Chips Up for AMD in Third Quarter

AMD appears to have gained at the expense of rival Intel in third-quarter x86 chip shipments.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. gained market share in the x86 chip market during the third quarter, a published report says.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker, which is Intel Corp.s primary rival in x86 processors—the chips used by most PCs and many computer servers—gained 1.6 points of market share during the quarter to give it 17.8 percent of the market, according to a report published by trade paper DigiTimes, which cites figures from a recent report by Mercury Research Inc.

Intel, on the other hand, slipped 1.4 points to 80.8 percent, the report, cited by DigiTimes, said.

Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research, declined to comment on the figures, saying he did not offer them to the publication.

However, based on the report cited by DigiTimes, AMD appears to have gained across the board, thanks to double-digit growth in notebooks, desktops and servers.

Notebooks and servers, traditional Intel strongholds, are two areas where AMD has stepped up its efforts of late. AMD has been offering dual-core versions of its Opteron processors since April and a month before that it rolled out Turion, a new mobile chip.

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Thus AMDs third-quarter performance appears to have reversed a second-quarter trend that saw Intel gain share at AMDs expense, despite AMD making progress in servers.

Intel, which has historically garnered around 80 percent of x86 chip shipments, had 82.3 percent of shipments in the second quarter, according to Mercury Research figures, announced in August. For its part, AMD had 16.2 percent of shipments during the second quarter.

The two companies had 81.6 percent and 16.9 percent of shipments, respectively, during the first quarter.

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However, Microsoft Corp. drove much of the change in share during the second quarter, McCarron said in an August interview with Ziff Davis Internet.

Microsoft, whose Xbox is nearing the end of its life, purchased a significant number of Intel chips for the game console during the quarter, he said.

"If you take that out, net market share probably didnt change much," McCarron said.

Still, Intel has already accelerated some of its products. The company rolled out its first dual-core Xeon chip for servers ahead of schedule earlier this month.

It has number of additional dual-core processors on the way, starting in early 2006. Although it said earlier this week it would delay its next Itanium 2 chip, Montecito, from early 2006 to mid-2006.

But AMD will continue ahead as well. It plans to add new versions of its Opteron and Athlon 64 chips in 2006 as well.

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