Intel said Google has begun buying Intel server components in high volume. This includes custom-designed motherboards for Google's servers.
Google "went to the competitor's platform for the last four quarters of deployments, largely on the (operational cost) model they use to judge their purchases," Gelsinger said, a model that takes into account power and cooling costs, server performance, memory costs and other factors. Intel design teams "have been maniacal as we designed a unique board for them, developing a unique memory module with them, working every angle of the cost equation and engaging with our sales teams to get the business," Gelsinger said.On Wednesday we heard bold claims from AMD, who says their upcoming Barcelona server processors will be up to 40% faster than Intel's Clovertown.
The Google change is emblematic of Intel's rising fortunes. Beginning in 2003, AMD capitalized on performance and power efficiency advantages of its Opteron processors to make its way into the server lines of the four top-tier server companies: IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sun Microsystems. But in late 2006, Intel's new dual-core Xeon 5100 "Woodcrest" and quad-core Xeon 5300 "Clovertown" processors helped Intel reclaim some server chip market share and put major price pressure on AMD.