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AMD Breaks Technical Ground But Still Can't Penetrate Dell

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. keeps pushing the envelope in processor innovation and performance improvement, but it can't break down the wall at Dell Inc., which continues to pass on using non-Intel processors in its product line.

This week AMD demonstrated a dual core version of its Athlon 64 processor for desktops, which it plans to introduce in volume later this year. A week earlier, AMD demonstrated its dual-core Opteron in multiple server and workstation products at Linux World.

AMD was the first to market with a 32/64-bit x86 processor, which forced rival Intel to belatedly answer with its EM64T 64-bit extensions for its Xeon product line. The two companies' dual-core demonstrations and roadmaps are on relatively the same timetable.

But Steve Felice, VP and general manager of the corporate business group for Dell, recently told InformationWeek his company has no intention of broadening its portfolio with AMD offerings, a stance that Dell CEO Kevin Rollins reiterated Wednesday in public comments.

"From our discussions with customers, demand is not significant enough to force a major shift from us," Felice says. "If our customers get to the point where they are consistently telling us that they think (AMD) is a better technology, we certainly have the wherewithal to add that to the mix. We're not blind to what's out there."

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