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Intel answers AMD with French Insult

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AMD today challenged Intel to a dual-core processor benchmarking duel, and Intel responded by mocking the French.

AMD pumped a few major US newspapers with ads, begging Intel to accept the dual-core challenge. The competition would see AMD put its best performing dual-core Opteron up against a comparable Xeon processor from Intel. A neutral, third-party would conduct a number of benchmark tests, measuring both performance and power consumption, according to the always gracious AMD.

Will Intel accept the challenge?

"I saw the ad this morning over my coffee," said Intel's CEO Paul Otellini, during a question and answer session here at the Intel Developer Forum conference. "I have always thought that companies and products are best judged in the marketplace, and I will leave it at that."

By Otellini's own metrics, AMD has already won the duel. Two years ago the little chipmaker didn't have a single, major server maker on its side. Now it has IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems all shipping fleets of servers and workstations based on its Opteron processor. A recent analyst report said this success has helped AMD pick up 10 per cent of the x86 server market over the past two years - up basically from zero.

Otellini's reticence to answer tough questions or have Intel face up to a head-on challenge looked even worse after his odd treatment of a French reporter at the IDF show.

When asked why Intel was so far behind AMD with a dual-core server chip and "what's wrong with Itanium" by an accented reporter, Otellini responded, "You're obviously from France." The cheap shot triggered a wave of laughter from Intel's staff and other reporters.

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