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AMD rejects smartphone market

AMD rejects smartphone market

Thomas Seifert is temporarily in charge of AMD, after Dirk Meyer resigned last month.

AMD's temporary CEO Thomas Seifert has dismissed any rumours that AMD may be developing a chip for the smartphone market, categorically stating that the company is 'not developing a baseband [telephone] chip and this is a clear statement.'

According to PC Magazine, Seifert made the comment at the Goldman Sachs Internet and Technology Conference on Wednesday, during which he confirmed that AMD ‘has no plans to enter the smartphone space .

With AMD's management overhaul out of the way – previous CEO Dirk Meyer and two other board members have now left – Thomas Seifert has now stepped up as AMD's temporary CEO, and he used this first public appearance to outline a few of the company’s plans for 2011 and 2012.

As well as his comments about the smartphone market, Seifert also revealed that ‘AMD will transistion to Llano in the second quarter.’ Llano is AMD’s desktop APU - a new CPU design that incorporates a DirectX 11 GPU into the same piece of silicon. Interestingly, Seifert also claims that this chip architecture is ‘vastly superior' to Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs.

While Seifert discussed a demonstration of a quad-core Llano APU running at 1.8GHz, a representative from AMD told PC Mag that ‘Seifert did not mean to imply that that was the speed that Llano would run at.’ This is a shame, as a 1.8GHz processor that could match the epic performance of a 3GHz+ Sandy Bridge CPU really would be exciting. Either way, Seifert reportedly also confirmed that AMD is sampling its next-generation Bulldozer core now, with a view to shipping chips for consumer PCs in the early summer, with server chips arriving later in the summer.

According to Seifert, the server market is still very profitable, noting that it's important 'not to be distracted from where those opportunities are.’ As such, we can also expect AMD to push Bulldozer-based APUs for servers and workstations. As AMD seems keen to shed its brand names, these new APUs might not use the familiar Opteron name either.

Seifert also outlined AMD’s plans for tablets, the 2011 equivalent of the netbook craze, which some have suggested is the issue that resulted in Meyer's downfall. Seifert said that ‘usage models had shifted the market in favor of AMD, including 3D graphics and higher overall performance,’ which sounds encouraging. However, he tempered this by adding that ‘AMD's customers may prefer to wait until the second-generation APU products coming next year before AMD can address a significant amount of those form factors… But some tablet makers are buying AMD chips now.

Acer has announced the first Windows-based tablet using a Bobcat APU. However, as Acer also has Nvidia Tegra 2-powered Android tablets and Intel Core i5-powered Windows tablets, this seems to be part of an ‘all bases covered’ approach, rather than particular enthusiasm for AMD’s hardware.

Via The Tech Report's Pluto Day Shortbread.

Are you encouraged by AMD’s plans? Has the Sandy Bridge chipset flaw prompted you to wait until the Llano launch before upgrading? Let us know in the forums.

16 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Unicorn 18th February 2011, 14:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Seifert
not developing a baseband [telephone] chip because we can't compete with the manufacturers who supply Apple, Blackberry and Samsung with their mobile chips and this is costing us millions ...AMD couldn't successfully enter the smartphone space if they threw everything they had at it....’

Fixed that for you Thomas.

I'm not putting them down, I love AMD as a company and personally use, sell and recommend many of their products but I just don't see them even making a dent in the smartphone market. They're about 18 months (at the least?) too late to even think about trying it, which is a shame because if they had got their foot in the door they'd have provided a great product and made a lot of money on it, possibly even wiping Intels eye a little.

[edit]

Sorry, I just realized that the phrase "Wipe your eye" is primarily a Northern Irish expression. It means "to get the better of" or "upstage" ;)
Snips 18th February 2011, 15:37 Quote
"Has the Sandy Bridge chipset flaw prompted you to wait until the Llano launch before upgrading?"

Errrrr???? No

Tom Seafart "1 Chicken...2 Chickens.....3 Chickens.....4 Chickens.....wow this is easy"

His PA "But Tom, you're counting easter eggs!"

Tom Seafart "Yes I know damn it but by the time they hatch, I would have already resigned!"
blink 18th February 2011, 15:48 Quote
"Interestingly, Seifert also claims that this chip architecture is ‘vastly superior' to Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs. While Seifert discussed a demonstration of a quad-core Llano APU running at 1.8GHz, a representative from AMD told PC Mag that ‘Seifert did not mean to imply that that was the speed that Llano would run at.’ This is a shame, as a 1.8GHz processor that could match the epic performance of a 3GHz+ Sandy Bridge CPU really would be exciting."

What does this even mean then? What is vastly superior about it? Because there is not a reality that I can conceive of in which a 1.8GHz AMD APU can get anywhere close to a 3GHz+ Intel chip in terms of processing power. Are we talking about video superiority again? I am getting tired of waiting around for what I am becoming increasingly fearful will be another major let-down from AMD. They need to put out some numbers and in a hurry too or I am simply going to assume they are full of **** and move on. What speed are the chips going to run at and how does it compare? What is the power consumption going to be like, etc.? All of these grandiose proclamations are wearing thin.
Unicorn 18th February 2011, 17:14 Quote
Did you think Phenom X6 was a disappointment, or are you referring to an earlier architecture?
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 18th February 2011, 17:32 Quote
AMD should concentrate on what they are doing now, and concentrate a little harder. Even with the bad Sandy Bridge chipsets I have Zero interest in Bulldozer. AMD makes a great product at a great price but when it comes to wanting the best, AMD can't compete with Intel.
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 18th February 2011, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn
Did you think Phenom X6 was a disappointment, or are you referring to an earlier architecture?

Yes I think it's a disappointment. It's still second fiddle to the age old Core i7 920 and even a Core i5 can surpass it in a lot of test. Overclocking performance? The X6 can't keep up. Now on the other hand it does an awesome job for a great price but if you own a Core i5 i7 or a AMD x4 965 then you never needed to upgrade.
dicobalt 18th February 2011, 18:08 Quote
Llano superior to Sandy Bridge? He probably means the GPU portion is superior. I wouldn't place any bets that the CPU portion of Llano is faster than Sandy Bridge. Honestly if I want a real GPU I will use a discreet chip, integrated graphics always have and always will suck in comparison.
frontline 18th February 2011, 19:10 Quote
I guess that being an interim CEO gives you the opportunity to say what you want without worrying about any repercussions!

Personally, i think that AMD have got enough irons in the fire aimed at various markets for them not to have to get involved with yet another market that they would be starting from scratch on. It makes sense for them to concentrate on the low power Netbook/Ultra-portable sector, the server market and then home PC's.

I see their new ad campaign has a less than subtle dig at Sandy Bridge's chipset woes

http://sites.amd.com/us/promo/sub/Pages/ready-willing-stable.aspx

I should get an annual bonus of some sort at the end of March, so if a fixed Sandy Bridge is out by then, i may well be tempted by an upgrade.
Xyllian 18th February 2011, 19:17 Quote
Amd should add this to the ad:

AMD INTEL
Working chipset YES NO

Just to throw a punch at Intel ^^
bobwya 18th February 2011, 22:21 Quote
What does this even mean then? What is vastly superior about it? Because there is not a reality that I can conceive of in which a 1.8GHz AMD APU can get anywhere close to a 3GHz+ Intel chip in terms of processing power. ...[/QUOTE]

3.0 Ghz P4 (northwood) vs 1.8 Ghz Llano II (4-core) - AMD wins in current (cough) simulation runs :-)
mattbailey 19th February 2011, 00:29 Quote
AMd need be realistic - you can power my calculator.......
l3v1ck 19th February 2011, 05:01 Quote
This statement from AMD makes perfect sense to me.
If they wanted to get into smart phones, they have to:

A) Design their own architecture from scratch - Very very expensive, with no guarentee it would be more powerful/power efficient than ARM.
or

B) License ARM and build their chips, a bit like Nvidia has - But then AMD spun off all it's manufacturing plants as Global Founderies. It can't make them itself. Why would they waste money slapping an AMD logo on an ARM designed chip (that's manufactured by somebody) else when the market is already floded with ARM chips?
Turbotab 19th February 2011, 18:25 Quote
These higher-end APUs are going to be almost pointless, too weak graphically for HD level - AA enabled gaming, where a discrete card will still be needed, yet complete overkill for flash acceleration / media encoding, at which Intel's quicksync already does a good job.

Now the low power Bobcat, that is a different ballgame. One of those in a netbook, with a 720p screen would be funky. Just a shame that it's 2011 not 2009 and everybody wants a tablet / uberphone for mobile computing.
McSteel 20th February 2011, 02:28 Quote
I'm usually able to be a smartass and claim how I'd do this and that differently, thus making <company or brand> much better and hugely successful... In AMD's case, no matter how much money and freedom in decision making they gave me, I just can't see how I could help them pull out of continual failing. They have managed to accumulate around 2 years of lag, and that's ETERNITY in IT, for all intents and purposes. This, of course, goes for their CPU business. Their GPU division might have a fight on their hands right now, but their sales are steady, and their team competent, so all is well...
The_Beast 20th February 2011, 08:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
AMD should concentrate on what they are doing now, and concentrate a little harder. Even with the bad Sandy Bridge chipsets I have Zero interest in Bulldozer. AMD makes a great product at a great price but when it comes to wanting the best, AMD can't compete with Intel.

Even with the sandy bridge error, I'm still looking to upgrade to a SB system rather than a AMD system
beholder143 21st February 2011, 17:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
Llano superior to Sandy Bridge? He probably means the GPU portion is superior. I wouldn't place any bets that the CPU portion of Llano is faster than Sandy Bridge. Honestly if I want a real GPU I will use a discreet chip, integrated graphics always have and always will suck in comparison.

I am fairly sure he was referring to the GPU portion.
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