Tag: amd

AMD makes Grasby EMEA president

f5697b3fd254b65ad587865f7373dff7AMD has announced that its Corporate Vice President Worldwide Component Channel Darren Grasby, 45, has been appointed to the newly-created position of president of AMD EMEA .

Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer at AMD said that EMEA was a “key region” with a broad set of important customers, partners and markets for AMD.

She said that Grasby was a proven leader who is ideally suited to drive deeper customer, partner, and stakeholder relationships across EMEA as a part of helping AMD accomplish our long-term business goals

“Over the past eight years Darren has proven to be an effective and results-driven leader. This new role will allow him to broaden his influence and reach in supporting AMD’s customers, partners and employees while also promoting and enhancing our regional reputation and prominence as an innovative technology pioneer.”

Grasby said: “I am honored to take on this role, particularly as it allows me to promote AMD’s technology leadership and highlight the innovation that is central to AMD’s business philosophy across a broad geographic region. At its core, AMD is focused on building great products to the benefit of our partners and customers. EMEA is widely renowned as a stronghold of opportunity and I’m excited to expand our pipeline for success across the region.”

HP backs AMD to the hilt

AMD in BarcelonaDespite rumours of private equity money, and takeovers by people as diverse as Microsoft and even HP, it appears that AMD is still getting the kind of support it needs from partners in its egosystem (sic).

Here at the Canalys Channel Forum (CCF) conference in Barcelona, HP went out of its way to give AMD express backing and even exclusivity in the way of product launches.

Of course, there is nothing particularly new about this. I am staying at the Princesa Sofia hotel in Barcelona and it was here, now more than 20 years ago, that Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer lit out at Intel for messing with its customers’ minds. Wasn’t this also the venue for ex CEO Jerry Sanders III to declare that “with Microsoft and Intel we make the Holy Trinity?”  I think it was.

Compaq was eventually swallowed up by the HP body corporate in the shape of Winsome Carly Fiorina but it has always given AMD a fair crack of the product whip.

AMD showed off two devices that will be sold into the channel worldwide – a highly dense little jobbie that seems to have more specs than you can shake a fist at and will hang on the back of your HD monitor – and a rather light notebook that is also highly specced and soon to be released as part of the Elite family.

Of course, getting the spinners or the suits to talk about acquisitions and the like is like trying to get a spider out of its web. But, nevertheless, it seems clear that quite a few AMD suits now appear to be HP people out of Grenoble.

An HP source, who declined to be named, suggested to Channel Eye that Intel doesn’t mind these kind of exclusive deals because it will be in deep hot water if it has to go it alone.

More, if it transpires.

AMD forms new graphics business group

AMD-Technician-Poses-With-Chip-WaferAMD has formed a new business group dedicated to the company’s graphics chip business.

Raja Koduri will head the new Radeon Technologies group as its senior vice president and chief architect. Koduri will report to AMD president and CEO Lisa Su and assume responsibility for all aspects of AMD’s graphics technologies, the company said.

Su said through a statement that the company was creating the new business group to put in a place “a more agile, vertically-integrated graphics organization focused on solidifying our position as the graphics industry leader” and recapturing market share across graphics markets while going after new markets such as virtual and augmented reality.

In July, rumours swirled that AMD was considering the spinoff of its graphics chip business. AMD issued a denial after the Reuters news service reported that AMD was at the initial stage of reviewing whether to split up the company and had engaged a consulting firm to help it review such options.

Koduri, a 20-year industry vet, was most recently responsible for driving AMD’s visual and accelerated computing technology, including the development of the industry’s first graphics chip with integrated high-bandwidth memory. He has also been responsible for leading AMD’s LiquidVR virtual reality initiative.

Koduri joined AMD from Apple, where he was director of graphics architecture. Prior to joining Apple, Koduri served in graphics leadership roles at AMD and ATI.

“AMD is one of the few companies with the engineering talent and IP to make emerging immersive computing opportunities a reality. Now, with the Radeon Technologies group, we have a dedicated team focused on growing our business as we create a unique environment for the best and brightest minds in graphics to be a part of the team re-defining the industry,” he said in a statement.

Koduri, Burke and Chris Hook, director of global marketing for computing and graphics, would provide strong leadership for the new group.

John Byrne joins Dell

AMD's John ByrneDell has appointed a vice president of sales strategy and operations – and it’s charismatic Scotsman, John Byrne,  who has bagged the job.

John Byrne could well be described as an industry veteran and is well known to practically everyone in the UK channel business.

After a long stint at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), John decided to take some time off with his family.

But you can’t keep a John Byrne down for long, and he said: “Great to work at a company led by an industry legend like Michael Dell.”

ChannelEye sends our best wishes to him.

AMD’s woes deepen

frog-mouth-crocodile-blair_42596_990x742Fabless chipmaker AMD lowered its revenue estimate for its second second quarter saying the demand for personal computers was weaker than expected.

The company also cut its adjusted gross margin forecast for the quarter ended June 27.

The company has been shifting focus to gaming consoles and low-power servers but progress has been slower than anyone expected. This is partly because Intel has upped its game and new competitors are designing low-cost and power-efficient chips.

AMD was at the initial stage of reviewing whether to split itself in two or spin off a business, in a move to reverse its fortunes and take on Intel. Other rumours have suggested that it was going to sell itself off.

The company said that it expects revenue to have decreased about eight percent from the first quarter, compared with its previous forecast of down three percent, plus or minus three percent.

This implies revenue of about $948 million. Analysts were expecting $999.6 million.

AMD also cut its forecast for second-quarter adjusted gross margin to about 28 percent, as weak demand from PC makers also hurt demand of its APUs which combine both computing and graphic processing capability.

AMD had forecast margins of about 32 percent.

The company warned in April that it expected weak demand for personal computers to continue for some time as original equipment manufacturers focus on lean inventories.

AMD ignites fury at hardware sites

AMD, SunnyvaleAdvanced Micro Devices (AMD) appears to have found itself in the middle of a blazing row after being accused by several hardware review sites of being biased against the press. That is, the press it doesn’t like too much.

AMD introduced its Fury product last week to a blaze of publicity but it wasn’t long before different hardware sites said no samples were to be had for love or, even, apparently money.

The crux of the matter comes down to benchmarks – some sites have said that AMD’s Fury simply doesn’t cut the ice when compared to product from arch rival Nvidia.

The situation has become so tense that one wag has used footage from the Third Reich film Downfall to portray Adolf Hitler as a frustrated AMD fanboy.

Some sites have said that the situation looks pretty much like AMD has done its traditional thing of shooting itself in both feet at the same time.

AMD is keeping mum about the matter – apparently there has been a shortage of samples while the company cranks up either its takeover by a third party or a cyanide pill at the end of the day.

AMD’s Sunnyvale site (pictured) does have bad Feng Shui. It is on the wrong side of a freeway along with ill-fated Yahoo. S3 was there at one time too.

No AMD spinners could be contacted at press time.

AMD relies on partners for R&D gap

mind the gapChipmaker AMD is relying more on its partners to come up with the latest R&D ideas, just like it did in the 1990s.

Decrypted tech claims that over the past few years AMD has been slowly cutting back on the money it puts towards R&D.

Instead it has tried to narrow the focus of the money they spend on new technology where it thinks it will get the most return.   So in the last quarter AMD spent less than $238 Million on R&D and his been building R&D partnerships to overcome budget challenges.

AMD started rebuilding its R&D partnerships in late 2010 and this allowed it to cut back on the amount they need to bring to the table to create new technologies. This is a repeat of what it did in the 1990s when the outfit used Samsung, IBM, Motorola, and Texas Instruments helping them to change the way they built CPUs.

This was how it could build the Athlon CPU with only a small R&D budget and engineering team.

This time AMD is betting big on HBM and also on integrating ARM processors inside their APU/CPUs and apparently it is letting its R&D partners do a lot of the heavy lifting money-wise while they provide many of the engineering minds.

If it pays off, AMD gets its technology on the cheap.  However in the worst case it could hack off some big names in the in the industry like Hynix, Samsung, Toshiba etc. and walk away with new technology to sell to others.

The plan is high risk as it could leave AMD with nothing it can sell, while its partners have some natty tech that AMD helped them build.

 

 

Dell hires ex-AMD man

AMD, SunnyvaleHardware and software vendor Dell said it has hired two people to key positions in its enterprise sales and technology departments.

Rory Read, who was the CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, will be the chief operating offier and president of worldwide commercial sales. He will have overall responsibility for market initiation and all channel sales planning

Paul Perez formerly worked at Cisco where he was VP and genera manager of the firm’s computing systems product group. In his role at Dell, Perez will be the chief technical advisor for its enterprise solutions group.

Perez starts at Dell’s HQ today, while Read will join the company on April 6th next.

Both will report to Marius Haas,who is the chief commercial officer at Dell.

Michael Dell was wheeled out to welcome Read and Perez to the good ship Dell. He said they will add enterprise IT expertise and depth to Dell’s management team.

Read said: “Dell is one of the most exciting companies in the industry right.” He said Dell is the only credible end to end IT company.

AMD to release life preserver

titanic-life-preserverThe troubled chipmaker AMD is about to fight back against Nvidia dominence with its upcoming AMD Radeon R9 300-series graphics cards.

Specifications of the cards started to leak last month and now there are new rumours of an official announcement at the Computex show.

AMD is planning to introduce the new cards during Computex in June and there will be a single new card at CeBIT and a few re-branded cards before Computex.

Managers at AMD apparently want a “full line up” of cards to be released at the same time. I needs this to cover the ground lost to rival Nvidia over the last year.

Nvidia took a significant market share in the GPU market but AMD CFO Devinder Kumar was confident that in the the second half of 2015 there would be a launch of a new graphics product which would set everything right.

“We will gain back the market share which is low from my standpoint and historically,” he claimed.
There is nothing really on the roadmap other than the AMD Radeon R9 300-series that can do that, so it looks like this rumour has legs.

AMD leans on ARM for next phase


arm-wrestlingAMD is pinning
its hopes on ARM servers and custom designs to pull its nadgers out of the fire, sources inside the company are saying.

New CEO Lisa Su has said ARM servers will account for as much as 15 percent of the total server market in less than five years and AMD wants a slice of that.

It is a long term gamble, and one which is a move away from AMD’s traditional x86 plans.

What is also strange about the plan is that it does create rivals from companies that are also bidding to put ARM in the data centre.

There is also the problem that ARM adoption in the server space is new and lacks the software and driver maturity of x86 – something which AMD actually knows rather a lot about.

To keep the flag flying. AMD plans to increase its custom semi-design business. AMD has recently signed a number of new customers up to its “semicustom” practice, which it expects to grow into a business worth as much as $1 billion in much-needed new revenues.

AMD searches for artificial reality love

AMD, SunnyvaleAMD has been showing the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco its LiquidVR SDK that will help developers customise virtual reality content for AMD hardware.

AMD said that LiquidVR SDK makes a number of technologies available which help address obstacles in content, comfort and compatibility that together take the industry a major step closer to true, life-like presence across all VR games, applications, and experiences.

Its theory is that which company wins the war to make virtual reality worthwhile will be the outfit that can build the strongest sense of “presence.” This is jargon for the feeling you have of actually being in the virtual world.

Like most things computer geeky it can be determined by a maths formula which is based on the speed with which the virtual world (within your view) updates as you move.

If you physically turn your head but there’s even a short pause before your view updates in the virtual world, the sense of actually being in the world is lost.

Oculus has signed up for AMD’s LiquidVR SDK and Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus said that achieving presence in a virtual world continues to be one of the most important elements to delivering amazing VR.

“We’re excited to have AMD working with us on their part of the latency equation, introducing support for new features like asynchronous timewarp and late latching, and compatibility improvements that ensure that Oculus’ users have a great experience on AMD hardware.”

AMD showed off several features of the LiquidVR SDK at the conference, including Affinity Multi-GPU, which lets multiple GPUs work together in VR applications (important for framerate improvements) and asynchronous shaders for Hardware-Accelerated Time-Warp, which is meant to improve motion-to-photon latency, or your sense of presence.

AMD does not think Chromebooks are worth it

AMD, SunnyvaleAMD chief technical officer Mark Papermaster has dismissed Chromebooks as “not worth it” and explained why his outfit is not behind the technology.

He said that it was important to look at Chromebook and what Google’s grand plan with it is.

“For us, it’s just a business decision, when you need our type of CPU and graphics technology that can make a difference.”

Chromebook sales are tiny. IDC estimated that 4.6 million Chromebooks were sold in 2014, compared to 304 million PCs for the year.

Intel has come to dominate Chromebook sales with Celeron and Atom chips, although some models also feature third-party ARM chips inside.

But Chromebooks are generally considered low-cost productivity machines and AMD is trying to place itself as a graphics and media chipmaker. Carrizo, dedicates four “Excavator” CPU cores against eight Radeon graphics cores and16 percent of the die is dedicated to CPU cores.
“For us, it’s when do you need our CPU and graphics capability that can make a difference,” Papermaster said. “Again, you’ll see that there’s these rock-bottom markets… so those don’t have our value proposition.”

“We play in the whole range of the market. We’ll play in the low-cost value” market, Papermaster added. “You have to at least get paid for that value when you’re working on graphics. You go below that, and you’re looking at $7 chips.”

AMD claims impressive power savings for Carrizo

AMD-Technician-Poses-With-Chip-WaferAMD has been talking up its upcoming Carrizo chip for notebooks and low-power desktops claiming that it will cut power significantly over Kaveri.

Although AMD still is not saying what the actual power consumption or the performance of the Carrizo chip will be it hinted that will offer double-digit improvements in performance and battery life compared to Kaveri.

Since AMD positioned it as competitive to Intel’s midrange Core i5 chips in January 2014 it is likely that Carrizo will be heading towards the same place.

This has led some people to suggest that AMD is skipping on performance improvements to improve battery life – which is a good way to reduce battery consumption without having to make many changes.

Sam Naffziger, an AMD fellow claimed AMD was just as concerned with performance, it was just that it was more interested in performance per watt. “But most of the form factors that are in the market today are power constrained.”

AMD is expected to release a Carrizo paper to International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week.

AMD’s Carrizo APU is made up of an undisclosed number of “Excavator” CPU cores and eight AMD Radeon cores that serve as an integrated graphics chip.

It measures 250.04 square mm. AMD said and the Excavator cores execute five percent more instructions per clock than  Kaveri, consuming 40 percent less power across 23 percent less die area—3.1 billion transistors in all.

Most of Carrizo’s power savings are due to optimising the chip’s voltage, using adaptive voltage and tuning the GPU portion for low power.

The voltage optimisations eliminated the need to overcompensate for unexpected voltage drops in the chip. Adaptive voltage and frequency scaling (AVFS), also includes proprietary speed sensors, that allows each APU to “adapt” to its own environment, and scale power accordingly.

Carrizo will be fully HSA 1.0 compliant, meaning that it will deliver on the Heterogenous Systems Architecture that AMD has talked about for some time.

Using HSA, the GPU can also be used to perform compute functions, which the company claims will deliver far more performance than the speed increases from moving to finer CPU manufacturing technologies alone.

HSA integration will help the chip reach 3.5 times the transcode performance of Kaveri, AMD said. It will support H.265 video encoding.

Nvidia takes lead in add in graphics

nvidia-shieldJon Peddie Research (JPR), which specialises in tracking the graphics and multimedia sectors, said that Nvidia took the lead in add in boards (AIBs) in the fourth quarter of 2014.

However, the overall shipments of AIBs fell by 17.52 percent, compared to the same quarter in 2013.

JPR puts the decline down to incursions from tablet sales and machines that use embedded graphics chips, rather than the discrete chips used in AIBs.

While there is still money to be made in the games market, JPR said AIBs tied to desktop PCs fell from 63 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to only 36 percent in this quarter.

AMD showed a drop of desktop AIBs of 16 percent, while it seems that Nvidia managed to grow its share by 5.5 percent. Nvidia now has 76 percent of this particular segment.

Total shipments in the quarter amounted to 12.4 million units.

 

AMD’s Zen may borrow Skylake features

zen_as_a_frogThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that AMD’s  next-generation high-performance micro-architecture code-named “Zen” might have borrowed a few ideas from Intel.

The first central processing units to use “Zen” for client PCs will be the code-named “Summit Ridge” chip that is expected to feature up to eight cores, a DDR4 memory controller, a PCI Express 3.0 controller and up to 95W thermal design power. The chip will use 14nm FinFET process technology by either  GlobalFoundries or Samsung Electronics.

WccfTech claims AMD will return to its traditional practice of introducing server processors powered by the latest microarchitectures first and then follow with chips for client PCs.

Without providing any details, the report claims that the new architecture features certain technologies found in the upcoming Intel “Skylake” processors. We are not sure how AMD could do this without a major court case, but what it could do is implement x86/x87 extensions, enhancements as well as various new instructions introduced by Intel in its central processing units.

Many official and semi-official revelations indicate that Skylight Intel will support AVX 3.2 (512-bit instructions), SHA extensions (SHA-1 and SHA-256, secure hash algorithms), MPX (memory protection extensions), ADX (multi-precision add-carry instruction extensions) and other innovations.

If AMD does run AVX 3.2, it will have to come up with a new floating-point unit (FPU) to run 512-bit instructions. AMD’s FPU currently features two 128-bit FMAC (fused multiply–add capability) pipelines that can be unified into one large 256-bit-wide unit if one of the integer cores dispatches an AVX instruction.

What this means is that if AMD’s “Zen” supports AVX 3.2, will need an all-new FPU that will be different from Bulldozer and will need a fully-fledged 512-bit FPU. Otherwise, execution of 512-bit AVX 3.2 instructions will be slower than an asthmatic ant with a heavy load of shopping.