AMD Not Looking to Wrestle ARM (Maybe Later)

The smartphone CPU market is one of the fastest growing in the industry, but AMD with all its processor expertise doesn't seem interested in targeting that segment just yet.

AMD CEO Dirk Meyer was asked by Fortune Magazine if the company will compete with ARM.

Meyer replied, "I don't foresee that day coming in the near term, and I'll tell you why. First of all, when we consider which areas to approach, we look at markets, we look at the technology capabilities we have, and we try to find an intersection point that really represents really big opportunities. As I've said, by far the biggest business opportunity we've got is in PCs and servers.

"The market for silicon processing content is bigger than the smartphone market and is going to grow, in revenue terms, frankly faster than the smartphone market. And the other thing we really like about our core market is that there aren't that many competitors versus the cell phone market, where you've got Qualcomm is the big guy, Broadcom getting into the business and a lot of other incumbents that are already scrambling for shares. I'd rather focus on the big market, where there's a small number of competitors."

The main competitors against AMD are Intel and Nvidia. Both Intel and Nvidia are already going after the smartphone market, with the latter pushing its Tegra technology and the former adapting its Atom for smartphone applications. In fact, Intel has already started efforts to make its x86 offering competitive on a power consumption level against the ARM CPUs.

That doesn’t mean, however, that AMD is going to ignore the smartphone market.

"Having said that, I don't think we can ignore in the long term what's going on with mobility, the fact that people's eyeballs are spending more time in front of things like tablets and smartphones," Meyer added. "And we are ensuring that we are developing the technology that will, over time, address these markets. It's not a 'not-ever,' it's just a 'not now' statement."

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • AMD can compete with ARM designs
  • Makes sense they don't have the time or money to invest into this right now. Any company that diversifies too much ends up loosing. Sometimes it's not good to have a company that does "EVERYTHING." I love AMD and hope this choice works out for the best.
  • Parsian
    It would be nice for them to get into it in near future... Especially when, they can implement their CPU+GPU solution on tablet/netbook/smartphone market.

    In any case, GO AMD!!!
  • eyefinity
    ARM owns intel at smartphones up, AMD owns intel from Bulldozer down.

    Hopefully that will make a tasty sh1t sandwich.
  • matt87_50
    lol, where the hell is the "ARM Wrestle" pun?

    the main reason I look at news is for the puns!
  • lauxenburg
    ARM, Atmel, and AMD are my three favorite companies in the world. Notice they all start with "A". =D
  • kancaras
    amd is just hidding sth here. maybe ontario will meet smartphone spec reqs. well at least they will shake notebooks market
  • ares1214
    AMD, compete on a full lineup with intel in desktops (clock for clock), then expand. First servers, then mobile, then ultra mobile.
  • Kelavarus
    I notice AMD says their main business opportunities are PCs and Servers. While technically Apple makes PCs, Apple has also done as much as possible to try and separate itself from the term 'PC' (See commercials). Is this a hint by AMD that the possibility of an Apple deal went south?
  • eklipz330
    otacon72AMD needs to compete with intel first. They haven't done a good job of that in a long time. Thumb me down all you want...truth hurts.what? they've been doling out competition for years, and where they fail at performance, they make up with pricing.