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AMD gaining in chip market share

Vipin V.Nair

NEW DELHI, March 17

FOR Mr Sanjeev Keskar and his five-member team at the Indian arm of AMD, world's second largest microprocessor maker, everyday business means attempts to do a David on Intel, the Goliath.

Like elsewhere in the world, Intel processors dominate the Indian market with over 87 per cent market share, but in the past one year, AMD has been successful in boosting sales, winning OEMs and getting recognised by the Government for official tenders.

``We have had four OEMs — Wipro, Vintron, Compaq and IBM in 2001. We have also developed our distribution network with over 1,000 resellers,'' says Mr Keskar, Country Manager of AMD Far East Ltd (India).

``For AMD, India is the fastest growing region in Asia,'' he told Business Line in an interview. According to data released by IDC (India), AMD sold 1.67 lakh of its K6/Duron processors in India in 2001 over 1.28 lakh units in the previous year to capture a market share of 9.1 per cent.

It sold 33,323 high-end Athlon chips in the year as against to 9,450 units in 2000.

Together, both processors had a market share of 11 per cent, up from 8.2 per cent in 2000.

In a year, which saw a meagre 10 per cent growth in desktop PC sales, AMD gained market share at the expense of Intel's low-end Celeron processor.

In 2001, Celeron's share crashed to 11.4 per cent from 29.5 per cent. Mr Keskar expressed the hope that with the Director General Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) approving AMD processors for PCs the Government intended to buy, he would now be able to convince more PC makers to use the company's chips.

``We are expecting good business from the Government sector. We will be part of tenders by many Government agencies,'' he said.

Although he stresses that ``we are not a cheaper alternative to Intel'', a PC powered by AMD Athlon processor, for instance, is cheaper by about 10 per cent vis-a-vis one with Intel P4.

``We need to enhance our reach in the country. So we are developing our tier 2 channel. We are also doing joint promotions with channel partners,'' Mr Keskar said.

According to Mr Manish Agrawal, Director, Marketing of PC maker, Vintron, brand awareness of AMD processors among consumers had gone up in the year.

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