Advanced Micro Devices
will roll out new PC and sever processors, along with a variety of technology initiatives over the next 12 months, in an aim by the chipmaker to grab one-third of the microprocessor market by 2008.
Speaking at AMD headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., on Thursday, senior management provided industry analysts with a glimpse of a road map that it hopes will allow the company to build on its recent success.
Among these products are a forthcoming quad-core processor for servers and high-end desktops as well as a dual-core processor that AMD said is the company's first processor designed specifically for laptop computers.
AMD also announced an initiative that would allow third parties to develop co-processors that run alongside AMD chips within PCs.
"Based on customer-centricity, we will continue to reinvent the industry," said CEO Hector Ruiz.
AMD's plans were greeted with a muted reaction on Wall Street, however. Shares closed the regular session up 1.6%, or 50 cents, at $31.39.
The chipmaker's announcement comes as
, the world's dominant provider of PC processors, is set to release a fresh lineup of processors for desktops, laptops and servers that feature a brand new microarchitecture.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini has described the trio of new chips as Intel's most significant product introduction in more than a decade.
Some analysts and investors have wondered whether Intel's new chips will erase the gains that AMD has made over the past 12 months. According to Mercury Research, AMD had 21% of the PC microprocessor market in the first quarter of 2006, compared with 16.9% a year ago.
But AMD executives stressed that the company was not about to give up the power-efficiency and performance lead that has contributed to its recent success in the market.
"We've got a lot of great engineers, and they haven't been sleeping for the past two years," said CEO Dirk Meyer.
Though the company has until now made modifications to the same chip design for servers, desktops and laptop computers, executives said that AMD is now running parallel engineering efforts to develop specialized chips for each product category.
Among the first fruits of this approach is a new dual-core mobile processor slated for release in mid-2007. According to AMD, the processor will incorporate several features that will provide laptops with longer battery life, such as the ability to switch-off one of the processor's cores as well as the ability to isolate power consumption between the microprocessor and other components on the computer's motherboard.
AMD will also introduce a new quad-core processor for servers, workstations and high-end desktops in mid-2007.
Both new processors will be built with 65-nanometer circuits, as the company moves ahead with efforts to convert its manufacturing facilities from the 90-nanometer-capable equipment with which the company makes chips.
AMD lags Intel, which already manufactures chips with 65-nanometer circuitry, which allows for the squeezing of more transistors onto an individual chip, increasing performance and functionality.
Executives at AMD said the company would begin volume production of 65-nanometer chips by the fourth quarter of this year and move to volume production of more advanced, 45-nanometer chips in mid-2008.
Earlier this week, AMD announced a plan to spend $2.5 billion over the next three years to expand its manufacturing capacity by up to four times the 2005 level.
"We are fully positioned to service one-third of the market by '08," said Daryl Ostrander, an AMD senior vice president on Thursday.
The company also announced a move to open its platform to third parties. Dubbed Torrenza, the initiative would add a special expansion slot to a PC's motherboard to which companies could provide special application specific processors -- similar to the way separate graphics processors are incorporated into many PCs today.
AMD said the Torrenza initiative will allow PC makers to differentiate their products, and could be used to develop new applications for everything from portable gaming systems to supercomputers.