History of AMD: Timeline and Facts

The maker of microprocessors has a long history of competing with Intel.
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Advanced Micro Devices  (AMD) - Get Report has been a part of the technology industry for quite some time. Through its 51 years, technology has most certainly changed drastically. The nature of the business is fast paced. As demonstrated today by the constant changes in phones, computers and televisions, there is no time for rest in the tech industry. AMD has been in a well-positioned spot through time, supplying the processors necessary for much of the products we’ve seen come our way over the years.


According to Brittanica.com, Walter Jeremiah Sanders founded Advanced Micro Devices with seven others in 1969. Sanders was an executive for another semiconductor company prior to venturing out on his own.

1972 - The company goes public and shortly thereafter begins to make computer chips.

1982 - AMD’s involvement with Intel  (INTC) - Get Report helps it steps things up a notch as it begins supplying computer chips to what later become the biggest name in the industry. At the time, Intel was working with IBM  (IBM) - Get Report to provide microprocessors for their computers.

1991 - AMD offers its own microprocessor, the Am386. This chip was similar to Intel’s own 386 microprocessor, and led to a legal battle between the two companies.

1994 - U.S. Supreme Court rules in fight with Intel over microprocessors. 1994 was also a year in which AMD started doing business with Compaq.

1996 - AMD buys NexGen and moves away from Intel. The acquisition cost $857 million, and helped AMD keep up the competitiveness of its processors.

2000 - Athlon processor. This was AMD’s big move, as it was the first 1-GHz microprocessor.

2003 - AMD announces the Opteron chip. This was the first computer chip made by AMD for use in servers. This ups the company’s spread of business.

2006 - AMD acquires ATI Technologies, gaining access to video graphics cards for PCs. The $5.4 billion deal gains AMD a place at the table for high-performance PCs used for playing video games, as well as hardware for cellphones.

2008-The company begins the process of splitting itself into two entities.

2009 - Further confrontation with Intel leads a record-setting fine of $1.45 billion for violation of antitrust laws. (This is discussed in depth below.)

2014 - Restructured into two segments, one focused on processors for PCs, and the other focused on enterprise endeavors for specialized equipment.


AMD’s existence has been plagued with ongoing battles with Intel over market share and competitive practices. One of the notable occurrences was in 2004, when AMD filed a lawsuit against Intel for hindering competition. As part of the claims, AMD asserted that Intel was issuing rebates to computer companies in order to keep AMD from gaining a larger market presence. AMD let go of the case in 2009, when Intel agreed to pay $1.5 billion to AMD, and a mutual agreement over a fight for patents over chips.

More recently, AMD was the object of scrutiny. The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2019 that AMD had given microprocessor technology to Chinese partners. It was a claim that AMD vehemently denied, and coincided with the U.S. Commerce Department blocking developments of the partnership.

What’s Happening in 2020?

Like virtually every stock in the world, AMD stock has been hit by the market fallout related to the coronavirus. Ironically, the stock had been doing so well prior to the sell-off that shares are down only 4.27% year-to-date. Whereas, historically the company has lagged behind names like Intel in terms of their products, analysts have been praising the company recently on its being a few steps ahead of Intel in terms of more efficient manufacturing, and “higher performance.”

AMD is a company that has seen a lot of change in the world. Considering how it still operates in the heart of hardware for tech, it seems likely that AMD will continue to see a lot of change in years to come.