Kevin Knox, director of worldwide enterprise business development for AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif., made the remarks during a keynote at the Enterprise IT Week conference held in Las Vegas, which is held at the same time as Comdex.
“They have put $300 million into marketing, and have convinced you of a lot of things that aren’t true,” Knox said.
“It’s not a processor,” he said, noting that Centrino is Intel’s bundle of a chipset, mobile processor and wireless technology bundled in a single solution.
“The chip is good,” Knox said. “The wireless technology they bundle with the chip is garbage. But if you want Centrino, you’ve got to take that technology.”
Intel, Santa Clara, Calif., unveiled its Centrino offering earlier this year, and has been pushing the wireless, mobile technology throughout the marketplace, in part with a $300 million-plus marketing effort as well as aggressive channel programs.
Intel executives have said the technology is being quickly adopted. During Intel’s most recent quarter, executives said the company, overall, had a record quarter of both unit shipments and revenue in the North American channel. Centrino, they said, was adopted quickly and was a significant part of the quarter’s performance.
An Intel spokeswoman, responding to Knox’ remarks, said, “the adoption rate speaks for itself.”
Knox’ keynote only briefly discussed the wireless technology. He spent most of his address discussing the increasing costs of technology transitions and disruptions in corporate Information Technology departments — costs AMD says it can help eliminate with its Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. Those chips run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications with high levels of performance — allowing IT departments and solution providers to develop or install 32-bit software first, and then upgrade to 64-bit software without upgrading the processor platform.
Intel’s 64-bit processor, Itanium 2, cannot run 32-bit applications optimally and its Xeon server processors cannot run 64-bit applications.
Knox likened transitioning to AMD processors as easy as moving from CD to DVD — where DVD is backward-compatible to CDs. He likened transitions on other technologies to the move from 8-track tapes to cassette tapes, where the hardware had to change as well. Knox said many companies have refused to work to remove transition and disruption costs in the technology space, adding unnecessary costs to IT budgets.
“I’m as guilty as anybody,” Knox said. “I’ve not made it easy for everybody — up until recently.”
Opteron processors were launched in April, while AMD’s Athlon 64 processors for desktops first began shipping in September.