"The 'Llano' processor that AMD described today in an ISSCC session is not a CPU, and it's not a GPU - instead, it's a hybrid design that the chipmaker is calling an 'application processor unit', or APU. Whatever you call it, it could well give Intel a run for its money in the laptop market, by combining a full DX11-compatible GPU with four out-of-order CPU cores on a single, 32nm processor die."
AMD has reached profitability for the first time in three years during the fourth quarter of 2009, benefiting from a legal settlement with Intel and a change in its business model. The company reported net income of USD 1.18 billion during the quarter that ended on Dec. 26, an improvement over the loss of USD 1.44 billion it reported in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company reported diluted earnings per share of USD 1.52.
"AMD has announced the release of the first OpenCL SDK for x86 CPUs, and it will enable developers to target x86 processors with the kind of OpenCL code that's normally written for GPUs. In a way, this is a reverse of the normal 'GPGPU' trend, in which programs that run on a CPU are modified to run in whole or in part on a GPU."
Recently, AMD spun off its manufacturing business in a partnership with the Abu Dhabi government into Global Foundries. Apparently, Intel isn't very happy about this, and has said in correspondence to AMD that the patent cross-license agreement from 2001 has now been broken by AMD.
AMD recently said that they'd be starting onto the 32nm track, beginning production around the fourth quarter of 2010. Intel, on the other hand, has already demonstrated some of its prototypes and will be rolling these babies out to the public come the fourth quarter of-- ah-- this year. AMD isn't manufacturing these chips, however, and is instead laying the load on the newborn Foundry Company, which was created with the help of AMD out of ATI.
With Intel's Core i7 and Nehalem processors being out and about; Intel's "next-gen" processors are already here today. AMD hasn't been sitting still, and launched the Phenom II earlier this year. Ars decided to take a look at how the competition will go this year, and overclocked a Phenom II to 4.2Ghz, and benchmarked it against Intel's latest and greatest.
"The ink is barely dry on AMD's Socket AM2 Phenom II launch, but Sunnyvale is making up for lost time when it comes to debuting new products. On Monday, February 9, the CPU manufacturer released a total of five new Phenom II-class processors, all of which are classified as Socket AM3 parts. Unlike Socket AM2 chips, which are only compatible with DDR2 memory, Socket AM3 CPUs can use either RAM standard and drop neatly into either motherboard. The backwards-compatibility of Socket AM3 chips should make them quite attractive to anyone upgrading an older Athlon 64 X2 or even a Phenom part; AMD's Phenom II (aka Deneb) offers a number of significant performance and thermal improvements over the ill-fated Phenom I. Remember that backward compatibility only goes one direction - AM2+ processors will not work in AM3 boards."
AMD has no replacement planned for the aging Geode low-power chip, creating uncertainty for its use in products like future XO laptops made by One Laptop Per Child. Comments by AMD executives end speculation about the future of Geode, an integrated chip used in netbooks like OLPC's XO laptop, ultramobile PCs and devices like set-top boxes.
AMD continues to shed assets in advance of its January 22nd earnings announcement: first it was employees, and now it is mobile graphics technology. AMD announced Tuesday that it's selling its handheld GPU technology, along with some of the handheld unit's employees, to Qualcomm for $65 million.
Since earlier this year we have been waiting for AMD to release documentation and/or code on the ATI R600 series concerning 3D acceleration so that the open-source Linux drivers can begin to support the newer ATI graphics processors. It has taken longer than expected for AMD to complete and release this information, but it's now available. AMD has released the fundamental Linux code needed to begin fostering the development of an open-source R600 3D driver. Furthermore, this code also concerns the latest R700 series of graphics processors! The microcode for the newest GPUs has also been released.
AMD finally fleshed out the "Asset Smart" strategy it has been talking about since, at least, last December. The result: AMD is now fabless.
AMD plans to spin off its chip manufacturing operations by year's end, probably by hawking them outright or by inking a partnership with a larger chipmaker -- a maneuver akin to selling a house and leasing it back. Meyer is vague on the exact timing of a deal, but he knows it's probably the best thing the company can do quickly to improve its financial position, and its reputation with investors. A successful transaction would see AMD pocket a good chunk of cash, while handing manufacturing to a company that can better keep pace with Intel's world-class operations.
"AMD's plan to integrate a CPU and GPU on a single chip, codenamed Fusion, has been a hot topic since the CPU manufacturer first announced it planned to purchase ATI. AMD hasn't had much to say about Fusion lately, beyond confirming that the project exists and is still in development, but new rumors have surfaced over what form Fusion might take when it surfaces in 2009."
The CEO of chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is stepping down. Hector Ruiz had been just the second person to lead AMD after company founder Jerry Sanders. He'll be replaced by the chip maker's No. 2 executive, Dirk Meyer.
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?
Back in the day when PCs were first moving into households, they came in big, clunky desktop form factor machines, with a beige colour, built like a brick. Later on, for some inexplicable reason, the world decided to move to tower configurations - more stuff could be stuffed inside, yes, but I considered them to be impractical and always in the way. These days, people just buy laptops and be done with it. This has a few disadvantages, one of them being the lack of graphical grunt in many laptops, combined with the inability to upgrade the graphics hardware. AMD believes it has a solution.
AMD had a bit of a setback with their Barcelona server processor, the company seems to have moved on. During a conference call today, the company laid out its plans for the server space for the coming years, putting 6 and 12 core processors on the horizon.
"For the past several weeks we have been referencing AMD's 'tcore' in several of our articles, which is a user-space software suite that has been developed and used internally at ATI by engineers to work on various aspects of their binary drivers. Tcore is primarily used for testing prior to the availability of the actual silicon for their forthcoming graphics processors. John Bridgman and Alex Deucher have been working tediously to get this tcore source-code sanitized and cleared for public release, and finally they have reached this milestone. AMD has just published the first bits of open-source 3D programming documentation for ATI GPUs. This 3D programming documentation covers the R500 series and even goes back with information on the R300/400 series as well. The R600 3D programming guide will also be out soon. This information available today is what will foster the growth of open-source R500/600 3D support for the Radeon and RadeonHD drivers as well as R600 2D acceleration."
"AMD is on the heels of releasing the next set of GPU programming documentation to aide in the development of the open-source R500/600 drivers (xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-radeonhd). It's already been discussed what this NDA-free documentation release will have, but one of the questions that have repeatedly come up is if/when AMD will release information on accelerated video playback. AMD's John Bridgman has now stated what they plan to release in the video realm as well as a new requirement for their future graphics processors: being open-source friendly while avoiding DRM."
AnandTech takes a look at AMD's new Phenom. "If you were looking for a changing of the guard today it's just not going to happen. Phenom is, clock for clock, slower than Core 2 and the chips aren't yet yielding well enough to boost clock speeds above what Intel is capable of. While AMD just introduced its first 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz quad-core CPUs today, Intel previewed its first 3.2GHz quad-core chips. We were expecting Intel to retain the high end performance crown, but also expected AMD to chip away at the lower end of the quad-core market - today's launch confirms that Intel is still the king of the quad-core market."