Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Jun 2008 21:51 UTC, submitted by irbis
AMD AMD has seen a few serious setbacks lately, especially with their Barcelona server processor, but it seems as if the company is trying hard to get things back on track. The first step in solving an issue is acknowledging it exists in the first place, and AMD CEO Hector Ruiz did just that last December. "We blew it and we're very humbled by it and we learned from it and we're not going to do it again." Reseller Advocate Magazine asks, are you ready to believe him?
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I think AMD could to well by not chasing after making the fastest process money can buy. Make a solid line of cool CPUs that can run well with passive cooling and I think there should be money to be made there, even if they lose to Intel in the spec benchmarks on the high end.

Selling x86 chip with passive cooling has been Via's strategy. Their processor have long been known to run very cool, but they are also known to be rather slow since they optimize for low power rather then fast processing. Via's processors have been a hit in the embedded space, but haven't really caught on in the mainstream.

The new Nano line from Via should level the playing field, somewhat, as it's a more modern processor design. It's an "out of order" processor rather then then in order design of the current C3, EDAN, ColdFusion, and C7. It's similar to stepping up to a Pentium 3 from a Pentium 2.

Anyway, AMD has the Geode line to fill the low power embeddable x86 processor niche, and they need to compete in the high end to bring margins up. Price parity with Intel was the original reason AMD took the risks they did with the K7 and K8 cores to begin with. The bulk of the PC market may be in the midrange, $100-$200, but having the benchmark crown gives a halo effect to the rest of the product lines and gives the company bragging rights.

Reply Parent Score: 2

gan17 Member since:

Flatland Spider,

Well, you have a point. Some Ferrari fans who can't afford them buy Fiats because of the connection. Many people love Valentino Rossi, but end up buying a Fazer instead of Yamaha's flagship R1....

But most consumers purchase based on needs. They tend to buy what they want/need without caring about the cutting-edge, top of the line, halo products.

AMD have always been at a disadvantage compared to Intel - money wise. But they've also shot themselves in the foot quite a bit recently. Smaller companies succeed because they find room to maneuver in the marketplace and create/fill niches based on the current economic climate. Granted, AMD ain't 'small' but they can be more flexible than Intel because they have less to lose. Besides, wouldn't it be cheaper to focus your R&D on slightly slower, cooler CPUs than multicore performance-oriented beasts.

Try to recall the Honda story back in the 50s/60s. If you rode a bike (Harley, Triumph) then, you'd be branded a thug, renegade or junkie. Honda released it's cub which appealed to college students, housewives and even execs. It revolutionized the motorcycle market, but none of the buyer's back then knew of Honda's multiple Isle of Mann victories or they didn't care.

Just my 2 cents.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Flatland_Spider Member since:

Oddly enough, I cut out a bit about the Nissan GT-R being great for the sale of Sentras. ;)

Yeah, AMD really showed they were bush leaguers used to coming second. They found out it's easy to get the lead, but it's much harder to keep it.

I honestly don't know what the cost difference between designing a power miser and a performance beast would be. If they're just tweaking an old core for process shrinks, probably not that much, but if they're trying to increase the performance while being low power, I'd guess about the same. The only thing that would change would be the power budget in the latter process.

You have to wonder how much technology from those Isle of Mann TT victories filtered back to the Cub.

Reply Parent Score: 2