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Do or Die: AMD Moves Away From PCs Amid Steep Losses

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October 18, 2012 10:25:01 PM

My guess is that de-emphasizing PCs means much less focus on desktop CPUs, so Steamroller might get delayed considerably..
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26
October 18, 2012 10:33:41 PM

I hope Rory read gets it right, nothing more depressing than an Intel/Nvidia monopoly. Unless of course you count VIA.
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30
October 18, 2012 10:33:55 PM

A lot of HTPCs benefit from AMD APUs, great little machines that don't need i7 power, if they hit that market hard and kept up the pressure in the games console market they are onto a winner - but really they need a big entry in the tablet market, if x86 Windows 8 Pro defies all negative press and sells like hotcakes then AMD need to have a tablet CPU (or APU) alternate to the i5 very quickly or Intel may well tie up another virtual monopoly
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29
October 18, 2012 10:34:34 PM

Intel desktop Processors are now gonna be 5x the price with no competition.
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-17
October 18, 2012 10:38:00 PM

Question is, do most ppl need a faster CPU?

Question is, do most ppl want more mobile CPUs?
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-9
October 18, 2012 10:40:56 PM

back_by_demandA lot of HTPCs benefit from AMD APUs, great little machines that don't need i7 power, if they hit that market hard and kept up the pressure in the games console market they are onto a winner - but really they need a big entry in the tablet market, if x86 Windows 8 Pro defies all negative press and sells like hotcakes then AMD need to have a tablet CPU (or APU) alternate to the i5 very quickly or Intel may well tie up another virtual monopoly
They could be in the tablet market now with Android but they have the same problem as Intel - x86 is too inefficient for mobile. While AMD has GPUs to fall back on, Intel has much better diversity throughout their product lines.
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-8
October 18, 2012 10:43:44 PM

Lets help AMD!! Buy a AM3+ CPU!!
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-8
a b À AMD
October 18, 2012 10:44:29 PM

So more than 50% of their business is still going to be PC. Doesn't seem bad. Considering the market AMD can gain in servers/cloud and tablets, this could be an optimistic thing.
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26
October 18, 2012 10:44:58 PM

He's right. Media consumption is moving to the mobile environment. Problem is, you can't make media on a tablet or smart phone. We will always need desktops for media creation. My wife hasn't been on her PC since I bought her an iPhone and iPad. That's almost a year. Of course I am on my pc everyday day for several hours. It would be sad to see AMD pull out, especially out of the graphics market where they are very competitive.
Score
27
October 18, 2012 10:45:39 PM

I don't know about you guys but I don't like the sound of this. "AMD moving away from PCS" I can't imagine a market of intel only CPUS. We can do something about this folks. I'm ordering a AMD APU & motherboard. I would reccomend everyone that reads this do the same & pass the word on & tell your friends to do the same. Money talks & if we order enough then mabye they will continue to sell CPUS for PCS. If the only choice is Intel then the price will go UP UP UP & will become a very niche market. Let's keep the PC market alive. Who's with me?
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15
October 18, 2012 10:47:51 PM

It is going to be very upsetting if AMD doesn't do something in the 4th quarter this year. The new processors should be a good price and they knock down the prices of the other CPUs.
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14
October 18, 2012 10:49:43 PM

In before all the intel fanboys crow about how the i7 is faster.

AMD's going for volume and they need to do that. Spending 50% of your R&D on the 10% of the market is foolish and CPUs now are more than powerful enough, especially if your willing to overclock.
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-10
October 18, 2012 10:53:31 PM

AMD should forget about the stand alone CPU and focus on the APU chips for tablets and servers.

It should also work to get into the ARM business.

I hope AMD makes it out of the tailspin.
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15
October 18, 2012 10:54:07 PM

no please noooo
Score
21
Anonymous
October 18, 2012 10:54:59 PM

Errrr... Nice spin, Tom's.

Historically, haven't they always had that 50/20/20/10/... PC/Server/Console/Graphics/Whatever?

You act as if they are new to servers or gaming consoles, this is hardly a deviation from what they were already doing, Rory is just stating it in a "don't worry, I'm handling it" kind of way...
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15
October 18, 2012 11:00:59 PM

Not good! If AMD fails CPU and GPU markets will be affected. This is a case of having too many eggs in one basket...
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1
October 18, 2012 11:04:07 PM

baconeaterIntel desktop Processors are now gonna be 5x the price with no competition.


Intel has no answer for APUs, and you can't stick an i7 in a tablet. It won't work.
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21
October 18, 2012 11:09:09 PM

I'm sad to see how AMD has deteriorated since they launched the kick-ass original AMD64.

But outside of budget CPUs, IMHO they just haven't delivered anything very interesting the last many years - couple that with a marketing department that has been outright lying (across multiple "oops, let's scapegoat and find a new head" attempts), and you've got a really icky situation.

I think AMD needs to figure out what their raison d'être is, and fast. Intel has the crown for both performance and power consumption, and AMD just doesn't have anything really competitive (for the segments I'm interested in, anyway - high-end-but-not-too-bad-power-consumption desktop and low-power-consumption-when-most-idle-but-muscle-for-peaks server). Worst thing is, Intel CPUs don't even seem to be that much more expensive than AMD anymore when you consider performance/price ratios rather than just price :/ 

What's going to happen to prices if AMD goes bust? Especially since most people have "fast enough" machines now, the speed increase is stagnating, and a lot of people don't really need anything more than consumer devices (and possibly consoles for gaming needs) - the future could end up pretty darn expensive for us developers and content producers. And I'm slightly ashamed that my recent server build means my total builds are now skewed even further away from a 50/50 between Intel and AMD.
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7
a b À AMD
October 18, 2012 11:17:03 PM

A Bad DayIntel has no answer for APUs, and you can't stick an i7 in a tablet. It won't work.

I'm not sure about that. The i7 part. I know they are putting i5's in the MS Surface Pro. There isn't much difference between an i5 and i7.

I do agree that mobile APU's could be something AMD shines at.
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18
a b À AMD
October 18, 2012 11:21:03 PM

I think AMD needs to be sold to another company who can do something with them, before they dig themselves a hole they cant get out of. No one can deny it is the continued pursuit of this inefficient bulldozer architecture that has led to their downfall. They should have just dropped it and gone back to the old faithful Phenom II core and tweaked it.
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6
October 18, 2012 11:23:35 PM

I just powered up my trusty AMD Athlon 64 3700+ for old times' sake.
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22
October 18, 2012 11:31:46 PM

A Bad DayIntel has no answer for APUs, and you can't stick an i7 in a tablet. It won't work.

Doesn't really matter when tablet manufactures are choosing to put i3's and i5's in tablets, or stick with the various ARM offerings. AMD's APUs are great chips, but they just aren't being utilized enough to carry the entire company alone.

It seems as though the end of the x86 processor for lower-end applications is coming sooner rather than later. The good news is AMD seems to realize it, the bad news is they seem to be running out of money quickly.

For gamers, I fear the glory days for AMD are quickly coming to an end. AMD will probably still offer desktop CPUs as long as they continue developing the Opteron CPUs, which it seems like they will. The bad news is none of these chips will be designed with gaming/multimedia in mind.
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11
October 18, 2012 11:33:46 PM

iam2thecroweI think AMD needs to be sold to another company who can do something with them, before they dig themselves a hole they cant get out of. No one can deny it is the continued pursuit of this inefficient bulldozer architecture that has led to their downfall. They should have just dropped it and gone back to the old faithful Phenom II core and tweaked it.


They would loose their x86 license if they did that.
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4
October 18, 2012 11:38:14 PM

AMD is done, over, hasta la vista, the end.

If they had stuck with Dirk they wouldn't have this problem. They wouldn't have cut marketing and thus would have been better able to take advantage of NVidia's 600 series delays, they would have had direction and leadership rather than fear and uncertainty at the employee level, and they wouldn't have made such deep cuts to engineering (particularly the graphics that were making money) after they already lost some significant talent. It's like the performance of it's bulldozer CPU, not anyone thing by itself is fatal but this is death by 1,737+ cuts
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-6
Anonymous
October 18, 2012 11:42:48 PM

A Simi-custom APU and third party CPUs, A custom x86 APU with better than Haswell graphics may be the way to get into Apple laptops. hybrid ARM CPUs with on chip AMD GPUs for tablets! AMD needs to work on developing a very low power x86 many core server chip to compete with the new Intel Atom line. The entire cpu fabrication industry needs to compete with Intel's process lead, or it is game over.
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9
October 18, 2012 11:42:52 PM

I am not looking forward to a monopoly (in the x86 market anyway)... At least my laptop has an AMD APU. Why didn't they just improve on the Phenom II's architecture?
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2
October 18, 2012 11:44:46 PM

The ATI graphics line is holding the company afloat, if they demerged again they could save at least ATI but would sign AMDs death warrant
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2
October 18, 2012 11:46:02 PM

This is really bad news this is a worse case for consumers. AMD has pretty much said Intel has free reign on the desktop CPU market for the time being.

The icing on the cake is the slowing desktop sales from OEM's. I got a feeling cpu prices are about to skyrocket.
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5
October 18, 2012 11:53:48 PM

livebriandWhy didn't they just improve on the Phenom II's architecture?

Because Intel are just too far ahead they have to change the nature of the battle, the only reason Athlon64 chips took the performance crown over P4's was Intel dropped the ball and AMD took advantage, Intel won't make the same mistake again and would rather keep improving die size than try to do another MHz race
...
AMD can take the performance crown, but only if they spend billions they don't have on R&D they can't afford for an enthusiast market that doesn't produce enough revenue, the smart money is in the mass-market, mid-range, if they make good market share back maybe they can get back to the nuclear arms race but it could take 10 years or more
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15
October 18, 2012 11:56:54 PM

back_by_demandThe ATI graphics line is holding the company afloat, if they demerged again they could save at least ATI but would sign AMDs death warrant

In the same sense though, It would be a shame if ATI went under if AMD went down swinging too hard. I'd rather see at least one of these companies make it rather than both end up in a Chapter 11 or even worse: chapter 7 bankruptcy. I sure hope Read knows what he's doing, I cannot agree with really anything I've seen him do so far from a consumer point of view.
Score
4
October 19, 2012 12:00:45 AM

livebriandI am not looking forward to a monopoly (in the x86 market anyway)... At least my laptop has an AMD APU. Why didn't they just improve on the Phenom II's architecture?


They probably felt that designing a new microarchitecture from the ground-up would put them in a better position in the market in the long-run. The new FX chips are basically slightly modified versions of the Bulldozer Opteron chips, and the new APU chips are also using a Bulldozer-based architecture. So it is clear they wanted the 15h family across their entire CPU/APU lineup.

Plus one of the reasons why AMD was ahead during the Athlon 64 days was because Intel tried sticking with NetBurst (Pentium 4) for WAY to long. AMD was probably trying to avoid doing the same mistake.

I think given enough time and money AMD could really make the 15h family shine, probably even compete with Intel's upper-end offerings. The problem is... they are running out of both time and money.
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4
October 19, 2012 12:23:38 AM

Ragnar-KonI think given enough time and money AMD could really make the 15h family shine, probably even compete with Intel's upper-end offerings. The problem is... they are running out of both time and money.
How? So far, it seems we're dealing with an architectural problem on the AMD side :/  - we've got worse performance per GHz, worse power consumption per performance unit, worse hyperthreading (call it what you want) performance, and price point that simply isn't compelling enough.

Now, if AMD could... say, significantly reduce power consumption (but at a lower total performance unit) while at a competitive price... or really crank up performance (but at a higher wattage)... or offer something sorta comparable in both areas at a lower price... or do just something to (positively) differentiate themselves from Intel, things would be interesting. But that's just not where we are right now.

Apart from substantially better integrated GPU performance, which only matters in the budget segment, I fail to see a trumph card on AMD's hands - and considering that Intel has mainly beeing doing GPU development in-house rather than buying up major players, they're advancing way too rapidly for comfort in that field. If they extinguish AMD, we might be back to the über-sucky "advancement" of the HD2xxx levels.

hastenCommon practice in business - defensive strategy. Charge less when a main competitor is vulnerable, especially if you hold the differentiating feature. It's unfortunate but very effective.
Yup, even if it means profit losses, or even minor losses. When the competitor is drenched and bankrupt, turn on the consumer thumbscrews... and I'm not looking forward to that.

So, anyway - I'm glad I bought my new workstation and server at the end of 2012. We might be seeing rather disagreeable prices in the next few years, if Apple and Microsoft have their way :-/
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2
October 19, 2012 12:24:59 AM

Quote:
Errrr... Nice spin, Tom's.

Historically, haven't they always had that 50/20/20/10/... PC/Server/Console/Graphics/Whatever?

You act as if they are new to servers or gaming consoles, this is hardly a deviation from what they were already doing, Rory is just stating it in a "don't worry, I'm handling it" kind of way...


From the Q3 conference call transcript at http://seekingalpha.com/article/934141-advanced-micro-d...

Quote:
(Rory Read) Our long-term strategy will rebalance our business towards faster-growing segments of the market. Today, approximately 85% of our business is focused on the legacy PC portion of the market projected to have slowing growth over the next several years. We intend to drive 40% to 50% of our portfolio to faster-growth markets where our IP is the key differentiator.


So, a substantial shift away from desktop CPUs to APUs and cloud server, as well as custom APUs for things like gaming consoles.
Score
5
Anonymous
October 19, 2012 12:32:24 AM

It could just be me but I was disturbed that the 1737 saves the company a little over $109,000 per person per year.. hopefully it was highly paid people that contributed very little and AMD realized it and cut them off.
Score
2
October 19, 2012 12:32:54 AM

I think people are panicking for no reason. Rory just said something everyone's known all along. The money isn't in just PCs anymore. AMD needs to shift away from being just a CPU/GPU maker and they've taken a few steps in that direction (APUs, low power CPUs, possible ARM licenses). They'll still make the good stuff for the rest of us but the only way AMD will survive is to change with the market and differentiate themselves from Intel more.
Score
4
October 19, 2012 12:35:31 AM

Am I surprised? No. It's a result of bad marketing. I am sad to see AMD go this route, but again, not surprised.

The difference between Intel and AMD is that Intel, when confronted with losing the performance crown, set rigid goals and effectively lit a fire under their engineers' rear ends. AMD took the "We'll see where this goes. People are still buying our CPUs and supporting us, so we don't need to improve. We'll just send out vague benchmarks and hype our products."

Did it work? No. I've been in that discussion with too many people on these forums before, who defend AMD like a religion or something. Well, now the ship is sinking. This is not a sign of a healthy or successful company and despite the claims that the CPUs are "just as good" as Intel's stuff... which company is marching forward and which company is stuck in a rut?

Plain and simple, Phenom was a miserable failure that brought too little, too late, and never recovered from the bad publicity it received early on. Phenom II was quite an improvement, but again, by the time AMD's Core 2 "killer" was out we'd all already moved on to i5s or 17s. Then we have Bulldozer, which has quite obviously done little it was promised to do in terms of saving a sinking ship. Performance stinks, power consumption stinks, and honestly? It's pathetic that my mobile i7 destroys my hexacore AMD desktop system. I'm not happy as a consumer.

The only reasonable success AMD has had in recent times is the APU lineup, but those are only good for limited applications. Too little, too late, a dollar short. :) 
Score
6
October 19, 2012 12:48:33 AM

an i7 may not be ok with tablets, but i hear haswell is more geared for mobile or something
Score
3
Anonymous
October 19, 2012 12:52:05 AM

Why not make a cpu that works inside a server, tablet and pc? In a pc just use more sockets like in servers and put a few in the case, in servers 100 or 1000 of those? Everyone goes home a winner. And what's up with that green AMD logo... it's like you are going to save nature with that cpu... make it orange or something ... Frankly the only reason I didn't buy a Bulldozer was that I saw a benchmark of half the single thread performance of a Sandy bridge and I still think the Sandy Bridge is 10 times to slow for heavy tasks, so why stop innovation like that? If Intel has a big market share you can steal all of that if you make a great product.
Score
0
October 19, 2012 12:52:06 AM

AMD really messed up the windows 8 launch. They should have kept working on their ultra low end apu's for tablets. Instead of something new and shiny, we get a re-branded C-50 apu. There is a reason no tablet vendors are using AMD chips. AMD hasn't made any advancements in 18 months in that market.

When the C-50 came out it smoked the competition, now 18 months later it is too far behind in CPU power, and on a level playing field in the video and energy consumption departments.

They were in a great position to really grab a hold of the market if they were able to produce a shrunk down scaled up lower power A or Z series APU, but the 45NM 5 watt chip just released is not enough. If they had gone to 22 or 28nm and done nothing else they should have been able to scale up clocks by 20-30% and still shaved 20-30% off the power which would have made a compelling reason for tablet vendors to use their product.

Video on par with i5, cpu/power on par with Atom. Win/win.

Instead we get bankruptcy.

This is a sad day.
Score
6
October 19, 2012 12:53:10 AM

@tajisi, intel played pretty much every dirty trick in the book during the P4 days to stop AMD from benefiting. Sure, they came out with the excellent core architecture later on, but they bribed many OEMs with rebates, etc before it came out. I read somewhere that AMD was literally unable to GIVE AWAY their CPUs because the OEM would be unable to accept an intel rebate for using there CPUs. I also heard that dell was at one point making more from intel than from selling computers. Is that ridiculous or what?
Score
5
October 19, 2012 12:53:43 AM

andfsfnsdfsdhIt could just be me but I was disturbed that the 1737 saves the company a little over $109,000 per person per year.. hopefully it was highly paid people that contributed very little and AMD realized it and cut them off.


Read on S/A that it is supposed to be 30% of the engineers being sacked, including from the graphics division, so that is not good at all for enthusiasts. Really, it seems AMD might be conceding the high end to Intel and to nVidia..
Score
1
October 19, 2012 12:58:57 AM

This is no good. Only owned two processors from AMD, the original Athlon and the T-Bird. The PC realm needs a counter balance to Intel now more than ever, although Intel is so far ahead and just a juggernaut I can't see how anyone could really compete with them market wise.

For the past few years the only conclusions I've come to is that AMD will need to be bought out or merged with a much much larger Conglomerate which will takeover and oversee AMD's operations to correct the massive mistakes they've made in the CPU arena over the past 6 years.
Score
0
October 19, 2012 1:04:38 AM

I don't see anyway they can breakthrough the server market...Intel is king and nobody is even a significant second. They only have one area left to compete...in the APU on thin client, ultrabook, consoles, tablet etc...at the moment, their APU looks too power hunggry to be in tablet form.....if they don't grab a few contract with Nintendo, MS or Sony for the next console....they're basically done.
Score
1
October 19, 2012 1:13:23 AM

Well soon it will be an Nvidia and Intel market pretty soon. Wonder what happens if they both become monopolies if the government would step in and split up the company like they did with Ma Bell .
Score
1
October 19, 2012 1:15:02 AM

Panzer4@tajisi, intel played pretty much every dirty trick in the book during the P4 days to stop AMD from benefiting. Sure, they came out with the excellent core architecture later on, but they bribed many OEMs with rebates, etc before it came out. I read somewhere that AMD was literally unable to GIVE AWAY their CPUs because the OEM would be unable to accept an intel rebate for using there CPUs. I also heard that dell was at one point making more from intel than from selling computers. Is that ridiculous or what?


That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Do you really think it's worth it for a OEM to turn away FREE materials? How big of a rebate are you giving out that someone can afford to turn their nose up at "Free"?
Score
-8
October 19, 2012 1:18:21 AM

It is high time IBM?Apple to show interest in AMD both financially and technically. AMD need to synergism with Global foundries,ARM in future. More than that AMD needs leader like Jobs who resurected once ailing APPLE. PC market needs AMD badly.
Score
2
October 19, 2012 1:31:41 AM

First thing AMD needs to do is accelerate development and distribution of their 28nm tablet APU/SoC. The lower-power C-50 they're trying to sell is okay (I'd take the GPU advantage over Haswell's small CPU/power advantage, myself), but if they can get the new one out before Intel can make a Haswell successor and get it into actual products, I'd be all over it and I don't think I'm the only one.
Score
-1
October 19, 2012 1:39:39 AM

@jkflipflop98
I'll be a bit clearer
I think it was something like a million athlons that AMD couldn't give away to HP(I think that's the company) because HP would then not get a rebate from intel (at least, I think that's what happened, correct me if I'm wrong)
Score
1
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