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Stories by Robert McMillan and Tom Krazit

Interview: AMD CEO looks to Spansion IPO, quad-core chips

The last five years have not been easy for Hector Ruiz. As Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Micro Devices Inc., he has presided over some tough times at the Sunnyvale, California, chipmaker. Formerly in charge of Motorola Inc.'s semiconductor division, Ruiz took the helm at AMD just as the PC industry entered into a major slump. But after racking up well over US$1 billion worth of losses over several money-losing years, his company finally turned things around in 2004. With the launch of its first dual-core Opteron processors last week, AMD has the jump over its rival, Intel Corp.'s server chips, an area where AMD has been slowly gaining marketshare over the past years.
Though microprocessor sales helped AMD turn a profit in 2004, things weren't so rosy in the company's Spansion LLC flash memory unit, which makes chips used in mobile phones. Under price-cutting pressure from Intel Corp., flash prices were battered over the year, dropping as much as 30 percent for certain products, according to AMD. Spansion is operated as a joint venture between Fujitsu Ltd and AMD.

Written by Robert McMillan and Tom Krazit26 April 05 22:00