Still, there's not much chance of Intel becoming a chip monopoly anytime soon... That's mainly because the cutthroat microprocessor industry, which continues to grow at warp speed, operates in a cyclical fashion. Company fortunes tend to shift rapidly and are based in large part on hitting the right market segment with the right product at the right time, which is especially difficult to do when those products are made by billion-dollar fabs that take years to build.
Not only does Dean McCarron of Mercury Research agree... he maintains that Intel is actually much less of a monopoly threat today than it was previously. That's because, in McCarron's estimation, things are actually more competitive in the chip industry now than ever.
"The fact is (AMD is) now competing in all (processor) markets," McCarron says, something that wasn't the case five years ago. That's exerting much greater pricing pressure on both companies, and while AMD has to frequently undercut its own processor prices to stay competitive with Intel, McCarron says that's not necessarily indicative of a company on the ropes.
If AMD ever figures out how to use the expertise they acquired when they swallowed ATI to integrate Graphics processing with standard Computer processing on the same chip, we might have to pull for the plucky underdog, Intel. In the meantime, AMD's 65 nanometer chips are pretty good, and pretty good is good enough to stay in the ring right now.