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AMD Layoffs Maul Marketing, PR Departments 136

MojoKid writes "AMD's initial layoff announcement yesterday implied that the dismissals would occur across the company's global sales force. While that may still be true, it has become clear that AMD has slashed its PR and Marketing departments in particular. The New Product Review Program* (NPRP) has lost most of its staff and a Graphics Product Manager, who played an integral role in rescuing AMD's GPU division after the disaster of R600, also got the axe. Key members of the FirePro product team are also gone. None of the staff had any idea that the cuts were coming, or that they'd focus so particularly in certain areas. These two departments may not design products, but they create and maintain vital lines of communication between the company, its customers, and the press."
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AMD Layoffs Maul Marketing, PR Departments

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  • by Etherized ( 1038092 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @07:14PM (#37953380)
    I'm missing the context here; could somebody explain what this disaster was and how it threatened the existence of the GPU division? A quick google returns nothing.
  • Re:Good? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @07:28PM (#37953476) Journal

    TSMC isn't the only fabber.

    Rumor is that AMD and ARM may team up. But this means they might be thinking of an ARM/ATI combo chip. Which would be verrrrry interesting. But it would leave AMD's x86 department out in the cold for the future of computing.

    It's also a clue as to why AMD dumped the marcom hacks: these are the people who are supposed to tell the bigwigs what the Next Big Thing is going to be, and they have consistently been 1-2 years behind the curve.

    The only place AMD has been approaching the bleeding edge is in graphics, where the ATI engineers are merely advancing their skillz as fast as they can. No need to guess where their market is going, since there's always a call for more cores and more clock.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2011 @07:32PM (#37953508)

    R600 was a huge, hot, and expensive design. It had to be delayed due to it being impossible to release on the 65nm process that was available at the time, and it barely fit on the 55nm half-node either.

    All AMD (ATI) cards released after R600 have been build from the ground up to target the mainstream market, whereas in the past they would create big monolothic dies and then cut them down to fit the lower markets. The enthusiast slots from AMD are now filled by dual-GPU cards.

    A parallel would be Intel moving from the P4 to the core design, where they explicitly design the chip around efficiency, not speed.

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Friday November 04, 2011 @07:57PM (#37953638) Homepage Journal

    Excellent point. It's also worth pointing out that the 8800 survived for five years as a very viable card. Released in 2006, it's still listed as a minimum requirement for many games today (including Battlefield 3). That's quite a feat considering how fast technology matures in this market. In 2009 the 8800-class cards were still selling north of $120, and while not mind blowing by today's standards, were pretty much the gold standard until mid-2008. It's hard to compete against that kind of technology.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson