Tag Archives: AMD

AMD’s chief technology officer quits

THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY officer of AMD has thrown in the towel.

 

Phil Hester quit the job but it’s nothing to do with the round of job cuts at AMD, said representatives of the firm. Yeah, right.

 

Individual AMD “business” units will have their own CTOs now, a representative said. And Hester helped set that up.

 

The man worked at Big Blue for 23 years. He is a witty and highly intelligent man. Perhaps the current rather oppressive climate at AMD persuaded him to go, rather than to stay.  He likes a beer. Hester can also do what he likes. Being associated with what’s perceived as a failing company by tabloid rags probably doesn’t help.

 

Let us also never forget he worked for Newisys, a suspiciously “New Age” kind of company. Hester displaced Fred Weber.   

AMD layoff saga continues, overegged

I SEE Fudo at Fudzilla  is egging up the AMD story the INQster ran the other week about massive layoffs at the chip firm. While Charlie reckoned five per cent of the staff were about to go, Fudo reckons 10 per cent are for the chip-chop.

A five per cent layoff was described by the INQ as “massive”, so a 10 per cent layoff would then be “ginormous”.  We’ve never really had an adequate definition from Hector Ruiz, AMD’s CEO, what “asset lite” means, have we?

Generally speaking, when times are tough, the marketing people are first to be “pruned”. The sales people are last to go.  AMD’s hired a new marketing geezer to replace Henri “I got flamboyant ties” Richard, and it’s certainly fair to say that over the last 18 months or so, Chimpzilla hasn’t shown much flamboyance at all.

In the olde daze, a rash of logos was enough to stir up the world and its little doggie, but these days something more is required from AMD, we think. AMD has lashed out at some hacks, which was never what it did in the past, in the days when we used to paint hard boiled eggs and roll them down some distant hill every Easter Monday.

Fudzilla can be found to the right of this story, as too is the INQster.  ♦

Apple fanbois have lost grip on reality

LEGIONS OF FANS of products made by Saint Steve Jobs of Cuptertino are still stung into action if anyone disses Apple products, the New York Times reports.

The article quotes a hack who writes for Salon called Fahrad Manjoo. Manjoo is obviously undeterred by Apple fanbois pelting him with the internet equivalent of rotten apples.

He said Apple fanbois don’t care about honest opinion. They are driven by “religious zeal” for their own true love. “They don’t want a review. They want a hagiography.” There used to be a legion of AMD fanbois but their ranks have thinned. We’re not sure we’ve ever come across an Intel fanbois who actually doesn’t work for Intel. ♥

Nvidia says Intel is playing “catch up”

INTEL’S LARRABEE is no threat to Nvidia, according to a geezer called Andy Keane, chatting to the Wall Street Journal today.

Keane, who is the general manager of Nvidia’s graphic chip division, told the Journal that Intel is doing “old computing”  and attempting to catch up.

That’s what I like about Nvidia – it’s got some balls. Last week Stephen Smith from Intel told us that his firm will have competing products with AMD and Nvidia next year. The quotes from Keane were buried deep in an article that – surprise, surprise – was featuring the sub-prime market. ♦

Guy Kewney spins conspiracy theory about INQster

AN INQUISITIVE Guy Kewney wants to know what I’m up to and can’t wait to find out. All he needs to do is give me a bell and I’d tell him – we’ve known each other for a long time.

Guy has decided to think the INQster is flattering me as a way of fending off competition in the future. Which assumes that I’m launching Rogister III. Which I’m not.

Guy said he’d talked to “a nervous sounding Inqling” – most probably Paul Hales of that yard, who told me yesterday he’d had a weird phone call from the Kewnster suggesting there were coded messages passing between the INQ and this Volesoft bog.

Heck, I’m still writing stuff for the INQster and for Fudzilla for that matter, and for CPU Magazine in the States.  Here there be no mysteries.

Curiously, I first met Paul Hales on a boat in Marlow along with a geezer called John Barnes when they were both editorial assistants. When I left Incisive at the end of February, my boss was John Barnes and Halesie was my deputy dawg.

If Guy had tipped up to the INQ’s seventh birthday party, I’d have been happy to chat to him about my plans – every other hack and hackette there asked me.  Even AMD and Intel know what I’m up to. They just don’t know what shape it will take, or when it will happen.

Heck, even the management at Incisive Media know what I’m up to. I told them way back when.

Even I’ve got a fair idea what I’m up to, it has to be said.  ♥

BOGGARD Guy’s bog is here.

AMD drops in top 25 semi league table

MARKET RESEARCH firm Isuppli said that falling memory sales  significantly slowed growth  in the semi market in 2007.

AMD took an inevitable hit in 2007 compared to 2006, while Nvidia rose, as did Intel, which remained in first place, followed by Samsung.

DRAM revenues fell by 19.1 per cent in Q4 compared to the earlier quarter, while NAND flash revenues fell by 3.9 per cent in the period.

Forecasts by the manufacturers had been ebullient, based on the previous year. Dale Ford, senior VP at Isuppli said: “This was a complete role reversal for memory semiconductors compared to 2006.” Sales of memory integrated circuits had helped prop up the growth of the overall semi market, he said.

“If memory were excluded from the revenue total, the semiconductor market would have grown by 2.4 per cent in the fourth quarter. However, due to the influence of the weak memory market, total semiconductor market revenues fell by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter,” he continued.

Nanya and Qimonda were particularly badly affected, with their memory IC revenues falling by 32.4 per cent and 26 per cent for the year.

Data courtesy of Isuppli, figures for revenues are in millions of dollars. ♦

Semiconductor 2007 league table

2006 2007 Firm
Rev
06
Rev
07
%
change
%
total
1 1 Intel
31,542
33,995
7.8
12.6
2 2 Samsung
19,842
19,691
-0.8
7.3
3 3 TI
12,600
12,275
-2.6
4.6
4 4 Toshiba
10,141
12,186
20.2
4.5
5 5 ST Micro
9,854
10,000
1.5
3.7
7 6 Hynix
7,865
9,047
15
3.4
6 7 Renesas
7,900
8,001
1.3
3
14 8 Sony
5,129
7,974
55.5
3
15 9 Infineon
5,119
6,201
21.1
2.3
8 10 AMD
7,506
5,918
-21.2
2.2
9 11 NXP
5,707
5,746
0.7
2.1
11 12 NEC
5,601
5,742
2.5
2.1
16 13 Qualcomm
4,529
5,619
24.1
2.1
10 14 Freescale
5,616
5,264
-6.3
2
13 15 Micron
5,247
4,869
-7.2
1.8
12 16 Qimonda
5,413
4,005
-26
1.5
19 17 Elpida
3,527
3,838
8.8
1.4
17 18 Matsushita
4,022
3,800
-5.5
1.4
25 19 Broadcom
3,668
3,746
2.1
1.4
25 20 Nvidia
2,578
3,466
34.4
1.3
20 21 Sharp
3,341
3,401
1.8
1.3
21 22 IBM
3,172
2,977
-6.1
1.1
26 23 Marvell
2,550
2,777
8.9
1
23 24 Analog
2,603
2,707
4
1
22 25 Rohm
2,882
2,633
-8.6
1
82,401
83,027
0.8
30.9
Total
Revenue
260,355
268,905
3.3
100%

AMD gets certificate for Displayport

CHIP FIRM AMD said it has received the first Displayport certification for a number of its graphics products.

Those include the ATI Radeon HD3400, the HD3600, the HD3800 and the AMD 780G integrated graphics chipset.

Dell said it will use the certified products to support its Displayport Ultrasharp 3008WFP and 2408WFP widescreen LCD monitors.

VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) supplies the certification for Displayport products. Its director, Bill Lempesis, said the Radeon HD3000 series of graphics cards are the first source devices to get the certification. ♣

SPEC developing graphic power-performance benchmark

INDUSTRY BODY SPEC said that it is in the course of preparing an industry standard benchmark for power and performance related to professional workstations.

The body said that the SPEC/GWPG benchmark will be available this summer, and will use workloads from the SPECviewperf benchmark for 3D graphics, as well as CPU workloads for a number of applications including financial modelling, scientific computing,  and open source.

Participants in the push to the benchmark include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, HP, Nvidia, Sun and Intel.

AMD faces tough financing challenges ahead

THE SNAFU called the sub-prime market is bound to have an effect on the fate and fortune of AMD.

AMD, unlike its nemesis Intel, relies heavily on loans to finance its business and the collapse of Carlyle, and Bear Stearns underlines the difficulty in financing large, medium and small companies face.

With even homeowners with impeccable credit records facing difficulties re-financing their mortgages, companies face bigger challenges, particularly in such a capital intensive business as fabricating semiconductors.

Even though Wall Street showed signs of recovering yesterday after the Fed cut interest rates, most financial analysts believe that the crisis in the banking market is still far from over. ♣

BOGGARD But Abu Dhabi is holding steady, according to this INQster article, here.

Intel to brief on Nehalem, Larrabee, Dunnington

CHIP GIANT Intel is holding a teleconference for world hacks this coming Monday on its Nehalem, Larrabee and Dunnington technologies.

It will unveil further details of architectures it expects to implement during the course of this year.

I understand its Nehalem and its Larrabee plans are already far advanced. Nehalem will frighten AMD because it’s an answer to its chip architecture, while Larrabee will frighten, er, AMD and Nvidia because it poses a threat to their graphics business.

We’ll be listening in on Monday for the details after we’re back from Bengalaru. ♣