Opteron now accounts for 22.1 percent of all x86 server processors shipped into the market, AMD announced Tuesday, citing figures from Mercury Research.
AMD grew its share of the server market by 26 percent compared with its fourth-quarter server market share of 16.4 percent, and by more than 250 percent compared with the previous year's first quarter, it said. Mercury Research principal analyst Dean McCarron confirmed the figures were accurate. Opteron has enjoyed a performance advantage over Intel's Xeon processors in the last year, opening doors for AMD at some of the largest IT organizations in the world.
Intel reported disappointing earnings last week, blamed in part on share gains by AMD. AMD eked out a slight improvement in its overall share of the x86 processor market during the first quarter, moving from 21.4 percent in the fourth quarter to 22 percent, according to a research report distributed by Merrill Lynch analyst Joe Osha on Tuesday.
"While (AMD) is excited about its performance, we also recognize that it cannot stand still if it hopes to continue these impressive strides through 2006 and 2007," a company representative said in a statement. Intel plans to counter AMD's current advantage later this year with the introduction of three new chips for desktops, notebooks and servers based on a new microarchitecture. Early tests, while not definitive, have predicted that Intel will close the performance gap by the end of 2006.
Over the next few weeks, AMD is expected to introduce new processors that support DDR2 memory and use a new socket that will allow server and PC makers to eventually drop future quad-core processors into motherboards released later this year for dual-core chips. Adding DDR2 memory won't give AMD a significant performance boost over its current designs, but future chips should be able to take advantage of the faster memory chips enabled by the DDR2 standard.