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AMD To Shed 10% of Its Workforce 276

Posted by kdawson
from the hitting-the-streets dept.
stress_life writes "Recent rumors about AMD firing 5% of its workforce proved to be understated. AMD just announced that the company is going to deliver pink slips to 1600-1700 workers, or around 10% of its employees. AMD needs revenue of $2 billion per quarter, but Q1'08 is expected to come in around $1.5 billion. These firings have to be complete by Q3'08, the quarter by which Hector Ruiz promised to be profitable." We most recently discussed AMD's struggles in February.
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AMD To Shed 10% of Its Workforce

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  • And if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @01:55PM (#23002900)
    AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.

    We saw something like this with Blu-Ray when HDDVD was announced to be dead.

    And Via.. Well, they're VIA. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
  • Re:And if... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wattrlz (1162603) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @01:57PM (#23002936)
    +1 apropos for the quote on the bottom of the page.

    The real value of KDE is that they inspired and push the development of GNOME :-) -- #Debian
  • Re:And if... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slifox (605302) * on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:05PM (#23003052)
    Yeah, it sucks... but they screwed up big with the Phenom release.

    Besides the terrible publicity for the launch of a new generation of CPUs, the covered-up TLB bug which prevents reliable virtualization (even 1 crash a week is NOT acceptable)... they almost completely dropped their support for the linux community with this CPU & chipset release. Their 780G chipset + SB700 southbridge is absolutely terrible in linux (even with 2.6.25-rc8)--20MB/s on a Raptor SATA with AHCI mode enabled (usually gets 75MB/s). AND, almost all the motherboards that supposedly support the 125W Phenoms will blow their voltage regulators within minutes of booting!

    Or maybe I'm just bitter... I just got burned by this stupid fucking Phenom & 780G+SB700 release. Q6600, here I come--at Fry's its even cheaper then the mid-range Phenom now!
  • Re: And if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:07PM (#23003080) Journal
    The problem this time is that they seem to be failing both sales-wise and technically. As much as I hate Intel, you have to admit, when you look at the product lines, and what's coming down the pipe in the next year or two, Intel has a pretty major advantage over AMD.

    I think there is a risk over the next five years of Intel again gaining monopoly or near-monopoly status in the x86 world (or whatever precisely it has morphed into now).
  • Too bad about the layoffs, though. I think this is going to get worse (across the whole economy) before it gets better. Business is so slow that my state's tax revenues have plummeted.

    People that I have talked to in the transportation business seem to think the recession already took place from around mid last year into this quarter, but now they think the economy is recovering. They are basing this on a rather dramatic falloff in freight shipments and then a recovery.

    This followed a similar pattern in the early 1990s.. that is, by the time Clinton said "It's the economy stupid", the recession was already technically over. It's just now the pundits and papers need something to scare people with to sell more punditry and their papers.
  • Buggy products (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dgym (584252) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:13PM (#23003176)
    I wonder if they will be getting rid of the people who decided to release the Phenom X3s and the energy efficient Phenom X4 with the TLB bug intact? By releasing a lot of new chips at the same time, some with the fix and some without, it seems as though AMD are trying to confuse people into buying buggy chips with awful performance.

    Apparently we have to wait even longer before this mess will be cleared up. Is it any surprise that revenue is down?
  • Re:And if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:15PM (#23003198) Homepage

    AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.

    We saw something like this with Blu-Ray when HDDVD was announced to be dead.
    You're obviously correct that Intel would drop the fast pace a bit and increase the rates, but comparing this situation to the media disk war of HDDVD and BD is just wrong. The industry was basically waiting for a winner because two competitors on this type of market is just too much. Certainly, the industry is not waiting for AMD or Intel to die.

    On the other hand, I doubt that Intel would eliminate competition completely because there is certainly room for more than just one company. I'm not saying AMD is going to survive, but sometimes the best thing for a business is to terminate and reinstate itself.
  • Re:And if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idiotnot (302133) <sean@757.org> on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:27PM (#23003386) Homepage Journal
    AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.

    AMD, as a company, may die. I seriously doubt their processors and GPUs will anytime soon. My guess would be either IBM or a Japanese semiconductor fab will resurrect their product line out of the smoldering crater.

    A not-so-outlandish idea, however, is Samsung. To me, Korean ownership, development, and production makes a hell of a lot of sense.
  • Re:Lay off 10%? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:46PM (#23003646)
    Well, if your revenue is down, you've got to cut costs in order to remain profitable. Since employees are by far the largest expenditure (ignoring for a second the opening of a new fab), it makes sense to cut costs there. Furthermore, in light of the fact that the last set of products were pretty underwhelming, I'm sure that there was some fat there that needed some trimming.

    That said - I agree with your feeling that executives never seem to take responsibility for screw-ups. Instead, they take million dollar golden parachutes into semi-retirement. I'd love to see an exec who says: "Wow, we stunk this year. I'm cutting my salary in half to help the company stay profitable." Or a CEO who says "Wow, we stunk these past two years. I'm obviously the wrong person to run this company, and am forfeiting all salary, bonuses and payments that were supposed to come my way." I guess that technically, the Board of Directors is supposed to do this, but that's a whole different issue.
  • by dpilot (134227) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @02:51PM (#23003710) Homepage Journal
    Last night on NPR's Marketplace they talked about how the credit crunch was showing signs of easing.

    Only problem, none of the things that caused the credit crunch have been fixed:
    * No regulations for transparency, so you can know the real risk of the "financial product" you're buying.
    * The responsibility breakdown between loan origination and loan execution remains. (How the HECK can you get into a position to get a commission for writing a loan, with no responsibility to know that the borrower can really pay? What a job!)
    * No regulations on allowable margin, or even for margin transparency.
    - I'm sure there are more.

    Nothing has been fixed, we merely appear to have dodged THIS bullet, but the madmen are still out there with their machine guns.
  • Re: And if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nuzak (959558) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @03:01PM (#23003852) Journal
    Well, speaking of Apple, you don't want to count the PPC line out yet. I mean yeah, you can strike it from Apple's current roadmap, but if Intel sits on its heels, they do have PPC who would like to come back from behind, and Cell which would like to become more mainstream.

  • AMD NOT going under (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @03:01PM (#23003858)
    I heard this story on NPR this morning. The reason for the layoffs is only slightly due to intel beating them in the market. It is mainly due to the acquisition of ATI. They are taking a loss with the purchase but are expected to be back up to par by the end of the year IIRC. They are expected to use the new acquisition to improve the graphics performance of their chips in the future. So before people start freaking out AMD DEAD INTEL MONOPOLY OMGWTFBBQ!!111one! it's just a phase. Don't worry. (well anyone that keeps their jobs don't worry...)
  • Re: And if... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Znork (31774) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @03:32PM (#23004196)
    Intel has a pretty major advantage over AMD.

    Measured by performance, yes. But then, I haven't based CPU purchases on performance since I was a teenager and computers had single-digit MHz's. Over time you end up with far more computing power if you buy best price/performance more often and every time, instead of spending the premium for higher end on more rarely occuring purchases.

    I think there is a risk over the next five years of Intel again gaining monopoly or near-monopoly status

    I doubt it. It's not a new situation, and as long as AMD can keep delivering better price/performance they will retain significant marketshare. If they fail at that tho, or if Intel lowers prices... but then again, Intel is too fond of charging what the market will bear, so that would be unlikely.
  • Re:Lay off 10%? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by boris111 (837756) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @03:34PM (#23004232)
    Really depends how they do it. If they say to every middle manager cut 10% of your staff... that's the wrong way to do it That's what 3Com did during the bubble bust (3Who? you say).

    If they strategically cut groups that are not performing (including the managers)... that's cutting the fat.
  • by snsh (968808) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @03:37PM (#23004260)
    Jack Welch at GE advocated the 20-70-10 principle which says to periodically purge the lowest-performing 10% of employees to keep a company healthy. First, it gets rid of nonproductive employees. Second, *not* firing the lowest 10% is bad for the morale of the top-performing 20%.
  • by DrYak (748999) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @04:18PM (#23004762) Homepage
    AMD did well until recently because, with the Athlon 64, they managed to bring something new fresh, interesting and with good performance :
    - x86-compatible 64bits architecture, integrated memory controller, low power and thermal
    exactly at a time when intel was stuck in dead ends :
    - on one hand Itanium proved not to be the optimal way to bring 64bit to desktops and was stuck in the scientific cluster market
    - on the other hand the Pentium 4, which was the CPU equivalent of a hummer, and was unable to go above 3GHz although the NetBurst architecture was planned to reach 10GHz

    Intel had to lose time, going back to an older generation (PentiumIII-based PentiumM) and developing a decent workstation & desktop processor out of it (Core 2 was the first decent answer to Athlon 64).

    Now we are back to the statu quo. With AMD having some technologically interesting products (true quad-cores) and interesting perf/price ratio in the mid-range products, but other wise no massive advantage.
    And Intel throwing tons of resources and replaying the "Gigahertz race", except this time with the number of cores bolted to the same package, offering expensive but fast processors.

    *BUT*

    AMD could still get some advantage in the near future.

    First, the gain obtained by multiplying the number of cores will soon top (My crystal balls predict somewhere around 6-8 cores). Intel is going to hit a wall soon, just like they got stuck with their Gigahertz race.

    Second, integrated design with the memory controller on the CPU and a standard bus between the CPU and the rest of the PC seems to make a lot of sense. At least that's what Intel's engineer are thinking.
    Here again AMD has some advantages :
    They already have such an architecture since Athlon 64, the hypertransport bus has been adopted already by several other constructor for various (FPGA and other accelerators, or simply communication between multiple chipsets on motherboard with several northbridges), their socket has stabilised (thank to the compatible family AM2 => AM2+ => AM3).

    Whereas Intel will probably once again lose some time developing and perfect their Quick-Path based processors, probably changing their connector a couple of time along the way (can't technically reuse LGA775, will have to develop a new one and as usually will probably change it a couple of time before stabilising), will have to convince other constructor to adopt it (they will, of course as they are "the standard x86 cpu that every PC maker use". But it'll take some additional time), etc...

    Once again we will see a transition at Intel, during which AMD has a small advantage (smaller than with the Athlon 64, but still present).
    If they leverage their advantage well (partnerships around the HyperTransport, perhaps), they can achieve some success.

    Of course that advantage won't stay indefinitely, and after that Intel will probably be back again with big beasts. Probably by then the technology will better take advantage of bigger multicores. And they'll also have a good advantage in the GPU / GPGPU markets by then.
  • Re:1929 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @04:28PM (#23004916)
    The great depression was caused extreme wealth inequality and a consumer debt spending.

    Let me guess, you're a democrat. No, you're an idiot. The great depression was not caused by consumer debt spending (although deflation didn't help consumer debtors) nor extreme wealth inequality (although it did cause some extreme poverty).

    It was caused by lack of liquidity in the economy. The U.S. dollar was tied to gold and we ran out of gold to support the level of cash needed to keep the economy running smoothly. In short, people who saved enough money under their mattresses before the great depression did okay, the people who spent or invested their money lost their investments, and the people who wanted to borrow to start businesses couldn't get the funding despite the fact that there was massive amounts of inexpensive human capital going to waste.
  • Re: And if... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aztektum (170569) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @04:32PM (#23004952)
    When Intel started its big layoff push in fall '06, they were targeting marketing, underutilized internal IT and then HR (fewer overall employees = less need for overstaffed HR). Their core engineering and production teams were barely touched.

    AMD hasn't announced where it's cutting from, but if they're smart, they're going to cut fat, not lop off their head.
  • Re: And if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @04:34PM (#23004974) Homepage Journal

    But we've seen AMD "lose" the CPU war before, and recover. Hopefully that will happen again.
    Don't hope too hard. AMD did well by capitalizing on Intel's mistakes. In particular, they grabbed the lead in the x64 marketplace (hell, they invented the x64 marketplace) while Intel was wasting its time and fortune on the Itanium boondoggle.

    That's not an opportunity that's going to come twice. Plus, this time, it's AMD that's fumbled, releasing a key product with a fatal bug. Intel is huge, and can afford to make a mistake now and then. AMD can't.
  • by moxley (895517) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:00PM (#23005312)


    No, you're wrong (especially if you're talking about America). Most people think this is how it works, but it isn't.

    When you take ou a loan, "new money" is created as debt from that loan. Sounds ridiculous right? It is, but it's the truth.

    I suggest that you or anyone else who is interested in this and in how the Fed operates watch these very short animated videos that will show you EXACTLY how banking in America works:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8 [youtube.com]

    They are very interesting, there are 5 parts - watch one, you'll want to watch them all and they are very informative.

  • Re: And if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:07PM (#23005402) Homepage
    Reducing your workforce when your problems are based on Sales and Technical issues is a stupid move. Because those are some of the major areas which need people to get the product back on par.

    AMD knows it's a bad idea. They've said as much over the past couple years as their profits turned into losses, and the analysts naturally started wondering if layoffs were coming. AMD said that they did not want to reduce costs via layoffs, for essentially the reasons you gave, in particular that reducing your engineering staff makes it harder to make the product that helps you get out of the hole.

    But to quote myself as they've repeated this quarter after quarter, "that can't go on forever". The email from Dirk Myer posted to the Inquirer makes it sound like this quarter is going to be particularly bad, and investors are only going to be patient for so long before they demand substantial action. Layoffs aren't the only thing they could do, at least in theory, but payroll presents some major low-hanging fruit for cost savings.

    It sucks, it's sub-optimal, but it probably won't break the company or anything. AMD has been in worse straights, and had to have larger layoffs, and they're still here. Their unprecedented recent success just makes this seem like a larger fall. They just need to get their new products out (the delays to Barcelona being a major factor in this situation) and recover from the stumble.
  • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:16PM (#23005500) Journal
    IIRC, Intel took a gamble where AMD assumed far less risk, and that gamble did not pan out. Pentium 4 died, while AMD's Athlon was putting up numbers on par or better. If Intel had continued on in the same vein as the pentium 3 (which they ended up doing after the revelation that P4 was not happening), then AMD would still have been second in performance. Both companies have a place in the market. One just happened to do something stupid, the other just kept plodding along as usual.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @05:36PM (#23005722) Homepage

    When the Athlon came along, I think AMD was as surprised as the market was that Intel couldn't compete technically. Those days are gone, at least for awhile, and AMD is back where they started. There'll always be a market for a cheap cpu that does the job.
    1. Plants are absurdly expensive, and downscaling probably means big losses
    2. Laptops means AMD has to compete on TDP, which has rarely been their strong point*
    3. Smaller process and more complex design equals better economics of scale, favor Intel
    4. A lot of the "non-mainstream" people are now running Macs = Intel
    5. Intel makes killer cheap CPUs by virtue of the small die size for killer margins

    * compared to the Pentium 3/Pentium M/Core chips. Netburst was an abomination.

    CPUs are one business where if you can't put money into the next generation, you're dead. If AMD don't have the money for new R&D or new fabs, they won't have a cheap processor that does the job. Intel has the power to shipwreck AMD right now, they could ship Atom processors (a 25mm^2 part) for half the listed price, put an Intel chip in every "lowest possible price PC" and still turn a healthy profit (comparing to the die sizes of the other chips, not R&D). Performance is more than adequate and combined with a HD-decoding chip it'll do anything but games. I couldn't find a quote for the die size on AMDs smallest chip but the DC chip is 126mm^2 so >63mm^2 at least. That directly translates to fewer processors per die, lower yield and higher power use.

    The only question for Intel is whether they want AMD dead or just crippled so they don't have to deal with heavier monopoly regulation. Remember, even at the height AMD never threatened Intel financially, they always shipped the most CPUs and usually on a process generation better than AMD and so they made plenty money to pour down in R&D even when they fumbled away the performance crown. This time it looks like they've sucessfully boxed in AMD both on the low-power and high-performance end and AMD just don't have the resources to diversify. At least it's somewhat better in graphics where nVidia has really disappointed me with the follow-up since the 8800 release, or they'd have a double crisis on their hands. Heh, if they can make good open-source drivers I'll end up being a complete flip-flop compared to the AMD/nVidia fan I used to be (except the last PC, it's Intel/nVidia...) and become an Intel/ATI fan. Now that I'd have put good money against not so long ago...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:03PM (#23006022)

    And Intel throwing tons of resources and replaying the "Gigahertz race", except this time with the number of cores bolted to the same package, offering expensive but fast processors.
    AMD hasn't been trying to do the same? Remember the hype about how AMD's 'native' quad-core would beat Intel's MCM quad-core?

    The expansion of the number of cores is a natural reaction to the technical design constraints which ended the GHz race. If you can't easily crank the clock up any more, it's time to expand in a different direction.

    AMD could still get some advantage in the near future.

    First, the gain obtained by multiplying the number of cores will soon top (My crystal balls predict somewhere around 6-8 cores). Intel is going to hit a wall soon, just like they got stuck with their Gigahertz race.
    This 'wall' will hurt AMD just as much as Intel. More, even -- Intel's ability to manufacture denser, higher speed caches should allow them to get more cores on a die without sacrificing too much per-core performance.

    Whereas Intel will probably once again lose some time developing and perfect their Quick-Path based processors, probably changing their connector a couple of time along the way (can't technically reuse LGA775, will have to develop a new one and as usually will probably change it a couple of time before stabilising), will have to convince other constructor to adopt it (they will, of course as they are "the standard x86 cpu that every PC maker use". But it'll take some additional time), etc...
    Intel has been developing and perfecting QuickPath -- and the processors which will use it -- for more than 5 years now. You make it sound like it's a long way off. It's not, it's almost here. The new sockets are already designed. The new chipsets, too. It's all been shown in live demos to the public. All that's left before selling to the public is validation -- since it's a new processor core (Nehalem) and a new bus protocol and a new chipset they need to work bugs out before shipping. Their projected ship date is late 2008.
  • Re:1929 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @06:21PM (#23006186)
    Please read this [mises.org], if you can put your pro-government bias aside long enough to stand it. And try to understand that government has a deeply vested interest in having you believe that economic catastrophe is never caused by centralization of power, but always the lack of it.

    At the root of it all, when all the eggs are in one basket -- meaning that when the entire economy can be influenced, even controlled, by a one single central agency -- how could this not hold more inherent risk than a system where economic power is decentralized and distributed among many competing groups? That's just plain common sense.
  • That would be nice in an ideal world where cash flow doesn't matter. However, even if you could give them something to do, you may not be able to immediately support these employees, or perhaps they'd take away too many resources from your other projects to make it worthwhile.

    I can think of tons of "stuff" our company could be doing that it's not doing enough of, but we don't have the money for it.
  • Re:Apple and AMD (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MtViewGuy (197597) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @07:13PM (#23006648)
    The reason why Apple chose Intel over AMD was simple: the Conroe CPU core ran faster and way cooler than its AMD equivalent. Today, Intel's Core 2 Duo CPU's are well-liked for its speed and reasonable cooling needs, thanks to the fact the CPU was based heavily on the CPU core developed for the mobile version of the Pentium III CPU.
  • Re: And if... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @08:09PM (#23007126) Homepage
    11. Cutting you work force by 10% allows you to raise the salaries of the executive team by 10% as well as board member remuneration.

    Now, I know that they should really be cutting the executive salaries and board member remuneration due to their obvious failure to perform and, as a bonus it often saves more money that cutting the work force by that amount all without affecting productivity.

    In reality, what executive team is going to put that idea forward and what group of board members will vote for it, certainly not your typical 20th century sociopath corporate executive type, they are simple out to screw everyone they can, for as much as they can and, for as long as they can, starting with the shareholders ;).

  • working (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @08:36PM (#23007326)
    my friend works there full time in the graphics (ATI) department. like nvidia, they're pretty well known to be sweatshops, and he pretty much works 7 days a week days and evenings. there really hasn't been much change since AMD took over. ATI's company culture is pretty much the same. management sucks there, both middle and upper. morale is low, but no one is addressing the layoffs at the company. you're treated like a slave there. people going to meetings are pounding away at their computers doing work. upper management come and go. how do you expect anyone having the motivation to work there? I'm surprised he hasn't left on his own terms yet.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @08:59PM (#23007458) Journal
    I am guessing that the vast majority of these layoffs are occurring in the west. Most are probably in America with EU taking a number as well. I noticed that AMD has opened a 3rd RD in India and is doing mass hiring.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2008 @09:56PM (#23007838) Homepage Journal
    High end K6 has a TDP comparable to a P3, problem is, it's shitty at playing 386. You need to compile for K6 (gentoo! etc.) in order to really reap the benefits. K6 is a fully-RISC architecture with plenty of cache. By the time the K6/3 came out, though, it was all but over. Athlon 64 Mobile had TDP comparable to Pentium M when it came out when you compared the power consumption of processor + chipset. Traditionally, AMD has consumed lower power (remember, it's the Intel P54c that was the socket-melter) and done more at a lower clock rate every since the K5, with notable exceptions occurring right now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2008 @03:09AM (#23009964)
    Hector Ruiz has generated more bad press for AMD over the past year than almost any other CEO I've ever seen. When you're a company like Microsoft, having a raving lunatic for a CEO (Mr. Ballmer cough cough) is ok, after all, they're winning and they are constantly on an upward slope. But when you have a company that's struggling, the real man for the job is a problem solver. Hector Ruiz instead was the type of guy that during AMD's glory years, bragged and bragged (to an extent generating bad press for being a sore winner) and spit all over Intel.

    In fact, Hector Ruiz did so much to annoy Intel that when the 600lb gorilla finally decided to smack around the annoying little monkey, AMD was caught completely off guard and unprepared. Imagine what it feels like to be sitting and enjoying your lunch, in the middle of the fast lane on the highway when that Mack truck just comes flying at you out of nowhere.

    Hector Ruiz then started crying that old song "Intel is evil *wah* they copied our best stuff *wah wah* we invented x86-64 and they just stole it *wah wah* it's not fair *wahhhh*". I mean, this is not what I call leadership.

    Yes, Intel copied AMD's best stuff. Did he really think they would not adopt technologies like that. I mean seriously, if Intel didn't copy good stuff that works... and improve on it, Intel should be sued by their shareholders. Oh, and by the way, I'm not sure if Hector Ruiz knows this, but AMD is "Intel Compatible". He should consider himself lucky when Intel adopts a little technology of their since it gives them ground to renegotiate the terms of the x86 instruction set licenses AMD pays on every chip made.

    Yes Intel implemented x86-64. No matter how many times Intel tries to make a new dominant processor based on anything but x86, they bomb. Think back to the i860, the original platform Windows NT was developed on. Intel made a great RISC processor. In fact, for a RISC chip, it was equal to MIPS, Sparc and Power in every respect. Problem is, Intel can't sell RISC and Intel has always won because of backwards compatibility. I wonder if Ruiz actually thinks this was bad for his company. After all, if Intel didn't back the x86-64 instruction set, Microsoft would do the bare minimum necessary to support the instruction set (hence the REALLY long beta periods before Intel came on board). The x86-64 would have just been a wasted investment for AMD if Intel didn't support it. Sure there's Linux and the server world, but there are A LOT more personal machines out there than servers. Microsoft goes where the volume is.

    If I were the Chairman of the Board of AMD, I would seriously look at bringing in a more diplomatic CEO to AMD, tell him to find a way to compete with Intel and get to it. Intel spent years "losing the CPU battle" pumping out crappy Pentium 4 era chips, but all along, they were hiding away in back rooms and quietly developing the EXTREMELY expandable architecture of Core 2, the first almost truly modular high performance CPU architecture ever. AMD lost a lot of ground and might never be able to make it up again. Of course, we've said this for many years before AMD's glory days.

    It's time for AMD to get an architecture team together to really think about how to speed things up. A good idea might be to knock on IBM's door again and see what new technologies they can offer.

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