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AMD fights grey trays

82% of AMD processors shipped via container trays into the Middle East were either remarked or second hand products. As a result AMD is now shipping only boxed CPUs into the region.

82% of AMD processors shipped via container trays in the Middle East were either remarked or second hand products. Pierre Brunswick, AMD’s regional sales manager, citing an Asian source, revealed the staggering figure and has taken action to curb the problem. To counter the grey market in processors, AMD has stopped shipping tray product and is now only importing boxed products into the Middle East.

CPUs are either shipped in 1,000-unit container quantities known as trays and sold to PC manufacturers, or moved as PIB (processor in a box) — a single boxed processor sold to both manufacturers and end users. AMD believes that tray CPUs are much more difficult to trace making it easier to unofficially ship into other markets as grey product, unlike boxed processors.

“AMD will ship only PIB from its Middle East master distributor Thacker from this month,” said Pierre Brunswick. “Boxed processors have a three year warranty and, most importantly, all serial numbers are traceable so there should be no grey AMD [in the market].”

Grey market is a big issue in the components channel and AMD is not the only vendor taking steps. Intel has also decided to focus on importing boxed CPUs into the region, but will not follow AMD’s example and stop shipping trays of CPUs altogether. Intel will still supply tray CPUs for specified accounts and as it deems necessary for others on a case-by-case basis. Intel is also working on channel programmes and liasing with governments to help curb the grey market

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