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AMD Technology Expertise Puts Intel Outside

The New York Times reports that the year is still young, yet the two leading makers of semiconductors for personal computers have already experienced moves of 20 percent in their stocks. To the great chagrin of Intel shareholders, no doubt, their stock has fallen, while Advanced Micro Devices' has rallied.

Why the striking divergence? One simple reason. "The current A.M.D. offer on chips is just better," said Bob Turner, whose Turner Investment Partners runs two technology mutual funds. "What they offer is a microprocessor integrated with memory that is better than Intel's. They really got it right this time."

Until recently, A.M.D. had a reputation for seldom getting it as right as Intel. But A.M.D. has caught up with its rival and even surpassed it, and it has been able to exploit this design gap, as industry analysts call it, to grab market share.

"Silicon Valley has been following this saga for many years," said Kevin Landis, manager of the Firsthand family of tech funds. "Intel had the technology lead and the manufacturing lead, then it had the brand lead. I got used to the idea that Intel was always one step ahead, but A.M.D. finally demonstrated that to be not the case, and the market is having to admit that to itself."

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