Advanced Micro Devices is set to launch its highly publicized new server chip Monday, delivering the biggest jolt to its product lineup in four years.
The company's redesigned Opteron processor is the first from AMD to feature four computing engines on a single chip instead of just one or two.
AMD's belated entry into the "quad-core" market is a critical element in the financially strapped company's offensive against Intel , the world's largest semiconductor company, whose market value of $148 billion makes it 21 times bigger than AMD.
Intel has outspent its smaller rival on new technologies and better absorbed the pain of a brutal price battle that has led to embarrassing market-share losses AMD hopes its new chip will reverse.
AMD has overhauled the design of the original Opteron chip, which the company says is the most important improvement in delivering higher performance, and is using a different engineering strategy than Intel.
Intel's four-core chips are actually a package of two chips with two cores each. In AMD's four-core chips, all the cores are placed on a single piece of silicon.