Dell plans to buy millions of AMD processors, many of which will make their way into the company's laptops, according to electronics specialist publication DigiTimes.

The report suggests that some 20 million AMD CPUs will be built into Dell's servers, desktop PCs and notebooks between the fourth quarter of 2006 and the fourth quarter of 2007. Until now, Dell has only considered AMD in the context of its servers.

Four million AMD CPUs will be used in Dell's notebook products, and 16 million in Dell's desktops and servers.

Dell's desktop and notebooks sales grew by almost 20 percent in 2005, and it's expected to hit 45 million sales in 2006, and 55 million units in 2007, according to market researcher IDC, so AMD's share of that will be significant. Its overall share of the market is 21.6 percent in the second quarter of 2006, according to Mercury Research.

As notebook sales expand at the expense of desktops, AMD will be well positioned following its acquisition of graphics and motherboard chipset vendor ATI. The buy-out will allow it for the first time to develop an integrated low-power notebook package. Questions remain however, whether it can execute on its notebook plans in time to meet Dell's aggressive sales targets.

AMD wouldn't comment, but the news follows Dell's low-key announcement in its quarterly earnings statement in May 2006, that it planned to develop AMD dual core Opteron-based servers.

Meanwhile, Intel's sales figures continue to plummet, and it's now talking of laying off thousands.

This follows particularly poor quarterly earnings figures, in which Intel posted its lowest income level since the third quarter of 2003, and its net income figure dropped to $885 million - the first time its fallen below $1 billion in the last three years.