Wednesday, November 30th 2011

AMD Still Committed To x86 - But Not In High End Desktop

Further to our article yesterday, that AMD was to give up competing with Intel, they have now made a statement which semi-clarifies their future strategy. AMD told The Verge, that they are still committed to x86, but have decided to concentrate on low power, emerging markets and the cloud:
AMD is a leader in x86 microprocessor design, and we remain committed to the x86 market. Our strategy is to accelerate our growth by taking advantage of our design capabilities to deliver a breadth of products that best align with broader industry shifts toward low power, emerging markets and the cloud.
This sounds very much like they are giving up competing with Intel in the high-end x86 CPU market, but will instead compete with the likes of ARM, NVIDIA, TI and Intel in the low power market. It doesn't seem like a good strategy however, not least because getting the power use levels of an x86 CPU right down to ARM levels and still have some semblance of performance seems to be an unachievable aim, as Intel has already found out. The problem is that the ancient and complex x86 instruction set dating from the late 1970s, requires complex decode logic and a bigger chip (more transistors) to implement. It also isn't very fast, which is why all the various "turbocharging" technologies and enhancements have had to be applied to it over the years to bring us the fast CPUs we see today. These are all very expensive on transistor budget, power and require a high clock speed. The fact that all modern x86 CPUs are actually hybrid x86 (32-bit) & x64 (64-bit) machines adds an order of magnitude to the problem, as they're almost two CPUs in one. Time will tell whether AMD were right to go down this road.
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87 Comments on AMD Still Committed To x86 - But Not In High End Desktop

#1
Jizzler
It's not that bad of a strategy.

Going to spend as much on the Intel upgrade for myself as I will for the AMD Trinity machines for my little users.
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#2
v12dock
no doubt the brazos is awesome and APUs are awesome, but will Intel run rampant with pricing if AMD drops out of high end.
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#3
Paulieg
The Mad Moderator
by: v12dock
no doubt the brazos is awesome and APUs are awesome, but will Intel run rampant with pricing if AMD drops out of high end.
Yes, price would run rampant. Let's hope they don't bail completely on enthusiast chips. That will be bad for consumers, period.
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#4
Super XP
by: v12dock
no doubt the brazos is awesome and APUs are awesome, but will Intel run rampant with pricing if AMD drops out of high end.
YES :cry:
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#6
entropy13
by: v12dock
no doubt the brazos is awesome and APUs are awesome, but will Intel run rampant with pricing if AMD drops out of high end.
How can AMD "drop out of high end" if they weren't even there NOW? :laugh:
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#7
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Paulieg
Yes, price would run rampant. Let's hope they don't bail completely on enthusiast chips. That will be bad for consumers, period.
Indeed, it will be a disaster.
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#8
Paulieg
The Mad Moderator
by: entropy13
How can AMD "drop out of high end" if they weren't even there NOW? :laugh:
Well, you can laugh now, but when you see Intel chips go up 50-60% at every price point, you'll be...:banghead::cry: I know I will, and I'm more or less neutral with Intel and AMD...but I want to be able to still afford enthusiast hardware.
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#9
1c3d0g
AMD is a leader in x86 microprocessor design...
Uhm...no. Intel is a leader in x86 microprocessor design, AMD is just a distant runner-up. They always have been. AMD should stick to making low-power and efficient architectures and better graphics processors, which is where they're competitive. Forget Opteron, forget Bulldozer/Piledriver or whatever else architecture is coming down the pipeline. And forget DRAM modules too, that's a low-margin, cut-throat business that even Samsung, Micron, Hynix and other established players are having a hard time with.

It's time to make money before the ship sinks. :(
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#10
entropy13
by: Paulieg
Well, you can laugh now, but when you see Intel chips go up 50-60% at every price point, you'll be...:banghead::cry: I know I will, and I'm more or less neutral with Intel and AMD...but I want to be able to still afford enthusiast hardware.
Shouldn't that have happened already, since none of the Phenoms were in the high-end pricepoints to begin with, i.e. sharing "space" with Nehalem?
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#11
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: entropy13
Shouldn't that have happened already, since none of the Phenoms were in the high-end pricepoints to begin with, i.e. sharing "space" with Nehalem?
I would say that they still had enough performance to keep Intel at bay, since they could still be put to all the same uses as an Intel chip, especially including things like 3D gaming and video encoding. This allowed users to decide between AMD budget CPUs or Intel performance CPUs.

Now, AMD CPUs will no longer be able to be put to all the same uses, as they're gonna have the comparable performance of an Atom, therefore, there's gonna be no competition at all from Intel and they'll have that monopoly that they've so long lusted after. This is bad, really bad.
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#12
Paulieg
The Mad Moderator
by: entropy13
Shouldn't that have happened already, since none of the Phenoms were in the high-end pricepoints to begin with, i.e. sharing "space" with Nehalem?
Anticipation of AMD's potential stopped it from happening, that and a good price to performance ratio for everything except the very top end. If the bow out of competing in the middle of the enthusiast market, it will give Intel cause to raise prices on everything except low power chips.
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#13
j924
I'm a little confused, does this mean that AMD will stop production of all PC CPUs? The first article it just sounded like they were stopping production of server processors like the Opteron.
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#14
TRWOV
by: qubit
I would say that they still had enough performance to keep Intel at bay, since they could still be put to all the same uses as an Intel chip, especially including things like 3D gaming and video encoding. This allowed users to decide between AMD budget CPUs or Intel performance CPUs.

Now, AMD CPUs will no longer be able to be put to all the same uses, as they're gonna have the comparable performance of an Atom, therefore, there's gonna be no competition at all from Intel and they'll have that monopoly that they've so long lusted after. This is bad, really bad.
Who to the what now? :wtf: Who said that? Aren't we reading a little too much between lines? :banghead:

Low power doesn't necessarily means "tablets". For all we know, AMD is referring to their APUs.

And, as I stated in the previous thread, this just means that AMD will concede the upper midrange and high end to Intel. AMD's top offerings hover between Core i3 and Core i5 performance anyway, so they aren't really leaving anything at the table. Instead of investing wasting resources trying to trounce Intel in the high end they will concentrate on their core market and expand to the ones they have started to develop.
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#15
Lionheart
Meh, had a feeling this was gonna happen --_--
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#16
Over_Lord
News Editor
AMD is a leader in x86 microprocessor design
Yeah... that... right.. :shadedshu
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#18
TheGuruStud
by: 1c3d0g
Uhm...no. Intel is a leader in x86 microprocessor design, AMD is just a distant runner-up. They always have been. AMD should stick to making low-power and efficient architectures and better graphics processors, which is where they're competitive. Forget Opteron, forget Bulldozer/Piledriver or whatever else architecture is coming down the pipeline. And forget DRAM modules too, that's a low-margin, cut-throat business that even Samsung, Micron, Hynix and other established players are having a hard time with.

It's time to make money before the ship sinks. :(
Says the guy using AMD tech on his intel.

This has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

And forget opteron? You mean forget the CPU that powers a lot of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet at a fraction of the price of intel (same applies for regular servers)?

I think you need to get out of intel shill boot camp. It's Fing with your mind severely.

On a side note: I wonder how much I can get a phase change set up for that will make intel apologists wet their bed.
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#19
Fx
by: Paulieg
Well, you can laugh now, but when you see Intel chips go up 50-60% at every price point, you'll be...:banghead::cry:
my thoughts exactly. this is one reason why I have always supported them

by: entropy13
How can AMD "drop out of high end" if they weren't even there NOW? :laugh:
we'll see how long you keep laughing...
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#20
mav2000
Well, does that mean the end of the Bulldozer/Piledriver going ahead? Or is that still going to happen. Will a BD B3 chip exist?
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#21
pantherx12
I tell you what, if AMD does die soon it will be because of news like this flying around the internet scaring off their investors.
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#22
RejZoR
Actually low and mid end is not that bad. After all, if they make mid segment right, they can make some serious profits. It's just that they won't satisfy high end consumers. But maybe while doing low power stuff, they'll make a breakthrough and try at the high end again. No one says they are not allowed to do that.
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#23
Fx
by: pantherx12
I tell you what, if AMD does die soon it will be because of news like this flying around the internet scaring off their investors.
speculation is a silent and deadly killer
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#24
15th Warlock
AMD is late to the mobile game, Samsung, TI, and even Nvidia have solid offerings that are mature and command a high market percentage of both smartphones and tablets, if AMD wants to be a real player in this arena (and to be honest I don't sew how using an x86 architecture might help after seeing Intel stumble for so many years on this market) they better get their shit together, and pronto, or they risk becoming another VIA, or even worst: Cyrix or Transmeta :(
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#25
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
It's a decoy. AMD said the same thing about high-end graphics before launching HD 4000 series.
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