AMD's drive to 64-bit processors surprised everyone with its speed, even as detractors commented that there would be little or no performance gain on the desktop without a 64-bit OS and 64-bit applications. Whatever the doubts within the industry, Intel lost little time in offering its own version of AMD64, in the form of the EM64T extensions.
Traditionally perceived as the under-dog in the cutthroat world of microprocessors, AMD managed to take the design initiative at exactly that moment Intel was fixated on power consumption and the move to dual cores.
In the terms of Intel's own corporate jargon, it was AMD that had managed to create an inflection point, a key moment of change in the dominant technology.
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