If you could ask AMD anything, what would you ask?

If you could ask AMD anything, what would you ask?

Summary: Tomorrow, I'll be recording my interview (for podcast) of AMD's director of commercial software marketing Margaret Lewis.  Lewis is AMD's chief strategist on the software side but probably has enough awareness of what's going on elswhere in the company that just about anything can be asked of her.

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TOPICS: Processors
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Tomorrow, I'll be recording my interview (for podcast) of AMD's director of commercial software marketing Margaret Lewis.  Lewis is AMD's chief strategist on the software side but probably has enough awareness of what's going on elswhere in the company that just about anything can be asked of her.  Several issues are on my short list of questions.  For example, up to and including the relatively recent introduction of 32/64 hybrid processor technologies, Intel and AMD's x86 line ups have been very code compatible thereby easing the burdens that developers would have to bear if their code must branch to deal with incompatibilities.  In other words:

If Intel

    Do X;

Elseif AMD

    Do Y;

EndIf

But, looking at some of the newer companion technologies that both companies (Intel and AMD) are building into their processors -- technologies for virtualization and security -- there's a clear divergence in compatibility that's likely to give developers headaches (it's the same sort of headache that Web developers have when trying to support both Internet Explorer and Firefox in their code).  So, one of my questions will have to do why that is, what AMD is planning to do to make that burden easier to bear, and what developers have to say about it. 

Scaling up versus scaling out is another question I have.  Today, many "systems integrators" like Dell rely on the R&D of companies like Intel and AMD to decide how far up their technologies will scale before customers are forced to scale out.  Only a few server vendors know how to get to 8, 16, 32 or more processors on their own.  In his recent blog, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz raises a fair point about impact of scale-out strategies on energy consumption.  So, I'm hoping Lewis can address AMD's plans there as well. 

Do you have questions?  Let me know using the comments section below and I'll try to squeeze them in.

Topic: Processors

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12 comments
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  • What is AMD waiting for to challenge VIIV with AMD+Linux /Java ??

    I think AMD is in a great position to deliver an open, DRM-free (or Open-DRM) alternative to Microsoft-Intel's VIIV nonsense.

    More here
    http://geekgaucho.blogspot.com/2006/06/amd-is-in-unique-position-to-push.html

    Comments?
    fernando.cassia9
  • Please ask something about capacity and share

    AMD is increasing capacity by 4x in terms of wafer output. That is too much for a goal of only 30% matket share.
    sharikou
    • Get a clue...

      [b]AMD is increasing capacity by 4x in terms of wafer output. That is too much for a goal of only 30% matket share.[/b]

      When it comes to chip production - EVERY single chip you can successfully produce is important. There's NOTHING that will turn a customer away faster than not being able to BUY a given product when he wants it.

      And if you have any doubts about that - just look at Apple's decision to dump longtime supplier IBM in favor of Inhell's product line when IBM could NOT and/or would not meet Apple's needs for chips.

      If you're going to compete, you have to have a product that EVERYONE (who wants one) can buy without having to wait, and wait, and wait. When people feel the need to buy things like computers, they don't normally look at it in the perspective of "Gee, I will be needing a computer 6 weeks from now..." Most of them are looking at buying one in the next couple of days or maybe weeks - tops. This is usually to replace one that died or they've hired a bunch of new people and need to put them to work, or they've come to the conclusion that their old box is too old to run some new toy and finally give in and buy something.

      In none of these cases are they going to be willing to wait until supply catches up with demand. There ARE rare exceptions to this - like the geeks who have to be THE first on their block to have an Intel based Apple or some such.

      But the bottom line - Having a steady supply of chips will build market share. Not having enough to go around will only serve to sink it.
      Wolfie2K3
  • Seems obvious but...

    ... ask them how they plan to counter Intel's shortly forthcoming release of reportedly much faster chips than anything AMD is shipping now or allegedly plans to ship anytime soon. Do they have a plan to retake the performance lead anytime this year, or do they plan to revert to competing on price in the lower and middle tiers of the CPU market going forward in the near term?
    CommSoft
  • Pricing strategy

    I have always had a soft spot for AMD, from the 486DX2 100 to the K62 300, then MMX flipped me at 233MHz to the PIII 450, then back again to AMD current day. Price has played a part in every CPU purchase I've made, whether it be my money or someone elses.

    I have repsected AMD greatly for playing Intels game, going from socket to slot back to socket. I was sure Intel was trying to bankrupt AMD with tooling costs. AMD hung in there, I know it was risky and shakey but they stuck it out. I was also happy about their approach to 64 bit computing, great plan and brilliantly executed, kudos!

    I know the cutting edge processors will always be top dollar, just like the new Corvettes are and as they should. My question is will AMD continue its past price drops on the same time table of the past like in the K6 2 days?

    I think its time now for AMD to take the fight back to Intel. I'm not talking about cutting todays chip prices in half, rather todays chip in 2Q's from now in half.

    If AMD is indeed tooled up at the new plant, and can change die speeds of chips on the production line, then it seems that this is possible, plausible, and a great first salvo at Intel.

    Its round 15 AMD vs. Intel and you guys have toed the line and played by their rules, now its time to start making your own rules.

    GO AMD!!
    warezdog
  • AMD fight for notebook computing

    I recently read several articles on Intel's Conroe chip and I am worried. I feel AMD will feel a slight pain when/if people upgrade their systems to Windows Vista, but the June announced price drop should keep them fighting. My biggest AMD worry is notebook computing. AMD is slowly clawing there way into some notebooks. However, how many notebook manufactures will stick with AMD when the Conroe rolls out? The article I read compaired an AMD FX-60 2.6ghz vs an Intel Conroe 2.4ghz. The AMD chip was slower and its min power consumption was Intels max power cosumption. It doesn't take much to figure more power and longer battery life makes Intel by far the notebook winner. Does this worry AMD and if so what steps is the company taking to keep pace with intel in the notebook race?
    peelimgreen
    • EH? What's the FX-60 chip got to do with notebooks?

      [b]However, how many notebook manufactures will stick with AMD when the Conroe rolls out? The article I read compaired an AMD FX-60 2.6ghz vs an Intel Conroe 2.4ghz. The AMD chip was slower and its min power consumption was Intels max power cosumption. It doesn't take much to figure more power and longer battery life makes Intel by far the notebook winner. Does this worry AMD and if so what steps is the company taking to keep pace with intel in the notebook race?[/b]

      Um... The FX- chip family is a high end DESKTOP chip aimed mainly at gamers. Don't think there are too many of these beasties being stuck into laptops. AMD's laptop offerings are in the Turion family.
      Wolfie2K3
      • AMD FX faster than Turion

        The article was written by George OU and was a great comparison. Conroe faster than FX and FX faster than Turion. Conroes power use rivals the Turion line. Conroe is better than both chips making me fear AMD's survival and growth in notebooks. Sorry for the confusion.
        peelimgreen
  • The interview has concluded

    Thanks for your questions. Hopefully, by tomorrow, I'll have the interview online as a podcast. I'm just running a bit behind here on some other things that are ahead in priority. I did not get to the VIIV question since Ms. Lewis focuses mostly on the commercial side. But the other questions were addressed during the interview.

    Stay tuned and thanks again for posting your questions here.

    David
    dberlind
    • Waiting...

      {Stands there arms crossed, tapping foot}
      CommSoft
  • 32, 64 and what next?

    Do they have a 128-bit processor in mind down the lane?
    SunitaChandrasekaran
  • RE: If you could ask AMD anything, what would you ask?

    My processor amd64 anthlon x2. why is it when i play games on pc becomes slow motion. my ddr2 512 x 2 and video card 256mb. please hepl me.
    litomayuga