Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. is the second-largest supplier of x86 compatible processors, and a leading supplier of non-volatile flash memory.
It was founded in 1969 by a group of defectors from Fairchild Semiconductor.
The company got its start in the microprocessor business in 1979 as a second-source manufacturer of the Intel
8086 and 8088 processors, under contract from Intel. AMD later produced the
80286 until Intel cancelled the agreement in 1986. They then made their own clones of the later Intel
80386 and 80486 models, which were sold at a significantly lower price than the Intel versions.
In 1995, AMD created the AMD-K5, an x86 design which included several design features common in RISC processors, followed by their sixth-generation processor, the K6,
which was based on the NexGen Nx686 design (after the aquiration of NexGen in 1996). In January 1999, the final iteration of the K6-x series, the 450 MHz K6-III, was
briefly the fastest x86 microprocessor in the world.
In August 99, AMD once again had the fastest x86 CPU when they released the Athlon (K7) processor. Except for a few weeks here and there, AMD held this distinction with
later revisions of the Athlon until March of 2002.