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When Hector Ruiz joined AMD, quickly ascending to the CEO’s suite, he took the helm of a dynamic company that was nonetheless struggling against perceptions that it could not contend with Intel, the Goliath of the microchip industry. Though AMD’s technology, products, and pricing were keeping pace with or outstripping Intel’s, the market wasn’t responding. Why?

Ruiz found deals unaccountably collapsing, his executives stonewalled by business partners, and promising innovations thwarted. As Intel made it almost impossible for its customers to use competitors’ chips, rumors floated that the only reason Intel “allowed” AMD to exist was to stave off antitrust investigations by the Federal Trade Commission.

As government investigations began to reveal the truth about Intel’s predatory business practices, Ruiz realized that AMD’s only option was to become David to Intel’s Goliath.

Recruiting a team of renowned strategists and industry leaders, Ruiz developed tactics based on superior technology and innovative alliances. And when he finally made the decision to file a historic lawsuit against Intel, the battle between the two rivals escalated, enveloping the entire personal computer industry and bringing to a head a conflict that had been building for more than a decade.

This unprecedented inside account of the microchip industry at war offers lessons to all readers interested in the thrust and parry of the high-technology sector—or who face daunting competitive challenges of their own.

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