Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., aims to strengthen its server processor line by adding dual-core chips as well.

Intel, which recently released a dual-core platform that uses its Pentium D, intends to begin releasing dual-core Xeon processor servers to potential customers and software developers within weeks.

It will also launch Montecito, a dual-core Itanium 2 processor, later this year.

Mercury Researchs survey only measures x86 processors and thus doesnt include IBMs Power and PowerPC processor lines or Suns UltraSPARC.

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.