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AMD Clinches Major Chip Supply Deal
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US microprocessor manufacturer AMD made another breakthrough in China yesterday, with the country's second-largest PC maker agreeing to install the firm's chips in its computers.


The US chipmaker yesterday clinched a strategic agreement with Founder Technology, China's second-largest PC vendor, under which the Chinese computer maker is expected to launch AMD64 processor-based desktop PCs throughout China early next month.


Founder's decision to use AMD chips is seen as a major breakthrough for the US firm, with the world's second-largest chipmaker now trying to supply chips to all of China's major PC manufacturers.


"It is a milestone and an historic moment for AMD in China. It is one more demonstration that industry and customers are increasingly seeing the value that our products offer," said Henri Richard, AMD's executive vice-president and chief sales and marketing officer.


In 2004, AMD began to cooperating with Lenovo, China's biggest and the world's third-largest computer maker, which uses AMD chips in 80 percent of its consumer desktop computers.


Earlier this year, AMD clinched a similar deal with Tsinghua Tongfang, China's third-largest computer manufacturer and the nation's second-largest home PC brand.


Tongfang has so far launched nine new commercial and consumer PC models based on AMD Athlon 64 X2, AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Sempron processors.


Dell Inc, the world's largest computer maker, announced in May that it would start using AMD microprocessors in some of its high-end servers, a major breakthrough for AMD, which had little presence in the server market until it released its Opteron processor in 2003.


AMD's Opteron Dual-Core processors will be offered in Dell's multiprocessor servers for the first time by the year's end. Dell previously relied exclusively on chips from AMD's larger rival, Intel Corp.


HP, the world's second-largest PC maker, already uses AMD chips in 60 percent of its consumer desktop computers sold in China.


Yesterday's agreement with Founder will begin with desktop systems and gradually expand to cover the notebook and server markets, Richard said, although he did not elaborate on when this would occur.


AMD has gained some ground in the consumer desktop computers and servers segments as it strives to catch up with archrival Intel.


But it still needs to make breakthroughs in the notebook and enterprise desktop computer segments, where most PC makers have yet to include AMD chips in their products.


(China Daily September 29, 2006)


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