Saturday, September 08, 2012

Steven Philip Warner talks to Chris L. Cloran, Corporate Vice-President, AMD

After years of being stuck in the doldrums, AMD, with its relatively new CEO Dirk Meyer and the fusion technology bet, is finally gaining some momentum. B&E’s Steven Philip Warner talks to Chris L. Cloran, Corporate Vice-President, AMD, about how AMD plans to save its semiconductor skin

B&E: AMD has always been about offering optimal quality (the right experience at the right price). And at a time when PC makers are looking for the right price points, this seems to be working. What kind of a sign is this?
I believe it’s a sign that we’re helping our customers meet their goals. AMD provides customers with the right balance of price & quality (CPU and graphics processing power for the vivid computing experiences consumers want). And we will always maintain this. The best way to ensure a great PC experience – from watching HD videos to playing the latest games – is to strike the right balance between CPU and GPU technologies and we are the only company that has a portfolio of both high-performance CPUs and GPUs.

B&E: What are the main challenges ahead of AMD in the long run?
The most important challenge ahead of AMD is to enable the next-generation of computing with the AMD Fusion family of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), and to achieve this we are working with our customers and partners.

B&E: Which geography across the world is most important for AMD to explore opportunities in ‘processor technologies’?
Asia is an important growth market and top priority for AMD. India especially has also rapidly become an important center of AMD’s engineering, research and development. Engineers in AMD’s research centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore have played key roles in developing several of the products that will set the bar for the industry’s next generation of computing. So I would say that India is most critical to us.

B&E: AMD, unlike others, is betting big on the Fusion technology. Why?
We expect the launch of AMD Fusion products (in 2011) to usher in a new era of computing. The world’s first APUs fuse a CPU and GPU onto the same chip. We believe the transition to APUs is the next necessary step. With APUs, consumers will have better out-of-the-box experiences: videos will look better, productivity will be accelerated, games will play better and your mobile PC will have longer battery life. So we’re taking the plunge...

B&E: And you haven’t mentioned anything about mobility devices yet.
Of course, AMD is already taking advantage of consumers’ desire for mobility. On May 12, 2010, AMD announced the AMD 2010 Mainstream and Ultrathin Notebook Platforms (codenamed ‘Danube’ and ‘Nile’) supported with a record number of OEM platform design wins. Looking ahead, one of the new microprocessor core architectures that AMD is introducing next year, code-named ‘Bobcat’, is targeted at very low power envelopes within a broad base of devices from netbooks all the way to entry-level PCs. This is the first time AMD has focused on this type of power envelope for the usage scenarios we have in mind and customers are showing great interest in having AMD positioned in this part of the market. So we are neck-deep in mobility as well.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
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