05/24/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

With Six-core Chips, AMD Preps for Stimulus Money Fight

But while AMD was in Sunnyvale, California, announcing its aggressive chip roadmap, Justin Rattner, Intel Corp.'s chief technology officer, was in Washington, selling his company's chips. To be sure, AMD can't afford be left behind in U.S.-funded tech upgrade, not with its recent string of losses. When AMD released its 64-bit Opteron in 2004, its first big users were high-performance computing centers that get much of their money, directly or indirectly, from government sources. The fastest supercomputer in the world -- IBM's peta-scale Roadrunner, built for the Los Alamos National Laboratory -- uses Opteron chips. 1

That distinction - which means that four electronic brains are integrated on one piece of silicon - didn't end up helping AMD much. Customers seemed perfectly happy with Intel's "non-native" approach, which bundled two dual-processor chips in one package and helped Intel get to market quickly with a "quad-core" product, as the industry calls them. Barcelona ended up having delays and early technical problems, too, though AMD later sorted those out in a follow-up chip called Shanghai. 2
  1. With Six-core Chips, AMD Preps for Stimulus Money Fight (PC World)
  2. AMD No Longer Feels the Need to Go "Native" (WSJ)