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AMD boasts market share gains

The chipmaker, citing a new report, says it has more than doubled its market share in certain geographic and market segments.

John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
John G. Spooner
3 min read
Advanced Micro Devices is moving up in the world.

The chipmaker, citing a new quarterly report from Dataquest on PC chip market share for the third quarter, said Wednesday that it has more than doubled its market share in certain geographic and market segments.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company also unveiled new products for the server and workstation markets.

The market share gains, AMD suggested, show that it is weathering 2001's difficult times. The year has been defined in the technology world, so far, by a slowing economy and a sagging PC market. On top of that, rival Intel has quickly reduced the prices of its new Pentium 4, setting off a price war between the two companies.

AMD's largest gains in the third quarter came in desktop consumer PC markets outside of North America. The chipmaker's share of the Japanese consumer desktop PC market jumped to 54 percent from 24 percent in 2000. AMD increased its desktop market share in Western Europe in the quarter to 49 percent from 25 percent in 2000, according to the company.

The chipmaker's gains in the overall U.S. desktop market were smaller, although the company said it moved up to 27 percent from 17 percent in the third quarter of 2000, citing the report.

AMD's strengths in the United States came in small business PCs, where it claimed 40 percent of the market, and in the government sector, where it had 33 percent of the market, according to Dataquest. AMD's share of the small business PC market suggests it is doing well in the so-called white box segment, where price is a major consideration both for smaller PC manufacturers and bargain-conscious customers.

On Wednesday, the company also launched a new chip and upgraded chipset for dual-processor workstations and servers. The new Athlon MP processor 1900+ chip, which runs at 1.6GHz, adds extra clock speed, while the new 760MPX chipset features a higher bandwidth PCI bus, which is used to link peripherals, such as plug-in cards, inside the computer.

The Athlon MP 1900+ will ship this month with a list price of $319. The 760MPX chipset will debut during the first quarter of next year, AMD said.

Apart from using its price/performance combination to make gains, AMD has also launched new grassroots marketing efforts and renamed its Athlon chip. In October, the company renamed Athlon to Athlon XP, using the Athlon XP title, followed by a model number, such as 1900+, to reflect different versions of the chip. AMD says the model number reflects the chip's overall performance potential better than a pure megahertz rating.

The moves appear to be paying off.

AMD and Intel simultaneously raised their fourth-quarter earnings forecasts last week, citing better-than-expected demand. AMD said demand for Athlon XP chips, two of which are sold out for the quarter, exceeded expectations. The chipmaker said it expects to ship more than the 7.8 million processors than it shipped in the third quarter.

"AMD's strategy is paying off," Ed Ellett, AMD's vice president of marketing, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are maintaining our traditionally strong presence in the consumer market, while simultaneously gaining acceptance as a serious commercial player."