AMD bullish about server market

Posted by Mike Magee in San Francisco

Chip firm AMD is holding an alternative event just a block away from the Intel Developer Forum and wheeling in stray hacks off the street, briefing them about the stuff it makes.

Everyone knows that sales of server chips have been, we should say somewhat slow, since the credit crunch hit big time last year. If corporations and big organizations opened their wallets, moths would fly out.

But a graph that Intel CEO Paul Otellini showed this morning seemed to indicate that sometime around the middle of next year, sales of servers in the commercial market are likely to take off, and AMD seems to believe it's still in a good position to take advantage of the lucrative market.

John Fruehe, director of business development in the server/workstation market said a somewhat surprising thing to us. He said that AMD still owns 10 percent market share in the server market, and perhaps more than that, depending on whether you take Gartner, IDC or Mercury figures.

Despite Intel's Nehalem design doing rather well at the moment, AMD believes that it has the edge in terms of power consumption. Further, despite Intel claiming this morning that its competitor hadn't shipped 45 nanometer processors, AMD has been doing that since the end of last year. We're not sure of the percentage, but it's definitely producing them.

But Intel didn't name AMD specifically, but just said "its competitor". Perhaps it means another company that isn't AMD.

It's quite interesting that so far Intel hasn't talked very much about its server business at all. One slide in Paul Otellini's presentation mentioned servers, but there was very little elaboration of the theme. Oh, but then Pat Gelsinger was in charge of the enterprise business and there's no saying what he would have said if he was here at IDF.