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Analysis: AMD Asset Lite Strategy Will Create MAD AMD

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April 17, 2008 4:45:07 PM

A giant like Intel can also afford to make huge mistakes and cover its tracks..AMD does not have those kind of resources.

I'm bored with the AMD-bashing as well - of course the latest releases are not the best products, of course 'overall' Intel has produced faster processors, but let's not forget that previous to AMD was as good as owning the x86 market in terms of performance, especially in the server sector.

Intel has shown that it can afford to lose in the x86 market..the same cannot be said in other areas and that is what AMD (and it's partners), are aiming for. Putting all one's eggs in a single basket is a dangerous game in this business, and in other sectors such as chipstets and super-computing projects, AMD really has some excellent products that are very powerful, draw comparatively little heat and can be set up with the minimal of downtime. The same cannot be said of Intel.

Of course, all these products are useless if you can't sell them, and it's unfair on the tech staff if, at the end of the day, they are forced to work to impossible deadlines or not given the resources they require in order to facilitate ground-breaking designs. I beleive that is what's happened to AMD..it's become complacent from a corporate viewpoint. Intel is no stranger to this. There is also the hidden burden of the dollar, and rising energy prices as well as restrictive trade practices. There's more to producing products than simply laying down 45nm silicon wafers, and I don't think AMD is out for the count because (unlike Intel), it had the foresight not to assign resources in processor manufacture but to establish and develop the protocols on which future designs are based. AMD's products have been far more innovative than Intel's over recent years, and we're not just talking about desktop technology. However, as we know in the desktop sector you're only as good as your last product.
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Anonymous
April 17, 2008 7:19:55 PM

You missed the key point - how does this fix anything that is wrong today? You still have process issues, issues on product roadmap execution and you just have added another failure point: the communication, inefficiencies and execution between what would now be 2 separate companies.

Sure AMD Inc may be more profitable, but as a majority owner of the foundry they will still sustain those losses - they will need to continue to feed money into it or it could go belly up and you are back to the outsourcing issue with x86 license.

All this is, is another financial shell game to get an influx of more capital - it doesn't fundamentally address any of the current issues (unless you think AMD's only issue is money)

Finally you (and Charlie) completely ignore the complexity of increased foreign control over a high tech company - the US has increased restrictions above 10% ownership of any company. The US has only now allowed 65nm technology to be exported to 'restricted" areas. I think you overlook the complexity of MAD having an increased ownership (even if it is still a minority one).
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April 18, 2008 6:57:02 AM

AMD needs to send ALL of its employees and board to ontological training
(such as the Landmark Forum). It helps to cut the 'sludge' and be more effective.
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April 24, 2008 7:54:11 AM

Oh man, seriously. AMD was only a competitor for about 3 years (and even then market cap was barely enough to consider Intel a non-monopoly). Out of what, 40 years? You know who Intel's competition is? IBM. IBM wins that competition for what, the same 40 years? AMD is a minor annoyance. Really, we're talking about a frog on the side of a pond with a really big fish and GIGANTIC fish in it. The frog's only tagging along hoping for for some flies the fish didn't already jump up and eat. And ATI? Well, I'm surprised ATI wasn't in a position to buy AMD, as ATI products were probably shipping in more computers at the time of aquisition than AMD products were. In fact, I can't believe AMD isn't turning a huge profit off of ATI with all the products they deliver designs for such as the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, TV tuners, graphics cards, set top boxes, and Hi-Def Tvs. I'm not saying AMD should give up and sell out to someone, but you can't expect a company that has always been lagging to dominate. If you do, you're asking a company that has made it's whole business off of reverse engineering and copy-catting to dominate. Not going to happen. AMD would be wiser to turn that extra fab capacity into a manufacturing contract for another company, also they should focus more on design and sales of those designs (licensing) to turn a profit while incurring minimal costs. Those two moves would make them financially solvent again. As a company, that should be their only goal for the time being. Once that is accomplished, let them compete with Intel once again. If this doesn't happen, then pray to God that IBM or Nvidia steps up with a good CPU at a good price in the near future, or we may very well see "Celeron high-performance*** CPU with Hyper-B.S. and extremely poor onboard graphics! 20 cores you can't use at 10Ghz and 300Watts! Main memory shared with the video adapter to ensure your computer is slow! Now in the new HP Pavilion, pre-loaded with spyware! Only $500 at Wal-mart. You'll regret buying it, but you don't know it yet!" And wait, you want a decent CPU? That one costs $500 by itself - maybe if we had some competition it would be the normal $250, but AMD sucks again and we can charge what we want.

Seriously, I won't buy AMD, but I want them to get it together so that Intel CPU's aren't ridiculously expensive or poorly designed. I won't buy a Hyundai, but I do want them around so that GM and Toyota's prices are decent. Enough said.
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April 25, 2008 12:57:00 PM

VH1 i think you missed a whole generation of processor when you say the company made it's whole business off of reverse engineering and copy-catting to dominate. Please give respect where it's due. That's all i'm going to say.
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