AMD picks up steam

Two interesting bits of news today on the changing fortunes of chip giant Intel and rival AMD.

In a first for AMD, it has overtaken arch-rival Intel to become the leading chip supplier to the US retail personal computer market.

The figures from market research firm Current Analysis don’t include direct sales from manufacturers such as Dell, which when included see Intel regain the overall lead but, nonetheless, it is an important landmark for AMD. In the words of Matt Sargent, Director of Research at Current Analysis, it would be a “colossal win” for AMD if it can hang on to this lead leading into the holiday season.

This is just the latest in a growing drip, drip, drip of bad news that seems to be coming Intel’s way. Not only is it giving up market share to Intel in the consumer space but only recently Intel was forced to rip up its server roadmap and in so-doing effectively hand the performance advantage to AMD’s Opteron chips for years to come.

In a recent analyst report Rick Whittington doesn’t mince his words when he describes Intel’s progress as "multi-year near-stagnation.” According to Whittington due to deficiencies in architecture and manufacturing not until 2008 will Intel get close to AMD

“Our AMD call remains that of effective duopoly replacing monopoly, with AMD the new big winner”, says Whittington, quoted at Forbes.com.

Intel can of course still rely on its powerful marketing machine to sweet talk its partners but even with this there is a feeling of a sea change, which Intel’s customers can’t fail to have noticed.