AMD Ships 500th x86 Processor, Despite Disappointing Quarter

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AMD said it has shipped it 500-millionth chip shipped comes days after reporting a $330 million loss on disappointing revenue compared with rival Intel

Officials with AMD are celebrating the shipment of the 500 millionth x86 processor.

The announcement is part of AMD’s ongoing touting of the company’s 40th year of existence.

AMD is noting the milestone by giving customers the chance to win one of four Pavilion dv2z ultra-thin notebooks from Hewlett-Packard. To win, customers need to follow AMD on Twitter @AMD Unprocessed), where a new question will be posted every other Monday beginning 27 July. They can then send the answer through a direct message to AMD’s twitter handle. The eligible respondents will be entered into a drawing for the HP notebooks.

The announcement of the 500 millionth chip shipped comes days after AMD officials announced second-quarter earnings that included a $330-million loss on revenue of $1.18 billion (£715 million). The numbers beat analyst estimates, but were somewhat disappointing compared with the earnings rival Intel posted a week earlier.

Intel on 14 July announced a $1 billion profit on $8 billion (£4.9 billion) in revenue, though that profit swung to a $398 million loss when the European Commission’s $1.45 billion antitrust fine was factored in.

European regulators levied the fine in May, saying that Intel unfairly used its market dominance to try to quash competition from AMD through rebates and discounts given to OEMs. Intel officially appealed the fine on 22 July.

Despite the second-quarter numbers, AMD has been on a roll in recent months. The chipmaker in June rolled out its six-core “Istanbul” Opteron processor, some five months ahead of schedule, and officials have said the company will hit the timetables for other processors laid out in its product road map.

AMD was tripped by product delays and technical glitches in its quad-core “Barcelona” Opterons, but operational changes has allowed the chip maker to better stay on schedule since, particularly with its “Shanghai” and Istanbul offerings.

During the earnings call July 21, CEO Dirk Meyer said AMD will focus on its next-generation Opterons, and that by the fourth quarter, most of the server chips will be produced through the company’s 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

AMD also is scheduled to launch new platforms for laptops in the third quarter, including a new platform for what the company calls “thin and light” notebooks.

Graphics technology, based on AMD’s ATI graphics business, also will be a focus of the second half of 2009.

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