Data Centers

AMD wins market share, misses Opteron target

Chipmaker, which has been trying to shake reputation as producer of low-cost Intel clones, sees third consecutive quarter of gains.

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By Reuters

Advanced Micro Devices took market share from archrival Intel in the fourth quarter but fell short of a target it set for its two-year-old Opteron chip, research firm IDC said on Friday.

AMD added one-tenth of a percentage point to its total share of the number of personal-computer microprocessors sold in the period, giving it a 16.1 percent market share. It was the third consecutive quarter of gains for Sunnyvale, Calif.,-based AMD, which has been trying to shake off its reputation as a producer of low-cost Intel clones.

However, in the market for PC server chips—a large and profitable market that powers low-end business computers for running Web sites and other applications—AMD ended the year well short of a 10 percent market share target it set for itself last year. The company took a 6.5 percent share.

IDC's PC server chip data exclude proprietary, high-end chips made by IBM, Intel and Sun Microsystems.

The market share data from IDC analyst Shane Rau nevertheless demonstrates the consistent momentum last year for AMD's Opteron chips, the crown jewel of the company's product line. AMD had only 3.5 percent of the market for PC server microprocessors in 2003, but jumped to 6.1 percent in 2004, largely at the expense of Intel.

Investors have rewarded AMD for its turnaround under Chief Executive Hector Ruiz, and its stock price has tripled over the past two years.

The IDC data are largely in line with a report last month by another semiconductor research firm, Mercury Research.

Intel clearly remains the market leader. In the fourth quarter, for every $100 spent on PC microprocessors, $88 went to Intel and only $9 went to AMD, according to IDC data.

That market dominance has attracted attention from antitrust regulators in Japan and Europe, which are investigating Intel's business practices after complaints from AMD that it had muscled its smaller rival out of certain markets.

Earlier this week, Dell, the world's largest PC maker, dealt a blow to AMD by saying it was no longer seriously considering using AMD chips in any of its products. Dell's chief executive said he had once leaned toward AMD but changed his mind after Intel regained its footing after a string of product delays and cancellations.

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