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AMD Announces A Shift In Focus From PC Processors 533

slughead writes "Forbes Magazine is reporting that AMD will no longer compete with Intel to make faster, smaller, and more efficient processors. Just as Mac users would be worse off if Windows didn't exist, Intel users will be much worse now that AMD will no longer compete. You see, there's this thing called demand, and when there are no competing products in a market, a good or service will always increase the price to the economic equilibrium, unless forced not to by the state (forget that right now, communists!!). In English: you're going to get less new technology, and higher prices on existing technology." On the other hand, AMD is definitely not exiting the chip business -- they're just trying to branch out from chips for microcomputers.
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AMD Announces A Shift In Focus From PC Processors

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @02:56AM (#4741903)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @02:58AM (#4741911)
    I really don't see anywhere in the article where it actually says that "AMD will no longer compete with Intel to make faster, smaller, and more efficient processors."
    • by xmnemonic ( 603000 ) <[xmnemonic] [at] []> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:44AM (#4742085) Journal
      It's just typical slashdot pessimism.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      AMD ... said that making semiconductors smaller, cheaper and faster was no longer the key for an effective strategy.

      I'll give you a hint, processors fall under the "semiconductors" category. So unless you think they plan to continue an ineffective strategy, it seems clear that they will cease competing.

      It doesn't say they'll stop making processors, just that smaller, faster, and cheaper is no longer the goal. Instead, they intend to focus on what their customers actually need.
      • AMD ... said that making semiconductors smaller, cheaper and faster was no longer the key for an effective strategy.

        They said it's no longer the key, which doesn't mean they won't invest some resources into smaller/cheaper/faster. I think they are just reacting to a market that is saying "for the most part your last generation of processors were small, cheap and fast enough - I don't need an upgrade right now, thanks".

        The reality is that many people with 300MHz machines don't feel compelled to upgrade at all. Least of all to an Athlon XP 2800+. When these people do decide to upgrade to a 1GHz machine, AMD will be in there competing with Intel. It's the high end freaks who will feel AMDs absence. They just aren't a big enough market to justify the expense of developing and producing better high end processors.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:03AM (#4742127) Journal
      I really don't see anywhere in the article where it actually says that "AMD will no longer compete with Intel [PC chips]

      It does not explicitly say that, but it seems like "CEO speak" for pretty much that. Here is an excerpt from the article:

      AMD, which has fought a losing battle in recent quarters against Intel Corp....for the top spot in processor speed and performance, said that making semiconductors smaller, cheaper and faster was no longer the key for an effective strategy....In a shift away from the slowing personal computer industry.... AMD said it would begin working with a wider variety of companies to sell its products. (emph. added)

      They would have said, "we are going to expand our product line" if they did not really mean a retreat in "regular" x86 chips.

      Sounds like a pull-out from mainstream x86 chips to me. I don't know how else to interpret it. If you *don't* make them "smaller, faster, and cheaper", then you are not going to sell very many. Nobody wants to buy a larger, slower, and more expensive chip.

      Too bad, though. Lack of competition will decrease choice and progress. Intel can now slow down it's R&D and it may be longer before we see quantum chips and true AI. Worst of all, no realistic simulated customized porno. There goes my 3-breasted Klingon babe fantasy (sniff). I'll miss you AMD.
      • by Mike Monett ( 48534 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @07:36AM (#4742552)
        Worst of all, no realistic simulated customized porno. There goes my 3-breasted Klingon babe fantasy (sniff).

        Weep no longer. Here's a sixer ct.jpg []

  • Demand? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:01AM (#4741917) Journal
    You see, there's this thing called demand, and when there are no competing products in a market, a good or service will always increase the price to the economic equilibrium..

    There's something else called supply which is what actually changes when a more aggressive supplier enters the market, moving the equilibrium price to a new spot on the same demand curve. As long as you're handing out patronizing lectures on microeconomics...

    • Re:Demand? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ahfoo ( 223186 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:52AM (#4742478) Journal
      And since we're talking supply rumors now, I might as well toss in my favorite long running CPU supply rumor which is that both AMD and Intel are doomed by off-the-chart fab growth in China.
      In fact, AMD has been increasingly outsourcing to UMC for 130nm and we learned last month that SMIC has bought 130nm tools from Europe despite, or more likely because of, Bush's bizarre antics in foreign affairs.
      As the PC economy continues to tank, Taiwan's UMC and TSMC will eventually get the green light to finish the fabs they've already started in the mainland and there is going to be a massive glut of CPUs priced so cheap that IBM, Intel and AMDs CPU businesses will be worthless.
  • desktop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- ( 624050 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:01AM (#4741918) Journal
    AMD will probably still have the best bang for your buck desktop processors but they wont be as fast, and that is all right with me. I never buy the absolute fastest cpu as I do not like to pay out my ass for the litte bit of extra performance that is not absolutely necessary.
  • I'm an AMD fan... their processors often offer more bang for the buck compared to intel.

    They do run hotter, but so what? (and how else will I heat my server room in the wintertime?)

    competition is always good; free markets demand it, and consumers will suffer when choice is reduced.

    Does anyone know some more specifics? C'mon you AMD employees out there... I know you read slashdot... Please tell me this is some kind of sick joke.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm an AMD fan...

      I didn't know AMD fans could post on slashdot. How is your neighbor Mr. Heatsink?

    • "They do run hotter, but so what? (and how else will I heat my server room in the wintertime?)"

      So what?! I moved a couple of months ago, and they don't have AC here. Guess what? I've had to take my computer down a couple of times because the CPU overheated. Your 'so what?' means I don't have a reliable machine until I find a way to make it run cooler.

      I'm kicking myself for not getting a P4. Lightwave runs better on it anyway.
      • I moved a couple of months ago, and they don't have AC here. Guess what? I've had to take my computer down a couple of times because the CPU overheated. Your 'so what?' means I don't have a reliable machine until I find a way to make it run cooler.

        Unless the temperature in your house is regularly exceeding 100F, you should have no trouble adequately cooling the CPU. Something like a good Thermalright copper heatsink with a Delta fan should have your system plenty cool.
        • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:53AM (#4742108) Homepage
          Unless the temperature in your house is regularly exceeding 100F

          Let me tell you as someone who knows quite a bit about heating and cooling -- that's not entirely true. One or two degrees in the case can equate to one or two more degrees in the case

          Because the inside of a computer is generating heat, that generated heat has to go somewhere in order for the system to stay cool. In most cases that heat is dispersed out of the case. The cooler the ambient temperature, the easier that heat flows out. Quite simply, cooler air takes heat off of a heatsink easier than than warmer air, even if the difference is only a few degrees.

          The difference between a 72 degree room and a 75 degree room can be enough to take an otherwise rock solid system and turn it into something that crashes non-stop. Given just a little more heat, It may become too unstable to even post all the time.
    • I'm an AMD fan ...

      Then get back inside the case before the cpu toasts itself!
  • NOOOOO!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hi_2k ( 567317 )
    I've had my AMD athalon 900 since 3 days after they came out (shipping time) and it STILL makes my computer chug faster than a sprinting hare. And it cost $100 less than the same speed(figurativley, the 900 athalon is faster than the 900 p3) intel chip.

    And, on another note, it gives Intel its monopoly back (anyone here buy anything BUT a pentium from 95 till 98?). The competition did intel good, as prices were driven down significantly and we entered a very prosperous era for computer manufacturers.
  • by Space Coyote ( 413320 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:04AM (#4741931) Homepage
    It seemed that AMD couldn't make money even when the Athlon was the hottest thing going (literally and sales-wise), simply because the PC market is so driven by price. It takes far more R&D costs to come up with a processor that can compete with the latest from Intel, and the profit per unit is probably abysmal.

    To compete with Intel, they were finding that they had to compete in every area, in order to please the OEMs it was courting. They had to make a mobile chip, they had to make a low-cost chip, and a multiprocessor-capable chip, and now they're hard at work on a 64-bit chip. All of which will sell a fraction of what Intel will sell but with similar R&D costs.

    It's just another example showing that it's very hard to compete against an entrenched monopoly.
    • Actually, when the Athalon first came out, and got great reviews, AMD was making money. More to do with their compact-flash business than their processors, but still, they were doing well.

      Unfort, the compact flash market has dropped as well, due to fewer sales of digital cameras, mp3 players, etc, etc. Everything AMD makes is part of the same economic cycle. They need to make something that is profitable when CPUs aren't.
    • by fferreres ( 525414 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:35AM (#4742221)
      It's just another example showing that it's very hard to compete against an entrenched monopoly.

      No, this is just an example that in industries where marginal cost in negligible, it favours the creation of a monopoly in the mid or long term.

      That actually happens in ANY industry that has this cost equation. The math is very simple. The offer curve is flat, so the one that has the most R&D has a higher return, and so in the next phase they have more cash to spend in R&D.

      It's the famous winner takes it all, and if AMD lives today is because Intel is better of having them around than not.
      • "The offer curve is flat, so the one that has the most R&D has a higher return ..."

        Please do note the link between flat offer curve and the fact if you have more cash, you can also (and always) have more R&D than your competitors. So you can always have a better product if you want (and you DO want to). So you are almost always (almost = if you miscalculate R&D in one period, you just add extra R&D for the next products) selling better products, have better fabs and lead the market, ad infinitum, untill and if some other technology you did not foresee and cannot buy takes over you.
  • by lpontiac ( 173839 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:05AM (#4741935)
    There's nothing in the article to suggest that AMD is abandoning the PC chip market.

    Their president said that they're branching out into different markets, and Forbes went on the comment that this is a shift away from an emphasis solely on the PC market. But nobody said that AMD is going to stop making chips for PCs.

    • by Derg ( 557233 ) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:12AM (#4741968) Journal
      Exactly what I was going to say. Even the submittor didnt seem to rtfa, its clear as day. to quote:

      Ruiz brought out executives and representatives from Gibson Guitar Company, George Lucas' JAK Films and supercomputer company Cray Inc. to illustrate the technology that Sunnyvale, California-based AMD was delivering outside personal computers.

      All this article really means is that AMD is not going to let its only horse in the technology race be one in PC Processors, they want to branch out and put their products into as many markets as they can stomach/reach.

      I agree with parent, read the fuckin article...
      • AMD has never been a CPU only company, just like Intel isn't a CPU only company. You really only hear about Intel's motherboard chipsets and ethernet controllers, but they do a lot of other stuff. Likewise, while AMD may be relatively new to motherboard chipsets, they've been making ethernet controllers for a long time. You never hear about the other stuff, since it mostly goes into embedded/proprietary/special-purpose stuff, so it seems to the casual observer that both companies are totally dependent on the desktop PC.

    • Which means....there won't be a new Athlon release to match whatever Intel releases with the P4, and the Opteron will be mega expensive, probably price-competetive with the Itanic.

      For whatever reason, it seems to me that AMD has been underpricing their stuff, and it hasn't worked. I paid like $179 for the AthlonXP 1700 I bought a few months back. The equivalent P4 was quite a bit more expensive. The Mobo's were like ten bucks different.
    • Now is the time to buy AMD stock. As soon as you see the market react to an announcement that only be good for AMD with a 12% drop, you know it's time to buy.

  • Not a bad thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:05AM (#4741937) Journal
    I don't see this as necessarily being a bad thing. The consumer computer processor market is a funny market today--the fabs cost billions to construct, the research costs millions and these chips are some of the most complex things ever created--and you can get then for $50 basically.

    What's the point of every home user having a 3.0GHz processor? I'm not saying "640k should be enough for anyone" but at the moment, few applications (minus gamers) even need a 1ghz processor to shine--processors will no doubt continue to improve but until some radical paradigm shift in computing, it won't be that big a deal (memory, 3d cards, bandwidth are where I see the possibilities for a lot of improvement).

    Let AMD get into market where the r&d is lower, and the margins are higher, this sounds like a good thing to me.
    • few applications (minus gamers) even need a 1ghz processor to shine

      Windows XP, MS Office Autosave, Mozilla, OpenOffice, GCC/BCC/other compilers... And just you wait untill Mr. Gates comes up with a fully rendered, anti-aliased, AI-capable, mail-reading 3D Clippy in 32-bit colors at 1600x1200. THAT will make your computer sweat, especially with autosave set at 5 seconds.

      Seriously though, allot of programs do well with more proc power, such as 3D-rendering tools and their associated programs, heavy graphical editing (although you'd be better off with a Mac in such a case) and basically any compiler come to mind...

    • Re:Not a bad thing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:12AM (#4742153)
      If you hadn't been paying attention, memory bandwidth has gotten a huge shot in the arm lately. Graphics cards are up in the 20GB/sec and in a couple of months, main memory will be at 6.4 GB/sec (dual channel DDR-400). That's a *huge* jump in memory bandwidth over what was the case only a year ago. No, CPU speeds definately need to go up, because as of late, memory bandwidth has been keeping pace. As for why home users need 3.0 GHz, I can rattle off a list of several things:

      1) Not everyone uses just Word. A large chunk of the population actually does demanding work on their PCs, and this includes video/audio editing, 3D, programming, scientific computing, desktop publishing, etc.
      2) Gaming!
      3) Natural language processing/artificial intelligence.
      4) Windows Longhorn and KDE 3.1!
      • Here's the way I generally think about it. Back in the "old days" it was common for CPU speed multipliers to be 1x. So memory, bus, cpu operated at the same speed. Look at multipliers today--13,17, etc. They're a ton higher. Now compare the speed of L1 cache on the CPU to main memory, to HDD speed. If we had computers that had 512MB of L1 cache speed memory, that would be insanely good (and insanely expensive). LAtency is also an issue. You are right though that recent strides in this direction have been good and helped the situation.

        most of the things you mention btw do well on 1ghz computers. 1.5GHz (athlonxp) here, I can hardly tell a difference between it and 800MHz Duron I had before. going from 256MB to 512MB was a tangible difference though. KDE is fairly fast too...not windows fast, but good.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:08AM (#4741946) Homepage
    That's sad. Before AMD got into high-end desktop CPUs, Intel was edging the CPU price up towards $1000. After AMD started beating Intel now and then, CPU prices dropped to the $100-$200 range for anything below the latest and greatest barely-works part.

    Sadly, the AMD 64 bit processor has now slipped to "the first half of 2003". It was supposed to ship in Q4 2002 not so long ago. I wonder if it will ever ship. This is bad. Intel's Inanium is not a place you really want to go.

  • by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <slashdot@mon k e l e c t r i c . com> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:08AM (#4741947)
    AMD's prices are just *dirt* chip, this is why they aren't making any money. An 800mhz PIII chip costs 89$, on pricewatch (which I would never buy from by the way). 87$ buys you an Athlon 2100 cpu, which is just about 1ghz faster then the intel part. AMD's processors are an amazing value, but AMD has to have trouble making a profit on them.
    • Why don't you buy from pricewatch? Like getting ripped off at CompUSA? I buy from Pricewatch all the time, have the sense to go to comparably large online retailers (except for RAM!) and have yet (in 3 or 4 years) to get a bad deal a single time!
    • 1. Make great chips
      2. Sell them low
      3. ???
      4. ????
      5. ?????
      6. ??????
      7. well?....
  • I don't get it? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thoolie ( 442789 )
    Well, if intel doesn't have to compete with AMD anymore (i didn't get that from the article, but for arguments sake...), then where is there incentive to make the "fasted, cheapest, smaller, bla bla bla" chip on the market? If it wasn't for AMD, i don't know if intel would be past the 1ghz mark. The speeds have been increased due to people wanting the fastest, and they would buy from whoever has it. So if INTEL reighns supreme, then won't that kind of take away the incentive to keep making better products?

    I did get from the article, however, that AMD isn't getting out of the biz of making pc cpus, they have the opteron coming out and the current batch of athlons is just about as fast as the current intels. So i guess we will all have to see where this goes, too soon to speculate i guess.

    I would like input on what is really going down, though.

    • Once Intel sells everyone a P4, they need to convince everyone to buy a second P4.

      Then they have to invent some reason to replace the P4; and the second P4, and buy a new P4+.

      Intel has to compete with itself.

      That's why Macs have such high resale values, as a corrollary; they only have to compete with themselves, and the way Apple has structured the G3 and G4 lines, they don't cannibalize and compete with each other, and thus maintain a high initial price and a high resale price.

      All because Apple only has to compete with itself. If, like AMD, Apple competed against Intel, Apple would be forced to compete on price-since it doesn't, though, Apple can price according to other features, such as Altivec, OS X, iDVD/iMovie/iPhoto/iTunes, iCal/iSynch/iChat, long battery life, appearance, etc.
  • Smart Move AMD.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metacosm ( 45796 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:11AM (#4741960)
    I think this is in the best business interests of AMD. I am a software developer by trade, and gamer by hobby. For years I was on the bleeding edge of technology (and paying a hefty sum for the bragging rights). I used to dabble in overclocking/custom cooling and really "pushing the preformance" on my machines. But the truth is, right now, as a software developer ([C#/C++], Java, Perl, Python) and a gamer (Worms, Warcraft III, Natural Selection), I simply feel no pressing need to upgrade my system.

    In the days of 3.06Ghz HT boxes and 64bit processors... my systems are meek by comparison... My primary machine is a Sony Viao Laptop 1.0Ghz (AMD) with 512 + 40gig IDE (15.1 inch screen). My gaming machine is a 1.7Ghz (P4) with 1024 + 120gig WD (Special Edition). Yet despite my primary machine being 1/3rd the fastest(and more so if you count the advantage of HT) in the industry -- I feel no pressing need to upgrade.

    The bottom line is, nowadays I don't feel like I am waiting for my system todo what I ask it too-- and until that feeling returns due to more powerful [or more bloated] software, I don't think I will be running out to buy a machine based on CPU.

    If AMD is cheaper, cooler and does everything I need to in a smarter way (sound like Transmeta's plan anyone?), they will get my bucks.
    • Yes--I agree that AMD is making a smart move. The only segments of the PC market that are going anywhere are the budget PC market (think under US$500), the mobile market (notebooks, tablet PCs, etc) and new form factors and "non-pc" consumer devices(ultra-compact desktops, set-top boxes like PVRs and game consoles). These all have a few common elements: the edge goes to the one who can produce low-cost, low-power, low-heat designs. The high-end desktop/workstation market is flat at best (and most likely in decline). Few in the market for a new PC are geeks who want to compile their Linux kernels faster than all their friends or render sophisticated 3D videogames at framerates higher than their eyes can perceive them (or most monitors can display them).

      BUT---hold on a minute. Who said AMD was just going cheap. I got the idea that they were diversifying their market strategy. Until now, their marketing has been very unsophisticated to be polite. Hell, in an effort to win a petty pissing match over who is the king of the crap-pile they have gone so far as to give their processors "model numbers" instead of labelling them by clock speed. Joe blow on the street gets very confused when you try to explain what the 2100+ means on his "Athlon XP 2100+" (no it isn't REALLY a 2.1 GHz chip--it's only 1.733GHz but it's just as good...huh?). time to shape up.

      Now, AMD is promising to get a bit smarter in selling their bleeding edge technology. Why languish in a stagnant high-end PC market with razor-thin profits against a giant comptetitor? Instead of trying to find, retain and support thousands (millions?) of geeks and "keep-up-with-the-joneses" types, each with 1 to maybe 8 processors each, perhaps it would be better for business to land a deal with hundreds of customres like Cray, or NASA, or JPL, or governments and big corporations, who each need thousands of processors to meet their needs?

      Big customers don't need their hands held--they order in volume, making production runs easier to manage and cheaper and margins higher. They engineer and support their own products. These big guns are also much better at showcasing the latest technology. Think about it. What would be more impressive to the average person (and the mainstream press):

      * If AMD powered supercomputers rendered the latest CG animated hit movie, an AMD-powered cluster of servers made Google search 500% faster, or predicted storm movements on Jupiter or repeatedly beat Kasparov at chess...etc

      * AMD scored higher on some obscure benchmark on Andtech and Tom's Hardware, the pizza-faced kid next door got his 3D gam to go 120FPS at 32-bits and some insanely high resolution (ultimetely more a testament to his video card's performance anyways), and the computer salesman made and Athlon XP system boot faster than a similar but higher priced P4 system

      I'd say the former would garner more respect and a higher profile than the latter.
  • AMD fabbing PPC? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:11AM (#4741963) Homepage Journal
    ya gotta wonder with all the rumors of Apple sending out AMD boxes running OS X if all the rumors were wrong to conclude x86 was involved at all....

    Maybe AMD is 'branching out' by manufacturing PPC chips for Apple. No evidence is conclusive but this will definitely add fuel to the rumor fire around the AMD/Apple connection.

    • BTW here's a link to one of the rumors....

      AMD and Apple Rumors Part II []

    • Text of the link for those too lazy to click...


      MacBidouille has posted another AMD/Apple rumor. English Translation:

      I have just received some rumors you will like. Of course they're from an anonymous yet reliable source:

      - Apple will start using 64 bit CPU during the following months
      - The processor will probably be made by AMD rather than by IBM, the former having a much higher production capacity.

      It should be noted that AMD's 64 bit proc for PCs is almost ready.
      The processor has the advantage of being compatible with 32 bit busses.

      So an x86 proc in a Mac or a PPC by AMD? "

  • RTFA! (Score:5, Informative)

    by kwashiorkor ( 105138 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:12AM (#4741965)
    Read The F'ing Article!

    For those too lazy to click though, here's a sample quote:

    In a shift away from the slowing personal computer industry, where Intel and AMD have significant stakes, AMD said it would begin working with a wider variety of companies to sell its products
    It says nothing about "not competing with Intel". What a load of sensationalist crap.

    Tabloid News for nerds.
    • I did RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

      by The Tyro ( 247333 )
      and it sounded like marketing-speak. however, I think some concern is warranted, particularly when you read between the lines (which always requires a bit of interpretation and speculation, but still...)

      A shift away from the PC market could mean that they will no longer be trying so hard to compete with intel. The comptetition has arguably been good for BOTH companies, and even better for consumers. Isn't that what is often argued here, that competition against microsoft (in the form of linux, OS X, etc) would be a Good Thing (TM)? Improve quality? Lower price? yes?

      I think we are justified in asking the question, and being concerned about this move. I'll repeat my call to the AMD employees that read this site... more information, please. Don't be shy... the worst you can be is an Anonymous Coward!

      I love your nick, by the way...
      • Re:I did RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
        A shift away from the PC market could mean that they will no longer be trying so hard to compete with intel.

        That doesn't mean that they won't try, and doesn't mean they really are pulling out of the PC CPU market. I take it as "not putting all your eggs in one basket".

        It might mean that they are shifting what they want to put into the PC market. For one thing, the MHz race didn't exactly focus on wattage efficiency, with neither AMD nor Intel exactly getting awards for not releasing space heater products.

        As it was, AMD and Intel didn't approach the overall market in the same way, although it might be limitations on the part of less available funding on AMD's part.

        AMD sort of had their breadwinning technology horse backwards. AMD probably took a big hit by releasing their better CPU and chipsets for single CPU systems sooner than its multi-CPU counterpart. The multi-CPU market is often where the money is, and AMD multi-CPU systems by way of CPUs and chipsets have lagged in technology introduction.

        Intel often kept its latest goodies close to its Xeon line and with time, trickled down some of those technologies to the regular CPUs.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Please read the article. Note that there is
    nothing in it about "no longer competing with
    Intel." Notice also that Forbes article came out
    of Comdex, which was full of AMD CPU demos
    for the PC market...
  • Demand (Score:3, Informative)

    by sevensharpnine ( 231974 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:13AM (#4741969)
    When there are no competing products in a market, the door is wide open for competition. As the equilibrium price rises (out of lack of competition), the barrier to entry lowers. As the barrier is lowered, competing firms will surface. These firms will fight it out until one "wins" by forcing the others out of business. Then there are no competitors in the market, and the door is wide open for competition...
  • YES! (Score:5, Funny)

    by eamber ( 121675 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:14AM (#4741978) Homepage Journal
    I've been waiting for YEARS to get me an AMD branded toaster oven. Wonder if it'll use Athlons as the heating elements?
  • The article seemed to say that AMD is moving to get into markets other than desktop processors. That doesn't mean that they are exiting the desktop market.

    I share some of the concern regarding the effect on competition with Intel, because there's only so much R&D money to go around in any company. However, let's say that they slow down trying to compete with intel over the very fastest chip on the market. People buy AMD because you get more chip for the money/the same performance at a lower price. If they invest enough to keep themselves just a step behind intel in their fastest chip, but still delivering better value, they might be able to sustain similar profits with substantially lower R&D and other costs. This would still keep the pressure on intel.

  • Look at Motorola (ok, poor example of a company suceeding, but it works here). They were in the chip business for PCs, and while they didnt start there, they have chosen to branch out into mobile devices. Each company evolves to provide the best profit to its shareholders (atleast thats how I read this, and I'm no economist), and this can be viewed by some as another way of making money. The article didnt mention that they would quit making PC chips, but this could be viewed as another way of making profits when PC chip times are bad.

    On another note, I like the bit about half way down the page (GASP!!!, I read the article... how anti-/. of me ^_^) that said that people should cry not for faster clock speeds, but for technology that is usable for the everyday person (thats the interpreted version of the quote mind you). Now to see how well its implimented.

  • Well, there goes Moore's Law. If Intel and AMD aren't going to keep going head to head, then the processor market won't be able to keep up the doubling break-neck pace.

    So, this new law of computer power is going to be called Riprock's Law. I'll just go file this patent and come up with the DNA fractal pattern to define the doubling rate later...
  • "fought a losing battle in recent quarters against Intel Corp." -- what the hell is that? Did the "jounalist" derive that by glancing at the stock market? AMD sells good CPUs, and they compete with Intel pretty well, especially considering P4 mess and AMD finally getting usable SMP configuration. Development of new CPUs is doing ok -- Hammer development certainly went much more smooth than Merced/Itanium.

    The problem is, AMD is overrun with marketdroid scum even more than Intel is. They are trying to create hype and kiss Microsoft ass way too much, alienating their users (that is, their users that know that they are their users), and now they show a disgusting example of 1999-style jumping on buzzword bandwagons. If they wanted to say "We are now trying to make a low-power versions of our CPUs that will be usable in home entertainment devices to compete with Celeron" THEY HAVE TO FREAKING SAY IT -- everyone who knows what a CPU is, will understand.

    Now AMD marketing retards will enjoy FUD about their desktop/server-oriented CPUs that clueless "journalists" now will spread based on their own marketing. Noce job indeed.
  • Yeah, I've heard of supply and demand too... BUT... Anyone familiar with economic theory will tell you that microchip design represents what is called a natural monopoly.

    According to economic theory, prices for each microchip will go down because Intel will be able to spread the high chip development costs over larger numbers of sales. In addition, customers will only have to pay for one group of researchers, and not a second (AMD) which spends billions in order to create duplicate research.

    Thanks for condescending to the low level of the Slashdot readership and translating the economic news into English, albeit incorrectly. I am sure you will make a "wonderful" professor.
  • "You see, there's this thing called demand, and when there are no competing products in a market, a good or service will always increase the price to the economic equilibrium, unless forced not to by the state (forget that right now, communists!!)."

    So, is lack of demand for their product the reason that they're moving away? I mean, competition's good, but somebody always wins. That comment makes it sound like Intel pushed AMD out of business. Well, I have news for you: If AMD's leaving, it's because Intel did something right. For example, their Mobile processors. Lotsa people buying laptops these days, few of the laptops available are running AMD processors. Today I can buy a laptop with a 2.8 ghz P4 processor, I can't even come close to that with AMD. AMD's not even on my radar for my upcoming laptop purchase because they're not making the grade.

    If I could, I'd moderate this whole topic -1, Troll.
  • But wait! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:32AM (#4742044)
    "Intel users will be much worse now that AMD will no longer compete."

    It's OK, we'll all be saved by Cyrix! Wait a sec...

  • "You see, there's this thing called demand, and when there are no competing products in a market, a good or service will always increase the price to the economic equilibrium, unless forced not to by the state (forget that right now, communists!!)."

    I see this a different way: You see, there's this thing called demand. When there isn't enough demand for a good or service, then a company like AMD is forced to make business decisions to ensure their long life.

    I mean seriously, this article was written as though Intel pulled a sneaky stunt to push AMD out of the arena. It'd be hard to prove that seeing as how P4s cost more than AMDs. It's not like Intel undercut them to death. As a matter of fact, AMD probably competed themselves out of the market. There's a point when you got to stop saying 'me too' and start being the leader.

    I suppose it's a pity, but my next machine wasn't likely to be an AMD for a couple of reasons:

    1.) The AMD I have now has overheated 3 times in the last two months causing me to shut down. I'm going to have to put another fan in, I guess. This sucks because I can't rely on my machine to do my renderings overnight.

    2.) My next machine will be a laptop, and AMD's hardly exist in that market. Seriously, I can go buy a P4 laptop running at 2.8ghz, but I'm hard pressed to find an Athlon greater than 1.8ghz. More and more people are buying laptops these days. Part of me wonders if AMD's going to target that market soon. (They should.)

    It's sad that they'll be focusing less on the desktop market, but I wouldn't phrase it like Intel did something horrible. They didn't. I mean, if the author of this topic wanted to convey the idea that lack of competition is a bad thing, he could have used a tone that wasn't so trollish.
  • by PizzaFace ( 593587 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:39AM (#4742068)
    AMD will put compatibility ahead of sheer speed. The press release [] mentions embedded devices, but also demos of 64-bit game and database software. AMD is emphasizing that its 64-bit processor has better backward compatibility than Intel's with 32-bit software, even though its 64-bit mode is slower. This looks to me like a bid for industry support for its x86-64 architecture, hardly a concession of the PC market.
  • by lrslrslrs ( 621601 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:41AM (#4742075)
    Unfortunately I disagree with the original poster, AMD is not leaving the PC chip market, they are spreading their wings. More inline with the current chip industry.

    May I remind you that Intel is not exclusively in the chip market either. Intel spread to new concepts in computing years ago and are better of for it (e.g. From their site []: Consulting Services, Compilers, Performance Analyzers, Threading Tools, Training Center, LANDesk* Software etc...) While most of these are certainly related to the PC chip industry it is not nearly as narrow as AMD [].

    In doing what Intel did years ago, they are actually increasing their competitiveness. In fact a quick look at Intel's (INTC) financials [] confirm just that.

    Hats off to AMD []. for keeping capitalism and competitiveness alive.

  • Nothing new here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Martigan80 ( 305400 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @03:48AM (#4742097) Journal
    In fact before AMD started hounding Intel in the x86 market they made a wide range of processors and chips! I do electronic repair work for the military and I see plenty of older and newer boards with chips from AMD, Motorola, and TI. Not too many from Intel.
    I understand the vision they have about future computing, if you try to shove a AMDXP or PIV in ever piece of hardware you will limit your capabilities greatly. There are times when a RISC processor will do a better job then a chunking x86.
    Sure their stock took a hit, but those damn investors always freak out when change is in the air.
  • by GiorgioG ( 225675 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:10AM (#4742150) Homepage
    Forbes Magazine is reporting that /. reader slughead recently failed his 2nd grade reading comprehension test. Even more astounding is /. editor Timothy failed to do his homework - err job function.

    Come on people.
    • by Hermanetta ( 55229 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:50AM (#4742254)
      No doubt. I'll try to complain about slashdot lemmings at least once a day now.

      How is it that this forbs article got an entilrely different spin on what AMD is doing from everyine alse who reported on the same event and was sitting in the same rooms for the same lecture?

      Again here is the headline. I will decode some of what may not be obvious.

      AMD to move beyond PC, faster chips no longer key
      Reuters, 11.19.02, 4:04 PM ET

      By Reed Stevenson

      LAS VEGAS, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (nyse: AMD - news - people) said on Tuesday that it would embrace a strategy of developing processors for a wider range of products outside computers and called on the industry to focus on user needs rather than creating "technology for technology's sake." .....

      In a shift away from the slowing personal computer industry, where Intel and AMD have significant stakes, AMD said it would begin working with a wider variety of companies to sell its products.

      Ruiz brought out executives and representatives from Gibson Guitar Company, George Lucas' JAK Films and supercomputer company Cray Inc. to illustrate the technology that Sunnyvale, California-based AMD was delivering outside personal computers. ....

      1) The first thing is the title which you could maybe read to mean what the slashdot article makes this story out to be, but technically they dont say that AMD is moving out of PC processors or anything remotely like that.

      2) The story actually comes from rueters, not forbes, so they just picked a meaty article to post on their site, not necessiarily paying much attention to any possible fud or slant. Again not the most responsible, but not as bad as the slashdot article.

      3) Dont know who this guy is, but probalby a reuters hack.

      4) "LAS VEGAS, Nov 19 (Reuters)" - this was from the same stuff on the same day as all of the other Ruiz (AMD CEO) articles, but this is the most creatively different article (besides slashdot) that I have read so far.

      5) The leading paragraph is true as is technically the rest of it.

      6) The other two paragraphs I show here, when mixed with the title, is where people might begin to get the wrong idea and where I think they could have done a better job. I dare say that this is the part where it could seem slanted.

      7) The last sentence in the excerpt that I show above is the "hook" for the article. Its where an actual statement is made as proof of the "moving away" title. It is this sentince that makes it sound like AMD is not doing PC things at all for these guys.

      I'll try to counter a few of these:
      - Cray is going to be made of commodity PC processors. Many/most of the super computers these days are made with commodity procesors (and many of the other parts are commodity as well).

      - The Lucus pre-rendering was done on PCs and there was never a mention of *not* user PCs for any other work. Here is a real quote form a real reporter: "Using the Athelon processor, JAK Films was able to help realize George Lucas' vision of his fantastic world," Ruiz explained after a brief onstage chat with Star Wars robot character R2D2. []

      - And as for gibson: It features a "hexaphonic" pick-up that transfers the analog sounds of the strings to a digital format. The signal is then moved via Ethernet to an AMD Athlon 64-bit digital audio workstation (DAW), where it can be amplified, modified or blended with other musical instruments. The technology will allow musicians to collaborate and jam with others even if they're in different cities around the world. [] (same as other link).

      Thanks for reading

  • I can't help but put on my conspiracy goggles on this one. Wasn't AMD the only Wintel chipmaker to openly vow to continue non-Palladium based chips? Were they muscled out my Microsoft and Intel in efforts to control the home computing experience?
  • by slughead ( 592713 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:29AM (#4742202) Homepage Journal
    Again, verbatim from my site:

    Attention Slashdoters:
    Don't get all your news from Slashdot

    I should really start out by saying that I have never owned and Intel chip, my PC is an AthlonXP. I'm about to attempt to put an end to any dispute, and I'm going to use Forbes as my main source (because I think the man might know a thing or two about money, because he's got a lot more than me).

    After the PC market's recent downturn, AMD was facing tough times. However, unlike Intel, AMD has little diversity in chip manufacturing. Recently, Intel announced their 3ghz processor with hyperthreading (a way of fooling software into running more efficiently). So AMD cut 15% of their employees [] shortly after.

    Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but when a company cuts jobs, it doesn't just mean that they will have less employees, it also means that they will pay taxes []. In addition to their current financial problems, just 5 days ago, AMD converted $300m of debt into stock [], which will hurt their economic standing in the future, and by extension, the present (the news left AMD's stock in shambles at $5.90).

    Converting debt into stock on such a large scale has consequences. Like, for instance, S & P could cut your credit rating []. Of course, when the S & P does that, you have to convert more debt into stock [].

    Just a bad time for PC CPU mfg.ers? Well Intel's doing great [], so how about that?

    So whether the article said it directly or not (I read it 5 times and I think it pretty well did), AMD will not be competing in the PC market for a while. Their 64bit chip might help bridge the gap between 32bit and 64, but it has to come out first, and then it has to beat Intel's benchmarks on 32bit applications (which I could presume it will not). It will beat it in UT2003 though, hopefully that'll be enough!
    • First of all, AMD does have diversity in chip manufacturing. They make flash memory.

      Second, cutting employees doesn't mean you pay less taxes. The pre-tax charge that you link you has nothing to do with taxes. This pre-tax charge is a one-time expense associated with the restructuring. It mostly represents the severence pay they'll be giving people.

      I've read your story submission (which slaughters any reasonable economic theory) and this. You shouldn't try to write about finance until you get an education.
  • by herrd0kt0r ( 585718 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:31AM (#4742209)
    contrary to what a lot of the above posts say, there _is_ a hint that AMD will be withdrawing (to what degree, who knows) from the processor market. but i think the most interesting part of the article is where it mentions that AMD will be raising $300 million in convertible notes.

    what does that mean? it means they're not really retreating. i think it means that they're going to be broadening their efforts; they'll stop focusing so much on processors for PCs, and dedicate some resources to other places.

    they did very well with their flash memory division for a while (nevermind how it's doing now). that shows that they are able to succeed in areas other than the PC processor market. this gave them a taste for pursuing interests besides processors. additionally, their bitter struggle to compete with intel, and it _is_ bitter and brutal, led them to realize that in order to truly succeed as a company, they're going to have to work on multiple fronts instead of tying their success on one admittedly difficult marketplace war.

    in short: nevermind the hype about AMD retreating. focus on the interesting aspects of the article. focus on the fact that they're taking a risk in raising $300 million and lowering their credit rating. then think about _why_ they're doing it.
  • Damn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TCaM ( 308943 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:37AM (#4742226) Homepage
    Is there a way to mark this whole thing as a Troll?
  • Overblown Reporting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kirn_malinus ( 159763 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:40AM (#4742235) Homepage
    This is one of the worst cases of overblown sensationalism I've seen in a long time. Obviously AMD isn't moving out of the x86 chip market, they still plan to continue manufacturing those chips. It would be just silly for them to all of the sudden drop years of architecture research.

    Also, I don't think it's fair to assume Intel's primary domain is purely in PC Chips. Their work in Communications chips is nearly as important, and is becoming more so. I think they're trying to develop it into a stronger market force in the next few years.

  • by Sivar ( 316343 ) <`moc.liamg]' `ta' `[snrubnselrahc'> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:40AM (#4742236)
    Didn't AMD just mention that it planned to surpass Intel [] as the world's number 1 chip maker?

    And I quote:
    AMD BOSS HECTOR RUIZ says AMD is "dead serious" about ousting Intel to become the number one player in the "computational processor market".
    "We're not just trying to be a good number two," he said.
    Ruiz claimed its "competitor" had done "everything possible" to keep it from competing in new segments of the market but, despite Intel's best efforts, AMD was on course to make significant progress in a number of areas.

    Surely AMD didn't change its entire business direction and core corporate strategy in a matter of days. It seems to me that there is a misunderstanding, and seeing as how the Forbes article quoted not one single comment from AMD brass stating that they "will no longer compete with Intel", I think it's Forbes, and the story submitter.
    I seem to recall rumors back when AMD was kicking ass that Intel planned to leave the PC CPU business to pursue more "long term profitable measures." Well, what sure doesn't seem to be the case.
  • Sounds like Motorola (Score:4, Informative)

    by ToasterTester ( 95180 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:58AM (#4742263)
    Motorola did the same thing a few years ago and that's why IBM is now Apples only source of PPC.

    I bet there are a lot of motherboard engineer that will be looking for work when this happens.
  • They Lost (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coene ( 554338 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:09AM (#4742286)
    Plain and simple, they lost. And its a shame, because they came into the game losing (post-K6, beginning Athlons). At the peak, less than 6 months ago, they were the favorite chip among hobbyists, and really had the better, cheaper, faster chip. They were winning (in the way that it counts, at least to me).

    What a shame, especially when they realize that Intel can beat them in the areas they are focusing on too.
  • by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @05:26AM (#4742321) Homepage Journal
    are "fast enough" for consumers, at least for the time being, and are looking at a PC marketplace in the near future where MOST (typical users) will be satisfied with their PC experience for several years to come. With a shrinking market for NEW PC cpus they should logically look elsewhere to sell their product, elsewhere being other consumer markets, whatever they may be.
  • by edhall ( 10025 ) <> on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:19AM (#4742414) Homepage

    Intel isn't exactly betting the farm on the PC market, either. Although Itanium isn't quite as do-or-die for Intel as the Hammer series is for AMD, they both know full well that making CPU's for PC's will be a shrinking part of their revenues. Making chips for servers is the market they are both shooting for. The margins are much higher and the market is actually growing at a good clip, unlike the PC market.

    So I guess this may be bad news for folks who want really cheap bleeding-edge performance on their desktops. But business users don't need any more performance on the desktop than they already have, and even gamers are increasingly looking toward GPU's and not CPU's as the most important factor for performance in their systems. Intel and AMD are laying their bets in the server room.

    Given that AMD already has the technology in hand to deliver more bang-per-buck than Itanium and with a smooth and solid migration path, this may be the most sensible move they've made in years.

  • Transmeta go go go! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jacek Poplawski ( 223457 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:46AM (#4742461)
    My first PC was 386 SX 16. It had Intel CPU of course. Then I bought 386 DX 40, then AMD 486 DX (DX4? something like that) 100, then Cyrix 6x86 166+, then K6-2 500, then Athlon XP 1800. As you see I haven't used Intel for a long time.
    If AMD is going to increase prices and stop active development - there is a place for a new competitor. You probably don't remember Cyrix CPUs from pentium times. Thanks to Cyrix - Intel and AMD put new CPUs faster on market. Of course they also created very aggresive marketing (I still hear "Cyrix is unstable" sentence). If AMD stop now - whole market will slow down.
    We need Transmeta in Desktop PC. Is it possible?
  • by MoceanWorker ( 232487 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:48AM (#4742465) Homepage
    what about Crusoe? what's the status of the Crusoe processor and why don't they take advantage of this opportunity and jump into the market?
  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @06:50AM (#4742474)
  • Ahem. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:00AM (#4742594)
    I don't think AMD is leaving the x86-compatible CPU market anytime soon. I think AMD was just unfortunate that the current market conditions won't allow for the company to be profitable in the CPU market; what AMD wants to do is expand into building other specialty products that will better insulate itself from market conditions. If you look Intel's wide range of products they are heavily into networking, specialized-market RISC CPU, and so on.

    The thing is that AMD--unlike previous competitors in the field like Cyrix--has demonstrated that can produce CPU's that are very competitive performance-wise against Intel's products. The Athlon XP 2800+ --which should ship any time now--has proven it can keep up with the Pentium 4 2.8 GHz CPU in most benchmark tests. Intel can't sit on its laurels with the new Pentium 4 3.06 GHz CPU that has the Hyperthreading functionality; they very well know that the Barton-core Athlons due the first quarter of 2003 will probably keep up with the Pentium 4 3.06 GHz, because the new Athlons will not only sport 512 KB L2 cache on the CPU die but also other changes to the main CPU core to improve performance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 24, 2002 @08:45AM (#4742667)
    Here [] is the actually press release from AMD. Theres nothing in there that says they are stopping consumer chips (infact, they talk about the 64bit chip, and unreal). they do mention that they are 'branching out' Microsoft branched out from Operating systems (everything from keyboards, to chairs, to crappy networking hardware) but they still make the same great os!
  • by AgTiger ( 458268 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @09:11AM (#4742704) Homepage
    If I remember correctly, Intel just released its 3.0 GHz chips. If I were AMD, and I wanted Intel to slow down a bit, I'd want them comfortable and happy in their current position so they didn't have quite the same sense of urgency about developing newer, better, faster technology.

    In fact, I might just start off with such a press release. I might continue by quietly starting up subsidiary firms, owned by the AMD corporate head office, and moving people and tech over to those companies, while making a big show about how the AMD CPU processor focus is being back-burnered, production factories are being retooled for different things, the corporate vision is changing (frequently), etc... All the signs of a firm that is visionary, bold, courageous - in other words, about to show up at ;)

    And when Intel was sitting pretty, regaining market dominance and feeling pretty good about its position vs. "former competitor" AMD, AND the market is starting to boom and demand is increasing, AMD could release something that blows Intel's doors right off.

    Yes, it's risky. Long term profit in the face of a short/medium bear market usually is.

  • Transmeta (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @09:15AM (#4742715) Homepage Journal
    With Transmeta still trying to push into the PC CPU market I'd think AMD backing off a little would be good news for them. Two names is about all most customers can keep track of. This will let the Transmeta name have a chance at becoming known outside the geek society. If the recent news of Transmeta's new much faster and even more effecient CPU is true and that CPU is cheap and faster (and more energy/heat effecient) than a 1.8Ghz Intel CPU then they might grab some decent market share.

    Just to make a wild prediction I'd say handheld wireless devices will be a big boom over the next decade or so.. faster CPU's probably will matter less than extending battery life. If they can make them cheap enough and so that they don't need massive cooling then they also should work well for parallel designs.. for the power users.
  • by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @11:29AM (#4743090) Homepage
    AMD is saying that besides desktop chips, they are also moving into workstation and server chips. How exactly is this "pulling out from competition with Intel"...? Quite the contrary, they will now be competing not only with the Pentium and Celeron, but also with the Xeon and Itanium (and with chips from Sun, HP, etc.). And judging from the support they're getting before even releasing the Hammer, I'd say their future looks quite bright indeed.

    I'm sorry for the rant, but for the last couple of years Slashdot has become a swamp. Half the articles are from someone pushing their personal agenda ("Microsoft sucks", "Apple rules", "Person X is a bastard", etc.), and the other half are simply wrong. The readers then comment on the Slashdot "news items" without even bothering to read the original articles (thus propagating the ignorance) and finally the moderators mod things as "interesting" or "insightful" without bothering to see if they're even remotely true.

  • Forbes? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @12:04PM (#4743273)
    I wouldn't normally consider Forbes an authority on technology issues - and this article doesn't convince me in the slightest.

    AMD has a very effective roadmap ahead for Athlon, where it basically goes head to head with Celeron. Athlon is smaller and faster there. Hammer is expected to debut at 3400+ ratings and Opteron is expect to hit 4000+ and higher in 2003. Besides being faster, these chips will have native 64 bit capability which P4 lacks. They will smoke P4 across the board, and have a smaller die size to boot.

    If AMD can execute (every sign is they can) they should take off during any tech recovery. Believe me, when Hammer starts selling like hot cakes, the CEO will sing a whole different tune! :-)

  • by psicE ( 126646 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @01:39PM (#4743722) Homepage
    Back in the day, AMD was a chipfab. Intel made processors, but most of them were contracted out to independent companies, who could do a better job. Then one day, AMD realized that with their efficient factories, they could make a pretty good 486 clone. Intel sued, and in the end, AMD was forced to [a] stop directly copying Intel, and [b] use a different name.

    The rest of the story's history. AMD started making the K5 and K6; then they made the K7, their first processor to not be compatible with Intel-standard mobos (remember when every processor used Socket 7?) And their custom architecture, in the end, almost netted them 25% of the chip market.

    Then, for whatever reason, AMD started doing badly. And they said to themselves, maybe competing with Intel isn't such a good idea after all.

    I expect AMD to release Barton and the like, simply because they're already developed. I expect them to release Opteron and future x86-64 processors, but only with cache/speed/price configurations designed for servers, because there's still money in people switching from proprietary Unix to Linux. I expect Apple to soon make an announcement that AMD is its new supplier; whether that means AMD buys Motorola's desktop PPC chip business, or whether it simply becomes a fab for Apple/IBM-produced designs, I have no idea. But I don't expect AMD to announce any new desktop x86 processors from now on. If this article means anything, it's that Barton's it.
  • Duh.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GiMP ( 10923 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @02:12PM (#4743944)
    AMD is thinking on the right track.. they are essentially saying that they will expand their market because there IS something as 'too fast' (for the workstation market, anyway)..

    Sure, chips will keep increasing in speed.. but they can't increase so drastically their uses drastically overshadow the uses of their target audience.

    A 400mhz Celeron /w 128mb ram is more than enough for web-browsing, email, and an instant messager and fast enough to use any bus architectures required to access your devices such as cameras, pdas, mp3 players. Why should people upgrade if there is no need? Sure, there may eventually be a need for real-time digital editting in Grandmom's computer.. but it isn't needed yet.. so why should Grandmom buy a computer that can do that??

    Computer purchases will slow down considerably in the next few years (and it has already begun) until there is a new 'killer app' that requires something more..

    Perhaps when we finally have 3d capable desktop software, we may begin seeing more upgrades... and even more when 3d capable screens are available (holographic 'screens'!).

    The point is that the consumer market has been leveling while the chip speed as been flying higher.. there isn't any money in doing R/D if nobody is buying the product! So they want to start looking into other markets, the markets of which the consumers are shifting their eyes to. Digital Cameras, PDAs, Wireless networking, etc.

    AMD is standing on one leg, they need another foot otherwise they may topple once the chip market levels. Intel has already done it, they are making wireless equipment and webcameras... they know that when the chip-market is doing poorly, they have a little leg to stand on.

  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Sunday November 24, 2002 @04:52PM (#4745025)
    Or at least it's to the point where there's no point to it all, except for the people who just have to buy an $75,000 Lexus, because they perceive it as being better than a $25,000 Toyota. Sure, it may be better but it isn't three times better, nor is it worth the higher maintenance costs and poorer fuel efficiency. But you really can't argue with those people anyway.

    Here's where we stooped to: Intel reports a 9% increase in raw clock speed, which translates to a 4% increase in synthetic benchmark performance, and the power consumption increases by 15% at the same time. Great. Or NVidia ships a new graphics card that requires an external power supply and has all these great features that are effectively worthless, because it's just barely getting to the point where a game can require hardware T&L--something that's several generations old--and still make a small profit. Never mind all the stuff in later generation cards. Unless you're John Carmack, there's no incentive for developers to support this stuff, especially when an entire game console costs half as much as new video card.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta