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Chipmaker predicts that its quad-core chip will outperform Intel's by 40 percent when it ships later this year.
Intel Xeon processors dominate the semiannual top 500 list overall.
Intel enjoyed improved sales, while AMD did its best to limit the damage during a year plagued by a key product delay.
The chipmaker had a good run while Intel was more or less sleeping. Now it's time to wake up and smell reality.
After a delay, Barcelona is here, but is it the clear winner AMD promised it would be? That's uncertain.
Two processors launched this week are designed for high-performance server and workstation applications.
Faster models will arrive in the fourth quarter; first servers using the chips are due in September.
The next several weeks could dictate whether significant changes are required to get the company back on track and well positioned against Intel.
The quad-core server chip won't appear until later this year, but AMD's trying to show potential customers the chips are up and running.
Sure enough, quad-core chips are more powerful than dual-core chips. But it only counts if they are available to buy.