AMD aims Semprons at Celeron’s system builder base

Canadian white box builders could be lured into adding systems designed around AMD Inc.’s new Sempron family of value processors, according to an industry analyst.

Sempron processors are aimed at Intel Corp.’s Celeron line. Seven desktop

versions are available now in various speeds, with five mobile versions for notebooks scheduled for later this month.

Brand-name manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard and Acer are expected to be shipping systems in September.

AMD has tremendous room to grow, said Michelle Warren of Evans Research, and with the introduction of these chips, combined with a marketing push, it may be able to get those processors to manufacturers.

“”They’ve introduced compelling reasons for assemblers to switch to AMD,”” she added, including good performing CPUs that focus on the consumer market.

AMD’s Celeron-fighter had been the Duron processor, but the company has been phasing it out in North America as it concentrated on its Athlon XP and Athlon 64 lines.

Evans estimates that in the first quarter of this year AMD processors were being used by 29.5 per cent of the PCs shipped by white box builders (including desktops, notebooks and servers) compared to 70 per cent for Intel.

Now, however, it’s getting back into the consumer market with Semprons.

“”They’re doing it at the right time for the back-to-school and Christmas shopping season,”” observed Warren.

Among the larger AMD system builders here is Seanix Corp. of Richmond, B.C. A company spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.

AMD is enthusiastic about the new processors. John Crank, AMD’s Athlon 64 product manger, said Sempron “”is competitively priced and is going to offer significantly better performance than Celeron product.

“”It allows system builders and larger multinationals to put together richer configurations for any given price-point,”” he said, letting them throw in a better optical drive or peripherals such as a monitor or printer with a system, for example.

Such statements failed to shake Doug Cooper, country manager for Intel Canada, who noted his company has introduced new Celron-D and -M CPUs for the desktop and mobile markets.

“”Our view is consumers are going to purchase based on the overall value of the platform,”” he said. “”Intel is working to increase the value of that platform in our premium brands in Pentium on the desktop and Centrino in laptops, and you’ll see us continue to do that in the value segment.””

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer. Former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, Howard has written for several of ITWC's sister publications, including Before arriving at ITWC he served as a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times.

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