AMD forecasts continued growth

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Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday forecast a fourfold increase in capacity and new microprocessor designs would enable it to continue to increase its market share and retain a technological edge over the number one player Intel.

AMD said it would be able to increase production capacity at its main Dresden chip plant by four times within the next three years and be in a position to supply a third of the market for the dominant “x86” microprocessors by 2008.

AMD increased its market share to 21.1 per cent in the first quarter, according to Mercury Research, up from 16.9 per cent a year earlier. It has benefited from manufacturing slip-ups by Intel, which ran short of components, and the superior performance of its processors in the server market.

During a technology day at its Silicon Valley headquarters, the company presented a road map to analysts on the future direction of its processors.

It said one with four brains – a quad core – would appear from the middle of next year and performance-per-watt, a measure of power-saving efficiency, would increase by 60 per cent on servers based on its Opteron processor in 2007 and would be 150 per cent better in 2008.

However, AMD will be a year behind Intel with its next-generation architecture on this timetable. Intel begins to roll out its new processors this month and has moved from 90 nanometre or billionths of a metre to smaller 65-nanometre circuitry well ahead of AMD.

AMD sought to convince analysts it could compete with Intel’s manufacturing might. It said 65nm-based processors would ship by the end of this year and 45nm circuitry would follow 18 months later, with 32nm on course for two years after that.

AMD shares closed 1.6 per cent higher in New York at $31.39.

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