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[seekingalpha] AMD's Future In Scalable Solutions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
To be successful, you must set achievable short-term goals that act as successive steps to a final, larger goal.
I believe Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has a pretty lofty long-term goal in mind and the right shorter steps to get there.

Seeking Alpha - Jul 12 2013, 04:55
Quote:
AMD's Small Steps

AMD is still at the mercy of a waning PC industry unfortunately. But one of their main focuses currently is to play to their strengths over Intel - graphics and customization. AMD is not trying to out-innovate Intel, but in the words of AMD's Mr. Feldman, "innovate right around them." Although Mr. Feldman is involved in networking so his quote does not directly apply to gaming, it still speaks to AMD's current vision (and the article I linked to is also worth a good read), which is "...committed to an ambidextrous approach and providing choice to our customers..." (This being a quote I received in response to questions I have asked of AMD)

AMD is making this approach possible by taking re-usable IP blocks and working with vendors to scale performance to fit specific needs. With the current paradigm shift of more energy efficient computing, a main driving force for AMD is performance per watt.

AMD's End Goal: Heterogeneous Computing

As the main computing focus shifts away from traditional desktop PCs to mobile devices (I am including laptops and below in this category), AMD and other members of the HSA foundation are attempting to tap into the GPU to try and squeeze more performance per watt out of each chip, along with increasing portability of programs between different architectures (ARM RISC vs x86).


Conclusion

The end-game in this scenario is to utilize heterogeneous computing to play to their strengths, neutralizing some of Intel's process lead by allowing the GPU to help accelerate computations where I have shown it appears AMD has a distinct efficiency advantage over Intel when looking at transistor budget.

As an AMD long, the catalysts I am looking for are regaining market share in the server space and discrete GPUs, and more embedded/semi-custom design wins to put AMD on track to divorce some of their revenue streams from traditional PC sales.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1545612-amd-s-future-in-scalable-solutions?source=email_rt_article_title
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
AMD: Amazon, Facebook and Google Could Develop Their Own Server Chips @xbitlabs

Just several years ago three server giants – HP, Dell and IBM – generally commanded the market with industry-standard offerings that suited most businesses. Nowadays there are companies like Apple, Facebook, Google or Microsoft, who run massive cloud datacenters and require customized equipment. Some companies – Facebook and Google – even assemble their custom servers in-house. In a bid to solve specific problems, microprocessors inside servers for these large customers are specifically tailored for their needs. The second round of customization will not only involve some customization of microprocessors and I/O, but will likely include made-to-order chips with specially designed I/O and even processing engines, according to Andrew Feldman, general manager of SeaMicro and corporate vice president at AMD.

At present Mr. Feldman seems to be a strong believer in ARM architecture and its ability to be adapted for different needs. He foresees that many leading web-scale companies will need specially tailored processing cores that will deliver maximum amount of performance at minimum power requirements as well as very scalable input/output technologies that are built into chips.

“This vast change in the cost and time to market opens the door for large CPU consumers (mega data center players) to collaborate with ARM CPU vendors – say by paying part of the cost of development – in return for including custom IP that advantages the Mega Data center owners software/offering. There are conversations underway on this topic with nearly every major megadata center player in the world. The mega data center owners are building warehouse scale computers. It is not surprising that they have ideas on custom IP that would advantage their own software and would like that IP embedded into a CPU – ARM makes this feasible by bringing down the cost and development time of CPU creation,” said Mr. Feldman in an interview with GigaOM web-site.

The high-ranking AMD executive estimated that one could build an entirely custom chip using the ARM architecture in about 18 months for about $30 million. By contrast, it takes three or four-year time frame and $300 million to $400 million in development costs required to build an x86-based server chip based on a new micro-architecture.

Many datacenter giants already have a number of chip specialists and are looking at co-developing ARM-based chips that will take advantage of the greater levels of customization offered outside of the CPU so they can optimize for their own applications’ needs. At the same time, he does not reveal how will AMD and Intel behave in a situation when their largest customers essentially become their rivals in at least some ways.
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post #3 of 7
I believe forbes had an article a month back talking about about the huge potential for AMD and their microservers, and that it has very good potential to be AMDs new money maker, estimating that a successful microserver business would double their worth. This year and next year seem are going to be key moments in AMDs future.
post #4 of 7
A good and promising read.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durquavian View Post

A good and promising read.
Agreed.
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post #6 of 7

$400 million to develop a single processor?eek.gif

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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by spice003 View Post

$400 million to develop a single processor?eek.gif

That's chump change in the semiconductor industry when it comes to R&D.
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