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AMD Makes Energy Efficiency Power Play

CEO noted at Analyst Day that making IT equipment more energy efficient is good for "the world we live in," as well as good for business.

AMD wants to be a leader in the push to make data centers more energy efficient, chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz said, speaking to an audience of industry and Wall Street analysts this morning.

Speaking at the company's Analyst Day 2006, Ruiz said making servers, desktops and even handheld devices more energy efficient is not only good for "the world we live in," but it's also good for business.

"We are defining who we want to be," said Ruiz. "We made energy consumption a key ingredient to what this industry should be all about... We are committed to leading the industry to energy efficiency for everyone from supercomputing down to handheld devices."

Ruiz said there is much ground to be gained; for example, for every kilowatt of energy used in a data center, four kilowatts are wasted. This year, AMD founded the Green Grid Initiative, which aims to decrease power consumption while increasing performance. Major players including Dell, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard have joined.

Marty Seyer, a senior VP of AMD's commercial business, said independent tests have shown that in terms of performance per watt on the server, AMD outperforms rival Intel by 10% to 15% on a full load, and 40% better when it's running idle.

The company's performance per watt numbers are expected to stay strong in the coming year as AMD gets ready to release its native quad-core platform. Seyer says quad-core should show a 50% performance-per-watt improvement over its own dual-core platform.

AMD's energy efforts don't stop on the server side. Seyer noted that the company expects to ship a new version of its Turion 64 mobile chip either late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of 2007. He said that also will have an improvement in performance per watt, but he declined to specify how much.

"Five years ago, I was asking you to believe in us," Ruiz said to the analysts. "I told you we'd become a serious contender in this space, and we did that I told you we would focus on getting our financials in order and we did that. These accomplishments have emboldened us. We want to become a great, transformational company."

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