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Intel's Sales Down, Current Gen of Products Weak 249

Posted by Zonk
from the ouch-indeed dept.
DoctorBit writes "According to an article in EETimes, Intel's processor sales dropped 52 percent this April as compared with April one year ago. Unit sales dropped 21 percent and prices dropped 40 percent. The article concludes with an industry analyst's assertion that 'Intel has obviously given up on making any money on their current generation of processors and has started a price war with AMD.' The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that Intel has just put several of its money-losing communications businesses up for sale and notes that 'it remains to be seen what Intel will do with its other money-losing businesses, Itanium microprocessors and flash memory chips.' The article quotes an industry analyst saying 'If you look at Intel today, it's hard to find a trace of the technology or the people that they spent more than $10 billion on.' Ouch."
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Intel's Sales Down, Current Gen of Products Weak

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  • Re:This will change (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @01:49PM (#15481419)
    This is all fine and dandy but does anyone know if AMD's sales changed in the opposite direction? If they gained, you can say something, but if they didn't -- what could be said might go something like ... consumers are bored of new computers.
  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:02PM (#15481543)
    For the last 5-10 years, (Really since the Athlon was released) AMD was indisputably the price/performance king. Hands down, no competition. During most of that time, they had the fastest chip on the market, and they were consistently cheaper than Intel at every price point. Intel only kept its market share high using artificial means, by exclusivity contracts (*cough* Dell *cough*) and by spreading inaccurate FUD about AMD's potential compatibility issues. I personally NEVER had a SINGLE compatibility during that time, and I used AMD's on dozens, if not hundreds, of computers. Finally, after 10 years, Intel's complacency has finally caught up with them. AMD has always had a strong connection with the geek community, but after all this time, the word has finally gotten out to the mainstream, and Intel is losing market share FAST. If the largest PC manufacturer didn't have an exclusive contract with them, they would be a distant second (or third) in the chip race right now.

    Ironically, if their roadmap is to be believed, Intel may have just begun a genuine turnaround. They already have 65mn fabs running at higher capacity than AMD, and they are near to bringing 45nm fabs online, which AMD has not done. Also, for the first time in a number of years, Intel actually has a production chip that looks to be genuinely faster than AMD's best offering. (Although it costs an arm and a leg.)

    The question really is, is it too little, too late? One thing's for sure, the competition is great for the consumers. :)
  • no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:05PM (#15481565) Homepage
    It's not a weakness in Itanium, it's the strength of Athlons/Opterons and now Conroe/Merom/Woodcrest. Intel wanted Pentium 4s to be good media processors (and they are), but they didn't want to compete against their own Itaniums, and that's what allowed AMD to steal their lunch. They have no choice but to respond with their own strong x86 processor.

    It's not the weakness of Itanium that's the problem, it's apparently their ability to make any architechture fast and not just the one they want.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:21PM (#15481701)
    AMD has no viable laptop chips, while the Core Duo has been out for months.

    Turion? My dad got a Turion-based laptop, and it's great. It's fast, and unlike my Mom's Intel (Mobile P4) laptop, the fan is usually off because of the low power dissipation.
  • by MOBE2001 (263700) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:31PM (#15481800) Homepage Journal
    Intel, AMD, TI, Sun and the rest have all been banking on a technology that has not changed in a fundamental way in more than 150 years. Computing has been based on the algorithm ever since Lady Ada wrote the first "table of instructions" for Babbage's analytical engine, a computer built out gears and rotating shafts! The fear among the big processor vendors and IP holders is that some unknown entity may come out of nowhere and surpass them with a superior software/hardware technology, one which is not based on the algorithm. Indeed, a non-algorithmic, signal-based synchronous computing model would solve the biggest problem in the industry: unreliability. The first company to take advantage of this new paradigm by securing the necessary IP, will leave everyone else in the dust and be in a position to dictate the future course of industry for decades to come. There are still a few big surprises waiting to happen in this business. The revolution is not over yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:41PM (#15481887)
    Conroe does do so. I read an article that put up the AMD's next gen FX-62, against Intel's Conroe, and it scortched it in basically every field, and by a significant margin. Even price!

    I was impressed with the study and hope that Conroe lives up to the hype it got through these trial runs. I'd love to see a souped up set of processors come back from Intel, and bring them back into the field of efficient processors.

    Chi
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @02:43PM (#15481910)
    It's not a current gen, it's a filler between last gen and next gen.

    And their marketing and branding sucks. I still have no clue which Core Duo chip is supposed to be fastest or whatever. So I just don't buy.

    Way to go Intel.
  • Core Duo = Duo Price (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Beefslaya (832030) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:05PM (#15482086)
    When my server supplier switched to the Duo format from HT, the cost of my servers went up 250 dollars (Double the CPU cost). Consequently, I moved manufacturers.

    I still stick with Intel procs in my servers (AMD X2 at home) for stability reasons (Troll me if you must) but NFORCE (IMO the only really stable AMD system)support for a 1U rack mount server using Linux has been a bitch for me to find.

    I'm out buying up P4HT procs as fast as I can get them.

    As Intel keeps jacking prices, I keep looking at AMD to be my saviour from price gouging.
  • by rrhal (88665) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @03:14PM (#15482180)
    Perhaps Intel is running out of rivers in the Pacific Northwest to name processors after. Although they still have the Umpqua and the Rouge. It might take some balls to call a CPU Rouge.

  • by ashyanbhog (852510) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:29PM (#15482742)

    Conroe is still being benchmarked in Intel prepeared setups, independent reviews are still awaited, even then some r already noticing performance lags http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2006/06/04/intel_ conroe_performance_preview/7.html [bit-tech.net]

    AMD was said to have extracted 30% to 40% performance jump when moving from 130nm to 90nm, how much will they be able to extract when they move to 65nm? Hector was also specific that they are contended with the market share they have in consumer space now and are going after buissness desktops next. Looks like AMD is not going to rest till they have cut Intel to 50% in every market category

  • by Slack3r78 (596506) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:45PM (#15482858) Homepage
    While I don't know enough about AMD's financials to analyze the risk involved, the new Fab 36 in Dresden was desperately needed. The only other CPU fab AMD currently has in operation, Fab 30, is an older plant based on 200mm wafer tech that just plain can not keep up with demand. Fab 36 is a more modern 300mm wafer plant, that should allow AMD to produce chips both at a higher volume and at lower cost.

    Basically, AMD has been supply constrained lately, selling every single chip that they make. As a result, they've more or less given up the budget market that's been their bread and butter to Intel in order to focus on producing and selling higher margin Opteron chips. It remains to be seen how much so, but Fab 36 should help open up supply some and allow AMD to stop willingly giving up market share Intel in some fields.
  • Moore's Law? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PingXao (153057) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @04:58PM (#15482972)
    I have a P4 running at 3.2 GHz right here right now. It will be 2 years old in October. For the first time I can ever remember, a PC is going to reach its birthday and NOT be obsolete. Something's going on, I tell ya. Normally there would be at least a 6.4 GHz machine out there somewhere begging me to buy it.

    Multipl cores are nice but really need software to evolve more before they will hit their stride. Multithreaded programming separates the men from the boys and an entire segment just doesn't "get it". IMO that's because a well-designed multithreaded program can't be developed by sitting down and banging on the keys. It is no longer enough to say "the documentation is in the code" because there are architectural aspects of the code as it relates to multiprocessing and multithreading that don't lend themselves to being documented that way.

    Outside of server apps can anyone point to a software package that really needs more than one processor? Even my 2-year-old P4 has 2 logical processors inside it but I recall there is more than one software package out there that won't run properly unless that feature is turned off. Nice job.

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