Page Four

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-12-02 Print this article Print

: Ruiz Interview"> eWEEK: What does Intels Banias chip mean to you with respect to the faster clock speed equals better performance debate? Ruiz: It basically says, its not really the speed that counts; its performance. Because theyve lowered the speed and tried to improve it from a solution perspective, its more of a complete solution for mobile as opposed to just the CPU. But its a significantly lower frequency, but the performance is considered reasonable for mobile. So it does say there is something to this performance thing.
eWEEK: Doesnt it validate what AMDs been saying for a long time?
Ruiz: I think it does. Theyll never admit it. But I think it does. eWEEK: What would the addition of Apple [Computer Inc.] to the 64-bit industry mean to AMD, to the industry? Ruiz: First of all, I have no indication that Apple is even considering what we make. Ive heard rumors going around. But you know it would be interesting because at some point in time if Apple is going to do a 64-bit version, theyre going to face the decision, what do they do for it? I cannot picture Apple putting an Itanium in their stuff. So I think if theyre going to do that theyre going to figure out some way to get a PowerPC version of that. Or theyre going to have to consider one of the alternatives we offer and see theres many more than that. eWEEK: So theyre not in talks with you, theyre not evaluating the chip as far as you know? Ruiz: You know, if they were I couldnt tell you, and if theyre not I shouldnt tell you. But I think it would be an interesting relationship if that ever really happened. eWEEK: Intel has officially announced that it is going to abdicate the desktop 64-bit market, leaving it essentially IBM, with its PC970, and AMDs Clawhammer and Opteron products. What is that two-horse horse race going to mean to AMD in 2003? Ruiz: First of all, I dont believe that Intels abdicating anything. They would like to influence the market. See it go in a certain direction. But the market, which is actually made up of customers are going to do what makes sense for them. And I think 64-bit at the desktop is going to happen. I really think its going to provide consumers a value that theyll appreciate. And its not going to happen overnight, and its not going to happen next quarter. But I think it will start really avalanching in the beginning sometime late next year, early 2004. And it could start with the early adopters, people like the gaming folks. Those people are really dumping tons of data into broadband and then from there it will go. eWEEK: So you think therell be faster adoption on the server end? Ruiz: I think the immediate desires is the server computer. The enterprise really wants to move into that direction fast because they can really exploit this bandwidth capability. So thats definitely true. Personally I think its going to happen faster than people think. But its not going to be next year. I think its going to start at the end of next year. … The reason I think is not because its 64-bit, thats not it. The reason is because its compatible with 32-bit. … I think people are going to say, "Wow, Im buying a 64-bit system capable of running 32-bit products." eWEEK: What was the reason for the delay in the release of Clawhammer? Ruiz: Nothing more than these product road maps are just so complicated, the technology evolution is gigantic. … The product is pretty solid. Never in my career, and Ive been in the industry 29 years, have I seen a project of the complexity of Hammer work the first time. When silicon came out the first time, it worked. It worked fully … and thats pretty amazing. eWEEK: What prompted the customer-centric philosophy? Ruiz: Its our belief that more and more the difference between where the customer ends and the supplier begins is getting closer and closer. And the more relevant that interaction is and the more enhanced, the more both people benefit. We have this awesome engineering talent that maybe we can put it, in some indirect way, at the use of our customers so that our customers can think of us as their friend and partner. … So were putting ourselves always to continuously asking questions, "What would the customer think of this? What would they want? What would they say?" Frankly, I think its generated a lot of enthusiasm in the company to be … hopefully more relevant when it comes to our customers. eWEEK: But the note that you made that the admission that the industry as a whole is guilty of building technology for technologys sake seemed to strike a cord. Ruiz: Oh, absolutely. I mean if you look at the PDAs, its taken 20 years to finally get to where the Palm Pilot finally made an impact. But it was 20 years after trying and trying and trying, because they werent paying attention to the customer. With all due respect to the awesome power of our competitor, the Itanium is one of the least customer-driven technology developments Ive ever seen in my life. I have yet to talk to a customer whos said, "Ive been pushing for that for 10 years, cant wait for it to come." And you look around at so many of these things, at consumers and customers in general, and I say, technology is now not an issue. You can do almost anything you want to with technology. Can we now make it more useful? Can we make it more practical? It goes all the way from things like automobiles, televisions, cell phones, etc. One of the reasons Nokia became so successful in the early stages people attributed to the digital effort they did. And although that was very important, the other part was is that their software was friendly. You look at a Nokia phone, you dont need to read the manual to actually figure out how to pick up the phone and follow it.


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