Local boy makes good

33961A_14_AMD_65.gifC|NET is reporting that, for the first time ever, AMD sold more processors than arch-rival Intel in US retail stores. AMD still makes less money per chip than Intel, but this represents a huge symbolic milestone of their ability to compete with Intel for consumer sales. Things look pretty rosy on the business front as well, where Intel’s server architecture is stumbling to catch up to AMD’s Opteron chips.

AMD’s gains come during an unusual time where Austin’s other tech darling is suffering a rare misstep. Dell missed it’s revenue targets last quarter (although still managed to pull in a paltry $13.9 billion), and trimmed some Central Texas jobs in response. Any more bad news from Dell, and you wonder how long until cracks form in their allegiance to Intel, which could propel AMD even higher.

The company is on the move in more ways than one, as a city committee has validated AMD’s right to develop a new site along Southwest Parkway. A deal struck between Stratus Properties and the city allows AMD to develop more densely then SOS standards, but below the initial slab-friendly zoning. SOS and others may ultimately sue to stop the development, but this ruling clears any current obstructions to developing the new southwest campus.

AMD is based in Silicon Valley, but has developed a substantial corporate and manufacturing presence in Austin since opening its first plant here in 1979. Just as both city and company have grown together, so now they are inextricably linked in shaping the future of Austin. For many residents, this creates a conflicting situation of patting AMD on the back for their success, then smacking them for needlessly developing over the aquifer. Such is life in River City these days.

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