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AMD 760MP and Athlon MP (Page 1/14)


Posted: June 5th, 2001
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen

Introduction

Today marks a huge event for AMD -- the release of its first dual processor platform. Why is this significant? AMD never had a platform for dual processors or more. Intel was always the one with the iron grip on the high-end workstation and server market. Not many people realize that the server and workstation markets are where the real money lies. Thereís a lot of money in the consumer market but a company like Intel has the majority of its cash stream flowing in from the corporate buyers.


It now makes sense for AMD to try and penetrate this market because it will enable the company to grow significantly. If AMD successfully makes a stance in the corporate market, Intel will have hard times ahead of it. If AMD wants to compete with Intel entirely however, itíll have to do much more than what itís doing right now. Intel is also in the communications market, the home entertainment market, and other sectors of the computer industry. AMD on the other hand, has made only a small mark in the communications market and needs to strive towards a broader yet concentrated goal.

Besides being a strong competitor for AMD in the processor market, Intel also seems to be controlling the chipset market for itself. Besides making processors, Intel is also the main manufacturer of chipsets for its processors. AMD on the other hand, doesnít play a significant role in making sure there is a platform for its products. Instead, AMD relies on third party manufacturers like VIA, Acer Laboratories, SiS, and now NVIDIA to produce chipsets. There are benefits and drawbacks to this scheme and one of the drawbacks is that AMD doesnít have strict control on chipsets. Itís up to companies like VIA to make high-quality, feature filled chipsets for AMD and sometimes incompatibilities arise. If AMD wants to make a stronger comeback against Intel, itíll need to make a platform for itself instead of relying entirely on other companies.

While AMD hasnít made a huge impact in chipsets for the consumer level, today marks AMDís first serious entry into the workstation and server chipset market. Determined to capture a large part of Intelís realm, AMD will push forward the development of a few technologies that will complement its dual processor platform. One of these technologies is called Hyper Transport. You may have heard of it in the past few weeks and you may have heard that many top-tier companies are supporting it. Simply put, Hyper Transport is a pathway technology that enables high-speed data transfer between devices. This is actually quite good timing for AMD because now, they can really put it to use.

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