True, AMD's market share rose as high as 25 per cent in 2007, although that figure is likely to have dropped with the release of Intel’s new processor line.

Global HQ: Sunnyvale, California, US Website:

Global leader: Dirk R Meyer, president and CEO

Local leader: Caleb Leung, country manager, Australia and New Zealand

Core activity: Processor, design, semiconductor manufacturer

Revenue: US$6.01 billion (FY07 ended December)

Key customers: Massey University, Altech (local partner), HP, Dell, Sun Microsystems, Leader (local systems integrator)

Employees: 16,420

AMD is spinning off its manufacturing operations into a separate company to cut costs and get an infusion of capital. The new business, temporarily called The Foundry, will be co-owned by AMD and ATIC, which is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. ATIC will shell out US$2.1 billion for the deal — with $1.4 billion going to the new company and the rest going to AMD to buy added shares in The Foundry, according to AMD.

The company says the split — with one company focused on designing microprocessors and the other on the costly business of manufacturing them — is part of an effort to maintain its position as the only real rival to Intel.

True, AMD’s market share rose as high as 25 per cent in 2007, although that figure is likely to have dropped with the release of Intel’s new processor line. In addition to microprocessors, AMD develops and markets a range of devices, including chipsets, embedded processors and graphics processors for workstations, personal computers, servers, game consoles and other platforms.

The past year has been marked by AMD’s integration of its acquisition ATI Technologies. However, ATI is now creating new opportunities for the company in the Fusion initiative, which merges a computer processor and a graphics processor on a single chip to address the integrated device market. AMD is now moving to a modular core design that it has called M-Space. The M-Space devices are expected to be released in 2009.

AMD also released its next-generation K10 microprocessors toward the end of 2007, starting with the quad core Opteron processor, followed by the Phenom processor line. It plans to deliver a new server platform in the first half of 2009, with the platform revolving around a new chipset. The chipset will be geared toward servers, with multiple sockets to plug in additional server chips. The chipset could improve the way chips in multiple sockets, and components like graphics cards, communicate with each other.

Brian J. Dooley with additional reporting from Agam Shah of IDG News Service and Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld

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