AMD: Ready to play ball

August 30, 2010: 12:08 PM ET

After decades of being viewed as an inexpensive, also-ran chip manufacturer, AMD is in a better position to compete. Much of that has to do with CEO Dirk Meyer.

Dirk Meyer has been good for AMD.

While it's far too early to say whether the chip company will budge Intel's stranglehold over the x86-based processor market, Meyer, who started with the company as an engineer in 1995 to work on the Athlon chip, has made significant strides.

After years of bitter back-and-forth with Intel over an antitrust suit filed in 2004, Meyer opened up communications with the rival and settled his company's complaints for $1.25 billion last year. Months later, AMD's manufacturing division was also spun off into a separate entity, GlobalFoundries, so the company could focus solely on design and development.

His work seems to be paying off. AMD reported that 109 notebooks, powered by its company's chips, will launch throughout the year -- three times the number of releases last year.

Moving forward, the company plans to focus on its strengths, including graphics. In addition to retiring the ATI brand name, as announced this morning, the company is getting behind two new processor platforms that will play significant roles in its two chips-in-one Advanced Processing Unit (APU) strategy: the heavy-duty multi-core Bulldozer for desktops, workstations and servers; and Bobcat, aimed squarely at lower-powered devices like netbooks that, to date, have been powered primarily by Intel Atom chips.

We caught up with Meyer last week, who weighed in on the state of his company and where he sees it going. More

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