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AMD working to be tech's 3rd big comeback

AMD working to be tech's 3rd big comeback

Is Roy Taylor right, will AMD big the next big tech comeback?

Roy Taylor, corporate vice president worldwide component channel sales for AMD, has claimed AMD may be the 3rd big comeback in the history of tech.

Taylor, who recently left his long-time role at major AMD rival Nvidia, told Bit-Tech how he sees AMD following in the footsteps of IBM and Apple, rising to eventually become a much more powerful player in the technology sector over the next few years.

While AMD hasn't seen the sort of rapid decline in recent years that the likes of BlackBerry have suffered, it has long struggled to recover from its downturn in fortunes following the introduction of rival Intel's Core architecture back in 2006, despite some success with its GPU division - formerly ATI.

But, thinks Taylor, with the company's new generation of APUs (a CPU and GPU combined on one chip), it is well set for the future. A large part of this will be driven by AMD having secured deals with Nintendo and Sony to have its APUs in the Wii U and PS4 (and it's long rumoured the upcoming new Xbox will also feature an AMD chip). With these processors in place there is significant incentive for developers to work hard on making their games and apps run well on AMD hardware, which in turn may drive uptake of AMD APUs, CPUs and GPUs in other sectors of the market.

Also AMD is keen to point out its Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) strategy will make a significant impact when it arrives at the tail end of this year. HSA takes the concept of a fast serial processor (the traditional CPU) and a fast parallel processor (the traditional GPU) being merged on one chip (as on an APU) and moves it to the next level. The two blocks share the same memory, making for much more efficient use of both time (so the processor is faster) and power: in a recent white paper the company claimed a 2.3x performance increase and a 2.4x power reduction over an equivalent traditional APU. HSA should also be easier to program because of this simpler interaction.

To push home its point about APUs, AMD considers itself not a sole player in the APU market but that all manufacturers that produce processors that include a CPU and a GPU element are producing APUs too. In other words, Intel is in the APU game as well. When considered in this light, and taking into account the number of programs that now benefit from parallel processing, AMD considers its chips to be the superior investment.

The picture isn't as clear as this, though, as the APU approach is only applicable to those systems that don't require the extra horsepower of a separate GPU. So for performance PCs, the tactic is still very much one of getting the fastest separate CPU and GPU. Likewise, AMD has long struggled to compete when it comes to power consumption on its APUs so hasn't yet been able to gain a significant foothold in the ever growing laptop market. No doubt it is here that the upcoming HSA processors will have to make the largest impact for Roy Taylors predictions to come true.

Will Taylor's predictions come true? Will AMD hit the big time over the coming years? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

39 Comments

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Griffter 5th April 2013, 16:22 Quote
wonder if almost all next gen consoles is powered by them has anything to do with his statement...
dr-strangelove 5th April 2013, 16:28 Quote
If the next gen consoles are all going to be powered by AMD chips then that's a huge win for AMD - assuming the next generation sells anything like the current gen
Mankz 5th April 2013, 16:42 Quote
AMD chips aren't 'bad'.. they just aren't as good at high-end.

For what it does, FM2 is awesome.
rollo 5th April 2013, 16:54 Quote
Servers are where the cash is in today's hardware IT market and in that market AMD have 8% market share ARM are close to pulling ahead of them in that market.

Whilst intel hold a dominant 80% with its Xeon branded hardware.

The consumer desktop is a market that will struggle to get back what it once was.

Ps4 new Xbox and wii are great but last I checked its all licenced out AMD don't actually make the CPU or Gpu for Sony or Nintendo at the moment. It's been made at tmsc last I checked using sourced out licences to Sony and Nintendo.

The Ps3 despite 70mil unit sales has made nvidia less than £100million according to there financial reports, despite having both gpus over the course of its existance.

Which is basically peanuts so even if it gets 200mil unit sales we are still just talking licence money for AMD.

AMD need to win back there server market share which was around 35% 2 years back and it will take them back into the black.
aLtikal 5th April 2013, 16:54 Quote
APU's will always be in competing with discrete powerful CPU's and GPU's. Games and film CGI will always push the boundaries of graphics and because of this the discrete market will always be around, but it won't expand as much as the APU market where the need for small, moderately powerfull and low power-consumption devices will boom. Consoles are heading that way. Power efficiencies are getting better. Basically small affordable consumer electronic devices will all be using APU's. And the market for that is bigger than the high-end need for separate CPU and GPU.
runadumb 5th April 2013, 16:55 Quote
I'm very interested in seeing how kaveri competes with the ps4 in terms of performance.
Will the fact the ps4 is fixed hardware without all the levels of abstraction (I keep hearing about) between hardware and software mean it won't even be close?
Or can we the PC side finally have a simple, cheap 1 chip solution that can run in a well priced HTPC that compares well with the new consoles.

Having played uncharted 3 on the ps3 recently and having my jaw drop many times at just how god damn good it looked on my ancient ps3 I fear its the former. But then we've never had hardware so close for a good comparison.

Bring on the battlefield 4 benchmarks!
jrs77 5th April 2013, 17:00 Quote
AMD can't compete with intel clock for clock, but the aquisition of ATi gave them more options.

The one thing AMD needs to get right is the performance for office and media, and in that case they actually don't look that bad, especially when they can sell their parts for less still making a profit.

However, ARM has entered the stage and is competing in the office and media segment now aswell, being even cheaper and lower powered than AMD.

In the future AMD will have to provide excellent mobile parts, which are going to eradicate office and media desktops or they have to offerbetter performance than intel for the big desktop ment for gaming or work. Otherwise they won't see a comeback I'm afraid of.
All they've got left is the GPUs-segment, which they cleverly aquired from ATi.
bowman 5th April 2013, 17:04 Quote
Riiight.

The same company that's releasing chips with a clock frequency said chips can't actually sustain under load. Liars, in other words.

AMD, what happened to you guys? You used to be the honest, nice ones.
Narishma 5th April 2013, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
I'm very interested in seeing how kaveri competes with the ps4 in terms of performance.
Will the fact the ps4 is fixed hardware without all the levels of abstraction (I keep hearing about) between hardware and software mean it won't even be close?
Or can we the PC side finally have a simple, cheap 1 chip solution that can run in a well priced HTPC that compares well with the new consoles.

Having played uncharted 3 on the ps3 recently and having my jaw drop many times at just how god damn good it looked on my ancient ps3 I fear its the former. But then we've never had hardware so close for a good comparison.

Bring on the battlefield 4 benchmarks!

There's not current or upcoming APU that we know of that's anywhere close to the PS4's APU in terms of GPU performance. There are also no current or upcoming APUs with the amount of memory bandwidth the PS4 has.
adidan 5th April 2013, 17:38 Quote
Is it just me getting 'Page not found' on the clicky?
alfizzle 5th April 2013, 17:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Is it just me getting 'Page not found' on the clicky?

Same for me here!?
Christopher N. Lew 5th April 2013, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Is it just me getting 'Page not found' on the clicky?

No, me too.
YEHBABY 5th April 2013, 17:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Is it just me getting 'Page not found' on the clicky?

Me too
Meanmotion 5th April 2013, 20:11 Quote
Sorry folks. Had to sort out some wording issues with AMD.
Harlequin 5th April 2013, 20:39 Quote
and if you slander a company your not anonymous on the internet ;)

rollo - NVidia made sod all money because they were also taking on the fabbing of the parts , whereas AMD are just licensing them
fluxtatic 6th April 2013, 09:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin

rollo - NVidia made sod all money because they were also taking on the fabbing of the parts , whereas AMD are just licensing them

I might be mistaken, but I'm fairly sure NVidia is fabless, as well. I think TSMC is their usual fab. Also, I think we're pretty much down to TSMC, Global Foundries, Samsung, and Intel. Intel doesn't take contract work (yet), and I don't think Samsung does, either (god knows they can keep themselves busy enough, even though they don't even use Exynos in all their own products.)

Even with high volumes, console parts aren't high margin - likely because MS, Sony, and Nintendo know how to drive a hard bargain and write favorable contracts. And it's license money with either AMD or NVidia, since they're both fabless.

Intel makes money hand over fist in the enterprise sector - margins there are comparatively huge. Which is funny given how tight-fisted most companies I'm aware of are when it comes to IT. But, it's apparently always been that way, even when AMD had a decent chunk of the market. Not suggesting collusion or price-fixing, just that there was never a race to the bottom like there has always been in consumer hardware. AMD slipping in servers hit them hard, too - they'd be all right with crap margin and volume on the consumer side if Intel wasn't crushing them in enterprise, too. Hard to plow money into R&D when they don't have enough coming in from anywhere.

I think Taylor's putting on a happy face for everyone, maybe even himself included. He'll feel pretty stupid if he jumped ship from NVidia onto a ship that's about to sink...especially given how ugly it ended between himself and NVidia. As an AMD die-hard, I hope he's right (although I thought HSA was already out...or are they playing musical chairs with their terminology again?)
rollo 6th April 2013, 09:14 Quote
Samsung does do contract work they have been Apples Chip supplier for god knows how long.

Intel will likely become Apples new chip supplier if the rumours are true.
Harlequin 6th April 2013, 10:46 Quote
yes NV is fabless , but IIRC the deal they had to supply chips not just license making of them
David164v8 6th April 2013, 13:04 Quote
Well, he would say that wouldn't he?
Lenderz 6th April 2013, 13:34 Quote
Why the negativity? I hope they make it, its better for everyone the more players we have in this space, the more competitive it is the better the toys we get to have are.
NethLyn 6th April 2013, 14:06 Quote
Finally got rid of the last single core PC in the family and at a low budget, see my Sig, £47 for a Triple Core Athlon met the budget and let me put 8Gigs of RAM into the final build. Have bought AMD since the days of the K6-2, sticking with AMD until the bitter end, and if I can't put socket FM1 chips into Socket FM2 boards, then the mobo also cost less than 40 quid and doesn't feel like wasted cash.

Whilst they left the Phenom II X4 965 out there for 70 quid They're certainly guilty of not pimping the value side of their CPUs and they must realise their mistake as the CPU brand has returned to the retail box packaging to explain exactly what you bought.
Snips 6th April 2013, 20:30 Quote
Can we ask him to resign if we get to call BS in a years time? He's obviously jumped ship and instantly caught the AMD PR departments BS'itus.

Same ol' AMD, we don't want drum banging statements, we want a competitive market with actual competitive companies and products. Sadly, AMD has given us nothing competitive for nearly 10 years now. Why all of a sudden would it become the richest and most successful companies in the history of this industry?
Harlequin 6th April 2013, 21:21 Quote
erm did FM2 completely miss you or something?
littlepuppi 6th April 2013, 22:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Servers are where the cash is in today's hardware IT market and in that market AMD have 8% market share ARM are close to pulling ahead of them in that market.

Whilst intel hold a dominant 80% with its Xeon branded hardware.

The consumer desktop is a market that will struggle to get back what it once was.

Ps4 new Xbox and wii are great but last I checked its all licenced out AMD don't actually make the CPU or Gpu for Sony or Nintendo at the moment. It's been made at tmsc last I checked using sourced out licences to Sony and Nintendo.

The Ps3 despite 70mil unit sales has made nvidia less than £100million according to there financial reports, despite having both gpus over the course of its existance.

Which is basically peanuts so even if it gets 200mil unit sales we are still just talking licence money for AMD.

AMD need to win back there server market share which was around 35% 2 years back and it will take them back into the black.

Its not all about raw money terms. If amd gets its hw into all the consoles it will be a huge advantage going forward as more games are optimised for amd gcn....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
rollo 7th April 2013, 10:13 Quote
AMD need cash to survive thats the end of the discussion as far as thats concerned.

if they lose the same as they did this year AMD Are bankrupt thats a fact not made up. They would already be bankrupt if it was not for the $1bil that Intel give them.

If there Q1 Financials dont read a profit then they are ripe for a buyout from most likely Samsung / Apple who will use there graphics patents. The company is worth peanuts in todays market considering its debt levels and cash in hand its probably bearly worth what it has in cash ( around $1bil)

They have already been selling assets to try and get there figures into the black for q1 that worrys me even more than them just admiting they lost money. Big companies are looking at the ATI side of the business ( as it was once called) and wondering how much it would take to buy it off AMDs hands. If they lose cash in q1 the answer could be very little.

They are running out of stuff to sell and need a major win in the Server market and its needs to be this year.

Optimised games are great going forward but we are talking early 2014 for a uk ps4 launch ( November 2013 for USA and jap ) add on a year before they really know the platform and we could be talking early 2015 before we see multi threaded games that benifit AMDs core hardware.

AMD just wont last that long without making some money or selling something.

AMD and Intels core business has shrank by around 200mil unit sales in the last 2 years ( desktop computer sales) Intel moved onto servers to counter the downterm, AMD tried GPUs with buying ATI. The GPU side of AMDs business is around 2bil below break even if you count what they paid.

I want them to survive but i dont think they will, Nothing they have shown to me says we are going to be here in 2 years time.

The WII U has hardly been a sales success its just as concievable that the ps4 and new xbox could disapoint sales wise.
Harlequin 7th April 2013, 10:20 Quote
nah the PS4 and Xbox next are very anticipated - the `pre launch` chat for the WiiU was it was under powered - with publishers leaving the platform (EA as an example) then Nintendo either have to make an amazing sales pitch , or its left with what I can knock out itself.


IMO the PS4 will be the big win (spec wise) and AMD learnt from NVidia and are licensing and not selling the parts.


Q4 they actually performed better than expected , 14 cents per share loss , vs 20 as predicted. this quarter is expected to be a loss , but back to the level last year @ 4 cents a share (predictions are 8 to 12)

with profitability in Q3.


lots of talk about AMD needing an ARM product by H2 - and getting out of high end desktop , but server side is being to make sense as software comes online to support the pipeline
littlepuppi 7th April 2013, 15:57 Quote
They will survive in some form or another, the x86 license is worth many billions... All it takes is for them to go into chapter 11, and be "rescued" and they will likely be a debt free entity. AMD are going nowhere..

The console presence will give them scale which WILL help them lower their costs even if they dont "make" tons of $$$ from it... One swallow doesn't make a summer and all that, but I for one will be shocked if AMD are not around in the months and years to come.
Xir 8th April 2013, 06:59 Quote
Quote:
While AMD hasn't seen the sort of rapid decline in recent years that the likes of BlackBerry have suffered...
Well, looking at their stock...I don't agree.
Snips 8th April 2013, 09:05 Quote
Haven't they had console presence already? What's that done for them? oh yeah, record losses year after year.
Harlequin 8th April 2013, 09:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Haven't they had console presence already? What's that done for them? oh yeah, record losses year after year.

so you would prefer just 1 company in desktop charging what they like? intel mid range will be over £200 for the cpu alone with haswell.
Kovoet 8th April 2013, 09:07 Quote
Can you imagine no AMD. The prices of nvidia and Intel will shoot sky high as if nvidia don't try that already but with no competition is going to be crazy
I for one rated there 7970 cards and still have one. Ati gpu's reputation got ruined with the 2000 and 3000 series unfortunately
DbD 8th April 2013, 09:19 Quote
rollo is nvidia's biggest fanboy so he will be negative...

That said AMD is hardly looking great right now - other then the console wins they don't have much to shout about, and their debt levels and the terrible deal they have with GF limit what they can do about it. Unlike Apple they don't have a Steve Jobs - it's more likely they'll turn into the next VIA then the next Apple.
Snips 8th April 2013, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Haven't they had console presence already? What's that done for them? oh yeah, record losses year after year.

so you would prefer just 1 company in desktop charging what they like? intel mid range will be over £200 for the cpu alone with haswell.

so you would prefer AMD in it's current guise?
rollo 8th April 2013, 12:21 Quote
Couldnt care for AMD in its current Guise that is correct, But im not an nvidia fanboy lol own several AMD cards and would easily recommend some of there cards to people who are in the budget ranges they fall into.

I just bother to read the financial pages of said companies and relise how badly AMD is off right now compared to most who just assume they are struggling without really looking at how badly they are struggling.

The sad fact is AMD would not exist already if Intel did not give them 1 billion dollars last year.

If AMD go bankrupt someone will buy them out and use there x86 licence so there wont be online one chip supplier. GPU wise is a different story id imagine Samsung or Apple looking at the patents they own and considering it but the problem is niether is likely to want to take on there GPU devision for there own usage.

AMD been fabless is also a major drawback for potential buyers who have to rely on others to make there chips tsmc been the big player in this area.
Xir 8th April 2013, 15:28 Quote
If somebody wanted to buy them out, it could have happened a long time ago.
The Stock's been dragging along for years, the financial review of the last decade makes you wonder why they still exist at all.
Still, I'm happy they're there, if only to keep pricing down.
Also, Pentium 4 and Itanium showed us that Intel will not correct mistakes of it's own.
Snips 8th April 2013, 20:41 Quote
How long ago was that again?
Xir 9th April 2013, 13:02 Quote
Ages, that's why I'm afraid intel might turn lazy and arrogant again.
Shirty 9th April 2013, 14:34 Quote
If AMD released a processor that was within a few percent of Intel's gaming performance and efficiency at the same price point, I'd jump back across to the Red team for the first time since I bought a 2400+ just to show my support for the underdog.
Harlequin 9th April 2013, 15:44 Quote
Quote:
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