AMD CEO Rory Read is putting on the boxing gloves and preparing for a fight in 2012. It won't be done in the boxing ring, but in the consumer arena spanning desktops, laptops and tablets. His secret weapon seemingly won't be a right hook either, but a "thin and light" assault that will surely hit Intel beneath the belt.
Read used AMD's first analyst day since 2010 to present his challenge to contenders, revealing a focus on the fast-growing mobile computing segment. But you won't see AMD taking a dip in the smartphone pool. Oh no sir, that's too crowded as it is with Intel making its Medfield-based entry and ARM seemingly ruling the mobile market on the SoC level.
"We're going to double down on client and mobility," he said. "I'm not suggesting we dive into smartphones, a heavily crowded space with low margins. I'm going to focus on client mobility, thin and light."
Thin and light probably refers to the rumored "ultrathin" form factor we've heard about for several months. The move to push a new form factor seemingly indicates that AMD is still out to compete with Intel on some level, but a spokesman for AMD said back in November 2011 that the company is shifting away from competing with the long-time processor rival Intel. Instead, AMD will dump its competitive energies into its mobile assault, cloud computing, and entry-level offerings in developing countries.
"We're at an inflection point," said AMD spokesman Mike Silverman. "We will all need to let go of the old 'AMD versus Intel' mind-set, because it won't be about that anymore."
At the same time in a separate report, Read announced that he was slashing 10-percent of AMD's workforce to save about $20 million in annual operating costs. Presently AMD sits at around 19-percent of the overall processor market share, down from a 23-percent share in 2006. However the company doesn't plan to push the envelope with new technology in 2012. Instead AMD rather focus on improving its overall execution.
"We don't want to be on the bleeding edge of technology where we're leading in with our chin and we don't execute cleanly and that breaks down trust," he told analysts.
Reuters reports that Read gestured with his hands and delivered a presentation with the energy of a motivational speaker. He clearly seemed excited about the possibilities that 2012 will bring to the struggling chip manufacturer.