Chip off the old block

Chip off the old block

Rival sounds

AMD country manager, Caleb Leung, welcomed the competition. The vendor recently rolled out AM2, a DDR2 platform designed for desktop processors. Targeting the performance, mainstream and value segments, it replaces Socket 939 and Socket 754.

DDR2 runs at higher clock frequencies while drawing less power than DDR memory, which the previous Socket 939 supported. Socket AM2 is part of AMD's next generation of CPU sockets, along with Socket F for serves and Socket S1 for mobile computing.

"The one socket technology is good for partners, allowing them to differentiate with the CPU, and it gives customers a better total cost of ownership and fewer pain points," Leung said.

More activity is afoot at AMD. It recently announced its next-generation Opteron server processor line, which offers upgradeability to quad core within the same thermal design power envelope.

In mid-2007, AMD plans to deliver native quad-core AMD Opteron processors incorporating four processor cores on a single die of silicon.

The processors use Direct Connect Architecture, which delivers x86-based 32- and 64-bit computing and reduces traditional front-side bus bottlenecks.

These and other product moves are driving what Leung said was a tough components market.

"It's very cutthroat out there," he said. "We need to help our partners look for ongoing opportunities, and help them upsell. AM2 is one opportunity."

Plus Corp's Fernandes said AM2 didn't rival the Intel launch.

He didn't expect to see comparable product come out of the AMD gates at least for the next 12 months.

Real activity would surface once the AMD merger of ATI took affect.

Boosted Business

"We'll see something radical in the next 12 months that will go up against Intel," he said.

Gigabyte Australia managing director, Alan Chen, said the AMD/ATI link was positive for the industry, but it was still early days.

"At the moment, I don't see what the difference will be in terms of product," he said. "It will take some time to leverage resources."

In light of the Intel launch, Gigabyte was gearing up for boosted business in the commercial and consumer segments, Chen said.

The company recently unveiled its 945 S-series of motherboards, further extending its range of top-to-bottom solutions for Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

Chen said the latest motherboards gave PC users a power boost for digital home entertainment, and more productive gaming.

"Users get better performance, lower power consumption and lower temperatures so the thermal issue is no more. The problem has been fixed," he said.

The fact the product is priced at mainstream levels will further drive sales.

"It's new, but it's not expensive, which is different. Typically it comes out at the high-end and is usually pricey," Chen said.

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