AMD Backing Out of CPU Speed Wars Against Intel

The company's CEO has taken AMD on a transitional path that appears to be more disruptive than any other event in the company's history, especially in light of the ongoing change in executive management. There is no interest at AMD to continue a processor war with Intel that has lasted decades, but only rewarded AMD with occasional superiority.

“That era is done,” Rory Read said in an interview and added, “There’s enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today.” Uh oh. Those quotes leave room for speculation that is significant enough to upset an entire loyal customer base of enthusiast users and may not have been the smartest choice of words.

It would be a bit premature to assume that AMD is not developing chips that are at least somewhat performance-competitive, but there is a clear shift in thinking that appears to be moving away from Intel being the focus to the building threat from ARM chip makers, including Nvidia. Instead of being focused on performance, AMD appears to be looking much more on cost and indirectly join a force that is building up against Intel - and especially against exclusionary marketing moves such as the Ultrabook pitch.

“I think we come in and steal the bacon around the whole thin-and-light movement and capture a significant portion of the opportunity there,” Read said.

Of course, he recognizes that AMD has to change as a whole and traditional weaknesses have to be addressed.

“It can be a very different AMD going forward, but we have a long way to go,” he said. “There’s been a passion for innovation but there needs to be a passion for delivery and a passion for the customers.”

That transformation may be done by 2015, according to Read. Given the executive changes we have seen in recent months, it is somewhat apparent that the old blood of AMD has been flushed out and replaced with a new way of thinking. Given the pace Read is driving AMD, the company may have already crossed a point of no return. It's going to be a new era for AMD and it will be interesting to see if it will have a chance to play for the market lead.

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    Top Comments
  • Fire that CEO.
    67
  • Hello intel monopoly
    58
  • He has a valid point. Why others cannot see the reason behind this baffles me.

    Yes, enthusiasts will suffer because the highest-end AMD chips won't be/is not competitive with Intel chips. But we enthusiasts represent a minority in the world PC market. AMD is an order of magnitude smaller than Intel is, and AMD simply does not have the R&D money it needs to develop a true contender against Intel architecture - in fact, it's amazing that AMD was able to take a lead for half a decade with their Athlon lineup.

    Instead of pursuing a bloody, costly speed war against Intel, AMD simply decided that focusing on the general consumer market - which represents a HUGE chunk of the world PC market - was the better choice. And this makes sense; normal PCs cost somewhere around $500-600. For every enthusiast PC sold the brick-and-mortar stores sell multiple of normal PCs.
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  • Other Comments
  • Hello intel monopoly
    58
  • Fire that CEO.
    67
  • Just shows how clueless the new guy is. IMHO, this will kill innovation at AMD, if not the company itself in due time. For me, though, it is too late. I went Intel after years of building AMD.

    His comments bring to mind those supposedly attributed to Bill Gates what were they? "Who would ever need more than 1K of RAM?"????
    40