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ZDNet heeft artikel gepost over de financiŽle toekomst van AMD, die er weinig rooskleurig uit ziet:

It's almost an annual ritual: PC chip maker Advanced Micro Devices suffering from manufacturing problems, gets whacked by price pressure from its rival Intel.

Last year, AMD recovered, but at the cost of three losing quarters in a row. This year could be worse. Both AMD (NYSE:AMD) and Intel (Nasdaq:INTC) cut prices on Monday. "They are clearly having problems attaining a profitable business model," said Linley Gwennap, analyst at chip-technology follower MicroDesign Resources. "They are really counting on K6-3 and then the K7 to save them."

Those chips are due at the end of Q1 and Q2, respectively. And Intel's not willing to wait around. Despite an impending appearance in front of the Federal Trade Commission for alleged antitrust practices, the chip giant is not slipping on the kid gloves. "It is a competitive market -- there is absolutely no doubt about it," said Seth Walker, an Intel spokesman. "The reality is that we only cut prices on our low-cost PC parts."

That means a potential profit hit to an already beleaguered AMD. While the company's K6-2 is a hit with low-cost PC manufacturers, AMD's single chip makes it an all-or-nothing bet in the processor market. Where Intel's broad line of products -- from server-level Xeon processors to low-cost Celeron processors -- gives the company room to boost prices on Xeon processors to subsidise the Celeron, AMD has little room for missteps.

[...]For the long term, the news could be less rosy, stated Matt Sargent, analyst with computer-industry watcher ZD Market Intelligence. "It is obvious that Intel is trying to shut out Cyrix and AMD so that they can go back to collecting their huge margins on their products," he said.

If so, the low-cost PC renaissance could be a short one. For AMD, the remedy is clear: Deliver a 450MHz version of the K6-2 by the end of March, manufacture its K6-3 in volume by Q2 and, ultimately, make good on its promise to deliver its high-end K7 processor by the end of June. A fine plan, said Sargent. "The question is can AMD tough it out long enough to get to the K7?"

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