AMD Not Ignoring Tablet Space
Still, AMD isn't ignoring the tablet space. Brazos, Rozanovich said, "no doubt can be used in tablets." In addition, the company is working on an APU based on the "Bobcat" core, code-named "Krishna," which will span across desktops, notebooks and tablets. Krishna is due out in 2012. Gartner analysts are expecting tablets to have a growing impact in the commercial space. The firm on March 30 announced that it is adding Apple's iPad and other tablets into its global IT spending forecasts, and that for 2011, the move increased the projected spending growth from 5.1 percent to 5.6 percent."Virtualization loves cores, databases love cores, [and] cloud computing loves cores," he said. Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said the new Opterons could give AMD a boost in its struggle against Intel in the enterprise. Over the past few years, as Intel was releasing highly successful Xeon processors, AMD was having difficulty getting businesses interested in its Opteron 4100 and 6100 families, King said in an email to eWEEK. "On the plus side, the company has new Opteron products slated for introduction later this year," he said. "There also seems to be growing interest among businesses for enhanced desktop graphics to enable communication/collaboration video conferencing solutions, which could play well to AMD's integrated ATI technologies. Problem is that Intel is already heading that way with robust products of its own so AMD is likely to find the going pretty tough. In addition, Intel has been enjoying success in areas most folks don't associate with x86, including storage and networking. I don't hear much about AMD making similar forays into new markets." The challenge for AMD now will be how the company positions itself to OEMs, King said. "What are the advantages of dealing with AMD at a time when Intel seems, for all intents and purposes, to be surging further and further ahead in both mindshare and market share?" he said. Rozanovich said AMD's straight-through computing strategy will be a differentiator. Straight-through computing is enabled by the Bulldozer core, which enables programs to share resources more efficiently by offering dedicated resources for each integer thread. The design is more efficient than Intel's Hyper Threading technology, Rozanovich said. In addition, he noted that while Intel offers a lot of Xeon chips with disparate configurations, AMD's processors all come with the same features.
Later this year, AMD is expected to roll out its next generation of Opteron chips based on its "Bulldozer" core, including one code-named "Interlagos," which will offer up to 16 cores and will target two- and four-socket systems. The increased core count combined with the high energy efficiency will give businesses greater performance in hyperscale, virtual and cloud computing environments, Rozanovich said.