AMD's Ruiz Expects Increased 64 Bit Momentum

AMD President and Chief Executive Hector Ruiz expects AMD's 64 bit processors to continue to gain momentum despite rival Intel Corp's aim to offer 64-bit extensions for its 32-bit Xeon

April 15, 2004

3 Min Read
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AMD President and Chief Executive Hector Ruiz expects AMD's 64 bit processors to continue to gain momentum despite rival Intel Corp's aim to offer 64-bit extensions for its 32-bit Xeon server platform.

"I don't know of anybody that has seen any of the product yet that is going to compete with Opteron," Ruiz said. Speaking on a conference call with Wall Street analysts Wednesday, Ruiz stressed that AMD's 64 bit Opteron processor is an eighth generation processor with an integrated memory controller and HyperTransport technology for higher bandwidth compared with what he called a "seventh generation processor" from Intel with an "added instruction set."

Ruiz said the integrated technology gives AMD an advantage that he insisted "customers will see the value of pretty quickly."

Intel, which claims it is not losing market share to AMD, said in February that it expects to deliver 64 bit extensions to Xeon sometime this quarter. AMD has trumpeted the Intel decision to add the 64 bit extensions as a validation of the momentum behind 64 bit computing.

Ruiz told analysts he expects AMD's 64 bit processor momentum to "accelerate in the second half of the year as the [64 bit] software ecosystem begins to get stronger." Most importantly, Ruiz said that Microsoft's expected release of 64 bit Windows XP client support in the second half will boost AMD's sales prospects.Ruiz maintained that AMD's 64 bit processor is the "only way to get the benefit of enhanced virus protection within the x86 software ecosystem which will be enabled by the upcoming Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2." Ruiz said that advantage is an "important additional benefit" for solution providers looking at replacing systems in upcoming months. AMD 64 bit processor unit shipments more than doubled in the quarter.

Ruiz's comments came after the chip maker posted wildly better than expected results for the first quarter, earning $45 million on a 73 percent increase in sales to a record $1.23 billion. The earnings of 12 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 28 were well above the 3 cents per diluted share Wall Street consensus estimate, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson First Call.

AMD Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales Henri Richard claimed that AMD, which recently inked 64 bit processor deals with Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems, is winning deals in "many, many segments on 32 bit (applications) performance only. That is clearly a testament to the fact that the architecture of the product is superior. 64 bit extension is relevant and becomes more and more important by the day, but architecturally this product is the superior product today because it is a new generation."

"There is a lot of catching up that needs to be done before you can match the performance of Opteron," added Richard in a jab at Intel. He pointed out that AMD had a record quarter in sales of 64 bit processor client systems through the channel with strong adoption by small and medium businesses and gaming enthusiasts. On the server side, he said, there was increasing adoption of 64 bit Opteron in the commercial mainstream market outside of the traditional high performance niche.

AMD said its manufacturing transition to 90nm production for its 64 bit processors is on-track with what it called "strong yields demonstrating excellent power consumption and heat dissipation characteristics." AMD expects to initiate volume 90nm production in the second quarter and expects to deliver products that will contribute revenue in the third quarter.0

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