Goal: Bringing AMD Back to Profitability
Speaking of the company in general, Meyer said his goal is still to bring the AMD back to profitability and that there are a number of factors in play that can help him do that. One is the decision to spin off its manufacturing operations, resulting in the Globalfoundries, which is a joint venture with Abu Dhabi-owned ATIC (Advanced Technology Investment Co.). That business got a boost Sept. 8 when ATIC announced that Globalfoundries is buying Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing for $1.8 billion.The deal is a good one for both ATIC and Globalfoundries, he said, adding that it won't impact the chip-licensing agreement AMD has with rival Intel. Globalfoundries and Chartered will remain separate entities, though ATIC officials talked about taking advantage of the technologies of both companies. Intel officials have questioned whether AMD spinning off its manufacturing business and its joint agreement with ATIC would impact the agreement, which allows both companies to build products based on the x86 architecture. Some in the audience questioned whether Meyer was being overly optimistic about his goals for AMD's business, particularly given its recent poor financial results. AMD in July announced that it lost $330 million in the second quarter. Meyer said AMD will have a better idea of the overall picture for the year after the third-quarter numbers are in, and that he sees opportunities in such areas as midrange and high-end PCs, where he says AMD is underserved. He also talked about the company's move to a 32-nanometer manufacturing process.
The move drove up AMD's stock price by more than 15 percent and holds out the promise that Globalfoundries will grow its customer base. Currently, AMD is Globalfoundries' primary customer, and more customers coming in will mean that AMD's financial commitment to the company will lessen, Meyer said.