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[MyStateman]Amid challenges, chipmaker AMD sees a way forward

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Some positive news for once. Very interesting read

Quote:
Company, which employs 1,600 in Austin, is counting on its new Zen microprocessor design project to turn its fortunes around.

For more than two decades, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has been the comeback kid of computer-related electronics.

The chipmaker has worked itself into difficult places only to make Houdini-like escape through clever and pioneering products, acquisitions, business restructuring and through winning legal settlements. Now AMD finds itself in another difficult place — and company leaders think they know the name of the potential escape hatch. It is called Zen — a microprocessor design project whose results are expected to start showing up in a family of new products starting in 2017.

Everything is riding on Zen,” said analyst Nathan Brookwood with Insight 64. “They are shooting for performance parity with where (arch-rival) Intel will be. AMD understands that they have to succeed with Zen. If Zen fizzles, they will really have to do a lot of running around.”

By that, Brookwood means AMD could be in trouble if Zen is not successful.

Suzanne Plummer, the veteran Austin chip engineer who heads the Zen team, exudes confidence about the project.

It is the first time in a very long time that we engineers have been given the total freedom to build a processor from scratch and do the best we can do,” Plummer said. “It is a multi-year project with a really large team. It’s like a marathon effort with some sprints in the middle. The team is working very hard, but they can see the finish line. I guarantee that it will deliver a huge improvement in performance and (low) power consumption over the previous generation.”


Source (much longer article about AMD):
http://www.mystatesman.com/news/business/amid-challenges-chipmnaker-amd-sees-a-way-forward/nngdf/
post #2 of 21
more like an opinion piece than news.
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post #3 of 21
Yeah, but it's not a graphics war at least. I'm excited for Zen, I want to see what they do. I would love to make an AMD build if Zen works out. I really want AMD to succeed, Intel and Team Green need some competition to get them into being more competitive.
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post #4 of 21
I'm excited for Zen, however I'm worried about the fact that Jim Keller has left AMD and that his leaving is somehow related to Zen issues
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post #5 of 21
As it was said in the other thread, Keller leaving doesn't indicate much. That guy is working left for a years, then goes to the right to work. Him leaving doesn't necessarily mean that Zen is bad, it may just as well mean that he has finished most of his work on that processor and that AMD can take it from there.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by incog View Post

As it was said in the other thread, Keller leaving doesn't indicate much. That guy is working left for a years, then goes to the right to work. Him leaving doesn't necessarily mean that Zen is bad, it may just as well mean that he has finished most of his work on that processor and that AMD can take it from there.
As an expert, he probably enjoys the part that requires his expertise the most. And is smart enough to realize that he doesn't have to be loyal to any company to follow his passion!

You could say he's doing it just to do it, or doing it because he enjoys it, but I prefer to think people do great things like this for the good of advancement of humanity. thumb.gif
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by incog View Post

As it was said in the other thread, Keller leaving doesn't indicate much. That guy is working left for a years, then goes to the right to work. Him leaving doesn't necessarily mean that Zen is bad, it may just as well mean that he has finished most of his work on that processor and that AMD can take it from there.

Exactly this,the heavy lifting has been done,as a designer his work complete so im not surprised he has moved on.
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by incog View Post

As it was said in the other thread, Keller leaving doesn't indicate much. That guy is working left for a years, then goes to the right to work. Him leaving doesn't necessarily mean that Zen is bad, it may just as well mean that he has finished most of his work on that processor and that AMD can take it from there.

Yeah, his most recent gig at AMD was his longest stay at a single company. Not only that, he also left before K8 was released and, well, look at how K8 turned out! It's still used in some form today and isn't that bad. It was the basis for their desktop architectures until Bulldozer launched, and it still lives on in the cat cores in some sense IIRC.

AMD can definitely do some neat things with limited resources. Jaguar, for example, was a pretty sizable upgrade over Bobcat in most regards, but the engineering team had very limited resources. For the first time in years, it put them ahead of Intel and their competing Saltwell architecture. Of course, Silvermont was launched shortly afterwards, but even then I think the two trade blows.
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post #9 of 21
Of course AMD sees a way forward, if they didn't, they'd shutter the doors and go out of business. rolleyes.gif

The article basically says what everyone knows ... if Zen fails, AMD is doomed.


“Everything is riding on Zen,” said analyst Nathan Brookwood with Insight 64. “
post #10 of 21
Well, that's good and bad news. I don't really want AMD to close up shop because that means Nvidia might give into the "dark side" and start up with blatantly anti consumer practices and coverups again. So I hope Zen pans out. Plus I tend to use AMD processors because they're cheaper anyhow. Intel is just charging whatever the hell they want because the market will support that price point without any real competition around.
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