AMDs Financial Picture

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2007-09-10 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


AMD has reported losses in the last few financial quarters. What are you trying to do to rectify the companys financial picture? Also, in the years between the release of the first Opteron and now, AMD grew very fast. Did you grow too fast for your own good? We do recognize that we have a financial challenge.
In addition to all the product and technological challenges in front of us that we have to address, you have to start at the strategy of what we want to accomplish and the things that we want to do. We want our server architecture to continue after Barcelona and "Bulldozer" [a new set of x86 processor cores that AMD is designing and will debut in 2009]. We have ideas, through the acquisition of ATI, on the future of computing, and we have those plans in place.
AMD releases dual-core Opterons that offer clock speeds of 3GHz. Click here to read more. You saw us improve from first to second quarter [of 2007] financially. It is our expectation that we will telegraph this to the industry and that we will again improve in the third quarter, and we will continuously improve. All of that is being done prudently and judiciously. We are not out slashing costs just to get a quarter with a right number because we truly believe in our vision. We believe in our products and our road maps. The other question that you have is interesting—did we grow too fast? Quite the contrary. I think in any industry and in any environment, whether its automotive or airplanes or computers, when you have the technology advantage that we had from 2003 to 2006, we should have grown faster. It was only due to the abusive, monopolistic behavior of our competitor that we didnt.
Five years from now, what does computing look like? Is it going to be desktops and laptops, or is there going to be a whole new model out there? We think visualization, not virtualization, is going to be the key to everything. The other part that I think is going to be big is the segmentation of the market, to make it easier not to have a general-purpose machine that does everything for everybody but to be able to adjust. This is where our multicore technology is pretty strong, and we will be able to do things that are great for supercomputers and, with minor changes, for servers and workstations. With further changes, [the multicore technology] could be even better for desktops. I also think that desktops are going to become an appliance. Today, it is pretty easy to say that if you have a four-bedroom house, a three-bedroom house, you have a phone in each bedroom. I think the desktop will become an appliance of that type. I think that mobile computing will continue to evolve pretty rapidly, and there are going to be some accelerated conversions as to whether you want a laptop that does a lot of things or a phone that does a lot of things. I think there is going to be a mixture of products in there, but I think definitely mobility is going to be key. What can you tell us about the upcoming quad-core Phenom processor for desktops, especially in light of AMDs recent success in selling desktop chips this year? As far as desktops go, in the foreseeable future, [this part of the market has got] two big buckets. We play, and our competition plays, in the performance-driven bucket. That is, if you are a gamer, and you want great technology, that is where Phenom comes in. It is a derivative of the server processor—Barcelona. Thats what people saw at our analyst meeting. Its pretty amazing that it was able to demonstrate some gaming capability that is not available yet in the market because of the technology. So we believe that we are going to have a very strong position in that space. The other space is the very price-sensitive, appliancelike space. I think that is more about features and platforms. There is closer interaction with the OEMs to figure out what kind of platform you would like to put into it. Mobile is going to be much more platform-driven than anything else. If you think of the phone as an example, when was the last time you bought a phone because it has a 1GHz processor in it? I would guarantee that you wouldnt know what the speed of the chip in your phone is. You care about what you want [the phone] to do. What we see more than anything else is technology moving fast to stores to provide the experience the user needs. There are some people who want to play games on mobile [devices], and that means that they are going to want to have certain capabilities on that device. This is quite different from the homemaker who might want to use the product as a Web surfing technology, for e-mail, etc. So we need to be able to address these issues and answer them. This is something my competitor hates to hear, but I think, frankly, that the CPU is going to be less and less relevant. What I think is going to be relevant is the platform. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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