AMD sketches out new high-end, low-end chips

@ 2004/11/15
SUNNYVALE, Calif.-- Advanced Micro Devices will take the high road and the low road in the chip market.

Executives here at the company's annual analyst meeting on Friday outlined a strategy that will, ideally, allow AMD to take market share in the server, corporate desktop and notebook space as well as penetrate the consumer device market with chips based around the same so-called x86 architecture.

"We're talking x86 chips down to a buck," said AMD CEO Hector Ruiz, who added that the chip markets AMD participates in should grow relatively well.

On the high end, AMD will release chips with two processing cores in 2005, and then follow in 2006 with chips based around a new chip core code-named Pacifica.

The company is relatively tight-lipped about Pacifica, but said it will be a dual-core chip that also contains virtualization technology--which allows a computer to run multiple operating systems--and a security technology called Presidio. Pacifica will appear in desktops, notebooks and servers in 2006. AMD said it also will come out with a new ultra low-power chip for notebooks.

At the other end of the spectrum, the company plans to pursue what it calls the "x86 Everywhere" strategy. It involves creating inexpensive, energy-efficient chips for Internet appliances, digital televisions, handhelds and cell phones.

The first product under the x86 Everywhere strategy is the Personal Internet Communicator (PIC), a $185 PC-like device being sold in India. Carriers in Mexico and the Caribbean will begin selling PICs in the fourth quarter.

"The beauty of x86 everywhere is that you can leverage developments done anywhere into multiple platforms," said Fred Weber, chief technology officer of AMD.

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