This is a big day for Advanced Micro Devices , with the company releasing its long-delayed Quad-Core Opteron server chip.
It's also a big day for CEO Hector Ruiz who tells me this morning in an exclusive interview that he can't underestimate just how frustrating the year delay for this product was; but that now is not the time to kick his people. Nor was their time to do that while the company scrambled to get this chip out the door.
AMD will have plenty of time to do so as the company tries to get itself back on track. Meantime, I did spend some interesting time with Ruiz who didn't pull any punches when it came time to discuss the rivalry between his company and Intel , ten times his size.
He confirmed to me that this new Opteron would be in high performance desktop PCs by year end. He told me Intel's good financial news, upping its revenue range to as much as $9.8 billion is actually good news for AMD as well. "A wonderful time" to introduce new technology when the market is doing so well.
He says despite the rough time for his shares this past year that he still enjoys the full support of his board.
Sources at his company tell me tonight's splashy event at George Lucas' sprawling San Francisco campus will include news of a deepening partnership between the two companies, and that could be important: AMD is already a key supplier to the Lucas server farm with Lucas already buying thousands of processors from AMD. That could be significant, both financially and public-relations wise.