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AMD Chipping Away at Intel's Lead

Rounding a good year for the company, US microprocessor manufacturer AMD made another breakthrough in China on Thursday, clinching a strategic agreement with Founder Technology, allowing the nation's second-largest PC maker to install AMD's chips in its computers.

Founder's decision to use AMD chips is seen as a major breakthrough for the US firm, since the world's second-largest chipmaker is 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.

AMD's dominance in the Chinese market began in 2004 when it began cooperation with Lenovo, China's biggest and the world's third-largest computer maker, which now uses AMD chips in 80 percent of its 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 have been active since the deal was signed, launching 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, another major breakthrough for AMD, which enjoyed relatively little market share 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 year's end. Dell switched to AMD after ending its complete chip reliance on AMD's 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 first cover desktop systems, gradually expanding to cover the notebook and server markets, Richard said, although he did not give a timeline on this development.

AMD has gained ground in the consumer desktop computer and server markets as it strives to catch up with archrival Intel. However, breakthroughs remain necessary in other segments where PC makers do not include AMD chips in their products.
(China Daily September 29, 2006)

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