What is happening with AMD?

Upon waking up yesterday I was sent a link announcing that AMD had plans to no longer compete with long standing rival Intel, and were now backing down from the x86 race in order to focus on the more profitable and constantly expanding mobile market.

However this may not be the crystal clear truth, with sources inside ExtremeTech reporting that that the initial outburst of information many posts were based on was in fact misconstrued, and painted an inaccurate picture of AMD’s plans for both the mobile and PC hardware spectrum. “”We’re at an inflection point,” said AMD spokesman Mike Silverman, “We will all need to let go of the old ‘AMD versus Intel’ mindset, because it won’t be about that anymore.”

Many people took this as AMD bowing out of the x86 and desktop CPU race after the somewhat dismissible launch of the much anticipated “Bulldozer” platform back in mid-October. Speculation then developed that AMD was going to be replacing it’s traditional x86 chips with the ARM CPU series, thus allowing the long running company to focus exclusively on mobile platforms, where the ARM chips excel thanks to their low power consumption.

ExtremeTech contacted Silverman for another comment after a number of alarming and misleading articles were published, with the spokesman saying that AMD was a “leader in x86 microprocessor design, and we remain committed to the x86 market.” he then continued, “Our strategy is to accelerate our growth by taking advantage of our design capabilities to deliver a breadth of products that best align with broader industry shifts toward low power, emerging markets and the cloud.”

After the dismal launch of Bulldozer, it wouldn’t be considered unjust for me to say that AMD has taken a huge financial hit, and now they think they’re going to make waves in the ARM market despite having no previous experience or financial research in the field? Yeah right. And on top of already stacked odds, leading mobile developer Nvidia has invested close to $2 billion dollars into their Tegra-2 platform, and has still only made just over $480 million back from their initial investment.

How does AMD intend on financially supporting their already existing (And slowly failing) x86 line, whilst investing billions of dollars into a market that Nvidia firmly has a hold of? Although many people probably realise this already, the Tegra platform isn’t exactly brand new either, so AMD now has to go through years of annual revisions before they even reach the level that Tegra is at.

As a long time supporter and preacher of the low cost and high power AMD chips, I really want the company to succeed, but I feel like the launch – or lack thereof – of Bulldozer, and this poor business move could see one of the long running PC component powerhouses fall off the map.

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