AMD board ousts Dirk Meyer, will seek new CEO

The press release says much of what you’ll want to know:

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Jan. 10, 2011 — AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Senior Vice President and CFO Thomas Seifert, 47, as interim CEO following the resignation of Dirk Meyer, 49, as president, CEO and a director of the company effective immediately.

A CEO Search Committee has been formed to begin the search for a new CEO. The Committee is led by Bruce Claflin, Chairman of AMD’s Board of Directors, who has been named Executive Chairman of the Board as he assumes additional oversight responsibilities during the transition period. Seifert will maintain his current responsibilities as CFO and has asked not to be considered for the permanent CEO position. "Dirk became CEO during difficult times. He successfully stabilized AMD while simultaneously concluding strategic initiatives including the launch of GLOBALFOUNDRIES, the successful settlement of our litigation with Intel and delivering Fusion APUs to the market," said Claflin.

"However, the Board believes we have the opportunity to create increased shareholder value over time. This will require the company to have significant growth, establish market leadership and generate superior financial returns. We believe a change in leadership at this time will accelerate the company’s ability to accomplish these objectives."

This comes as a shock to me, like apparently many things in the new year. Meyer had successfully moved AMD into what looked to be a much more competitive position in many respects, but evidently AMD’s board of directors wasn’t impressed with Meyer’s plan for AMD’s future.

That last paragraph from the press release above is key to understanding what’s taken place. Although it’s always possible in such matters that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, I currently believe the motivations behind this change are exactly what the press release implies. AMD’s board of directors disagreed with Meyer about the future direction of the company and chose to part with him over it.

That may seem a little crazy from the outside looking in, but we don’t yet know the substance of the disagreement.

Could it be that the board wants to see AMD shift its focus to mobile devices and embedded systems, a la Intel’s latest "right-hand turn" aimed at promoting Atom practically everywhere and Nvidia’s growing focus on Tegra? That’s just a guess, but given the way AMD’s two main competitors have moved in that direction, one can certainly feel the winds shifting.

Comments closed
    • abw
    • 9 years ago

    Dirk Meyer was not a total failure as was Ruiz.
    Yet, the latter got rewarded for its catastrophic rein while the former
    get fired despite some very good services.
    Surely that Meyer was himself a provisory CEO but i only hope
    that Herr Seifert will not hold the job after his notoriously bad
    adventure at Quimonda…

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Edit “I.Computerworld: AMD could better fight Intel with new CEO”

    Hopefully although it probably won’t make a HUGE difference.

    I mean put Paul Otellini CEO of AMD and see if he can surpass Intel in the same amount of years that Dirk was CEO, probably not.

    Then again he may be able to hold Intel for 10 billion in ransom if he was CEO of AMD lol

    I think a good CEO can make a good difference depending on the company, and sometimes it doesn’t matter, (for the short term) I mean you could make me CEO of Intel, and all I would have to do is say keep on doing what your doing people and they would probably still make 2 billion per quarter.

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    Before the Athlon AMD was nothing but a cheap alternative supplier of x86 CPUs. The K5 was frickin’ late and K6 was simply bought out of NexGen’s hands. K7 was the first in-house AMD product that really made AMD a credible company. And now AMD’s board kicked the man behind K7? I say they’re a bunch of bastards who don’t know how to look back where they came from.

    On the other hand, I think what AMD really needs is Vision. And I’m not referring to their crappy Vision branding either. While they have been pretty innovative in pioneering new technologies that make their products perform better, in the end they’re still just faster versions of the same thing: CPUs for desktops that also happen to be suitable for servers and laptops. They need to know where the market is heading. Intel made new things possible with their Atom and CULV, from Netbooks to Ultrathins and now slates. And it’s ironic about how AMD’s been tooting their horn since 2006 about Fusion, which is, as far as we can tell, a combination of CPU and GPU, and seeing that Intel is first with a product with CPU and GPU in one package. Fusion may turn out to be more elegant but practically speaking Intel got there first to materialize the concept.

    Now I know AMD has far less budget than Intel, and like many people here I am pro-AMD and am shocked by this news, but AMD REALLY has to get its act together. Bulldozer is disturbingly nowhere in sight at CES, puzzling considering Sandy just rolled out and if BD is in good shape you can bet your a$$ AMD would’ve shown it off to burst Intel’s bubble.

    Dirk will surely be missed. I hope that whoever gets to replace him will be able to set things straight, as working for AMD is really a tough job considering you’re up against a huge competitor.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      [quote<] Bulldozer is disturbingly nowhere in sight at CES, puzzling considering Sandy just rolled out and if BD is in good shape you can bet your a$$ AMD would've shown it off to burst Intel's bubble. [/quote<] If they showed some early engineering samples at CES six months before the product ships, everybody would just scream 'paper launch'.

        • shank15217
        • 9 years ago

        CES, tell me what that means then think about what market bulldozer is focused on. Sandy Bridge maybe a nice upgrade on the mobile sector but no one exceot enthusiasts care that it is 10-15% faster than nahelum.

          • travbrad
          • 9 years ago

          No one except enthusiasts care about CPUs at all, do they? Not directly anyway. If you ask the average person what CPU they have, they might know it’s Intel or AMD, but thats about it. However, they might care if their new laptop has better battery life (while performing better/equal), whether they realize the CPU has anything to do with it or not.

          Since laptops outsell desktops, I think the mobile market is pretty important.

    • esterhasz
    • 9 years ago

    Pat Gelsinger to the rescue!

    • RtFusion
    • 9 years ago

    I was very shocked when I first read this on xbitlabs. They just crucified one of leaders of Athlon, the CPU that made AMD today. Its like the board just threw buckets of feces back at Dirk after doing a very good job in cleaning up the very same feces Ruiz was squeezing out.

    Not only that, he managed to get the merger of ATi and AMD to go well overall as well.

    They got Fusion going (Some Brazos stuff is demoing now), Bobcat, Bulldozer is on the horizon, brilliant GPU launches; how the hell is that not aggressive enough?

    The admirals just killed their best captain of an old but grande ship. I worry where will that ship go.

    • NeelyCam
    • 9 years ago

    They should hire Eric Kim as the new CEO. AMD [i<]really[/i<] needs a better logo to be able to compete.

    • sschaem
    • 9 years ago

    I think the AMD board did the right thing… but the damage is done.


    One of our sources, a former executive within the company was less than kind in his texts: “Dirk touched everything into Gold at DEC. In AMD, everything after K7 turned into Sh*t.” When asked to elaborate, we were told that “Dirk and Hector run the company to the ground by selling the family jewlery. Dirk did not believe in Cellphone business and gave everything to BroadCom and Qualcomm. We lost Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and look who is now taking all the deals. Graphzilla.” [Graphzilla was the nickname for nVidia on my previous publication, The INQ].

    From [url<]http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/1/10/coup-at-amd-dirk-meyer-pushed-out.aspx[/url<] And their is allot more painting Dirk into a man that cost AMD billions from his lack of vision (pun intended) It seem Dirk believed in desktop and saw no value at all in the mobile market...

      • sschaem
      • 9 years ago

      Dirk legacy…
      [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2009/01/amd-unloads-mobile-gpu-technology-to-qualcomm.ars[/url<] "AMD's stock has dropped by about 9 percent since the announcement this morning" Dirk news = 9% drop in AMD stock 🙂

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        You know, it’s funny how the market would react like that. AMD hasn’t made money in years – instead, they’ve been selling high-cost CPUs dirt cheap and bleeding cash (except for that magnificent profitable quarter thanks to Intel’s $1bil gift).

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah, and 15% increase in NVidia stock…!

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 9 years ago

      At the time this was seen as “focusing the business” and more importantly ditching what were mostly money losing propositions. AMD had been bleeding red ink (at least 7 quarters with Hector) and something had to be done.

      I don’t really think you can lay Hector’s incompetence on Dirk – he’s the one that had to clean up the mess. And even after Ruiz utterly failed at being CEO they kept him around shuttling him to GloFo. Hector screwed himself and the company – and *still* he was treated better and with more respect than Dirk.

      it was not then seen as “the family jewlery” as you put it. Keep in mind that many saw the sales of Spansion, Imageon, etc. as solid business decisions at the time. To look at it any other way now is revisionist history and frankly they needed money from somewhere even if it meant selling “non core” businesses. After Hector (as well as the ATI purchase) they desperately needed cash – as a means of survival. AMD’s future was seriously in doubt for quite some time.

      Regardless besides all their cpu ventures that will eventually make it into phones they could just buy or license Imagination Technologies and instant mobile tech.

    • kvndoom
    • 9 years ago

    Unlike most CEO’s, I really hope Dirk got a nice golden parachute, since he actually did positive things for the company.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      That’s going to be one heavy-ass parachute.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        yeah.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 9 years ago

    I guess what bothers me most about Dirk’s being let go is that he had not only been a part of the company since 96, but that nearly everything we think about as AMD is more or less directly attributable to him. The board clearly has no sense of history or loyalty to a guy that not only pulled out their bacon but whose vision got AMD to where they are now.

    Father of the Alpha, whose EV6 bus the Nexgen designed K-6 ran on, designer of the Athlon and the Opteron.

    My concerns are whether they will kill Bulldozer and/or sell the company to ATIC. Dirk would most likely not gone along with either. It is entirely possible the board has gotten all mobile crazy as if it were the be all and end all that so many others are.

    Inside the company maybe Bergman could be CEO. Maybe.

    It seems like a terrible stab in the back for such a solid guy. Without meaning to be too melodramatic over it I do hope this isn’t the end of AMD as we know it. Just keep in mind how huge a part of it Dirk has been.

      • Althernai
      • 9 years ago

      [quote<]My concerns are whether they will kill Bulldozer and/or sell the company to ATIC.[/quote<] They can't kill Bulldozer -- it's supposed to be only about 6 months from release and they don't have anything comparable in the short term. Their other soon-to-be-released product is Llano, but given what Sandy Bridge is like, that's probably going to be the proud successor of a long line of AMD laptop CPUs (meaning, far inferior to Intel in both performance and battery life with its only virtue being that it is dirt cheap). It'll have a better integrated GPU, but that's never been enough to compensate and it certainly won't be now. Bulldozer is their one and only chance to challenge Intel in the server market or any other area of high margins. On the other hand, selling the company to ATIC sounds quite plausible.

        • Silus
        • 9 years ago

        Plausible yes, but I’m not sure ATIC wants AMD. ATIC has lots of money and is in the business of making more, which is why they are investing so much in the foundries. It’s an extremely profitable business line.
        However, fighting with Intel is not. So I’m really not sure that ATIC would be interested in buying AMD, even more so considering that they would need to buy the company, with a huge bonuses to each of those board members and even plug the hole, which is AMD’s debt. Plus even more money for R&D…

        As for Bulldozer, I too don’t think they can’t kill it. How can they ? It’s the only thing they have right now that can save their CPU division. Unless it’s in such a bad shape, that they can actually save some face, by killing it. But I doubt that very much, since I’m sure Bulldozer will be decent enough, even if not able to beat Intel’s new processors.

      • Silus
      • 9 years ago

      Well, I’m of the opinion that IT IS indeed the end of AMD as we know it. It’s already clear enough why Dirk was fired, which means AMD will shift its focus under new management. How much will that affect the existing product lines is obviously unknown…

    • can-a-tuna
    • 9 years ago

    Thanks to your (and some other sites) biased GPU reviews no wonder AMD is getting additional bad press, sales are sinking, and now it seems their whole management is in chaos. This is what happens when you play business game fairly in a world full of snakes. You can leave that hypocrite hat on and put some FTW! reviews coming.

      • Buzzard44
      • 9 years ago

      Please don’t feed the troll.

      • Farting Bob
      • 9 years ago

      EVERYONE IS BIASED! AMD IS WAY BETTER THAN INTEL! I HAVE NO EVIDENCE, BUT IT LIKE TOTALLY IS!

    • MathMan
    • 9 years ago

    Dirk Meyer was a technically competent, efficient manager who pulled the company through some bad times. But he was crucially lacking in long term vision. AMD makes good CPUs and very good GPUs, but never gives the impression to be the driving force behind the next great thing.

    Laugh about Nvidia’s Mr. Huang’s arrogance and bravado as much as you want, at least he has a compelling story and dares to invest in long shots that may or may not play out well. Cuda, PhysX, Tesla, Mental Images,Tegra: it’s a fair bet that all those initiatives have cost a very decent amount cash, but Wall Street and company boards love these kind of initiatives, hoping that 1 real hit can compensate the failure of all the rest.

    What does AMD have to offer instead? Fusion was an original idea when first floated, but execution took so long it’s hardly relevant anymore. Their GPU product line is nothing but faster and better without any real growth story other than taking back some piecemeal market share. CPU performance has been behind Intel for years now. And they are completely absent in the tablet/mobile phone space, which is where all the action is going to be the next few years.

    Seriously: when thinking about Dirk Meyer, did you every have the idea about a crazy genius with a vision? One to bet the company on a brilliant idea?

    He’s was good administrator and engineer. COO material. Not the kind of person that take a company to the next level. The board made the right decision.

    • codedivine
    • 9 years ago

    For a second there, I thought today was Fool’s day, what with Intel and Nvidia “hugging it out” and Dirk Meyer resigning. I guess AMD has been conservative on several fronts. Apart from the cited concerns about mobile, AMD has been slow to get on the GPGPU ship and even for Fusion the first generation APUs are turning out to be quite conservative designs with not enough “Fusion”.

    • RagingDragon
    • 9 years ago

    My guess is the board want a “marketing person” not a “technology peron” as CEO.

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      hey, don’t knock it till you try it. seems to work for apple!

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      And Intel’s CEO most certainly isn’t a technology person.

        • Farting Bob
        • 9 years ago

        You cant get more of a “marketing” CEO than Steve Jobs.

    • Anvil
    • 9 years ago

    Well this is unexpected. Sad too.

    • WaltC
    • 9 years ago

    I think that Dirk was the right choice for the transition of AMD into its present form, and that he was hired for skill sets determined to fit the needs of that period. Now that the transition is complete, it looks like the board is looking for a more aggressive, more ambitious skill set to manage the company.

    Intel is hardly “turning” with Atom–it has been promoting Atom as a suitable replacement for practically everything mobile for quite sometime. Part of nVidia’s direction is mobile–only a part, which should not be forgotten. Desktops, workstations, and discrete 3d cards are not going away…despite popular misinformation. Instead, desktops and workstations and discrete 3d cards are going to wax more powerful even as their costs continue to decline as their bang-for-the-buck quotient goes straight up through the roof. This “mobile will eliminate everything else” opinion fad is really puzzling…

      • cegras
      • 9 years ago

      In the future I’ll just thumbs up, but I completely agree with what you said. The atom is a pitiful chip, and I can’t really see myself doing anything productive without a fullsized keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 9 years ago

      That’s uncharacteristically brief of you, Walt.

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        thanks…;) It must be the Sangria–did I just say that? Heh…;) I’m not sure. Anyway, thanks…

          • CuttinHobo
          • 9 years ago

          Bah, forget the “TL;DR” crowd. I enjoy reading your posts, and it’s obvious that you put a lot of thought into them. This isn’t Twitter (or DailyTech)… if their attention spans won’t allow them to keep up with a post that consists of more than “Currently picking my nose lol”, then it’s their loss. =D

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 9 years ago

            “Brevity is the soul of wit”

            • axeman
            • 9 years ago

            I think your mom gave me brevity. That’s when it burns when you pee, right?

            • axeman
            • 9 years ago

            TLDR

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Dude, it’s Monday!

          Watching the game…?

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 9 years ago

          Sangria is the cheap fruity sweet wine, right? I forget…

            • paulWTAMU
            • 9 years ago

            yes. it’s the nectar of the gods. It’s pretty variable; I like some 10% stuff, my mom makes a pretty potent sangria that I’d guess is closer to 20%, my wife likes a cheap 7% sangria from the local grocery…

            • ssidbroadcast
            • 9 years ago

            IIRC it’s tasty but has a high percent chance to lead to a massive headache. Then again, your results may vary.

      • herothezero
      • 9 years ago

      “This “mobile will eliminate everything else” opinion fad is really puzzling…”

      Agreed; it’s not as if suddenly all content creation and application usage will migrate to handhelds, as if that were ever possible or even desirable.

      Mobile is not the end-all, be-all of computing, not even close.

        • axeman
        • 9 years ago

        Nevermind Atom has never been that impressive. It’s a good thing someone invented netbooks, else I don’t know where it would live.

        Intel couldn’t be bothered building a whole platform for it till way later, so we got crappy little laptops whose chipset used 3x more power than the CPU. So you got an underperforming laptop who’s primary power draw outside the display was an obsolete chipset Intel needed to sell off. Subsequently, they keep increasing performance of this thing, and power consumption is only slightly lower, but it support x86_64 now. wat.jpg… Where are they aiming Atom?

        Bravo from a business standpoint, but if they were even remotely aiming at ARM their strategy was baffling. AMDs strategy with Brazos seems to be far less incoherent.

        PS. Maybe the whole point of Atom is to make high prices (and therefore profits) on CULV seem reasonable.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      +1 for a <10-paragraph post!

        • WaltC
        • 9 years ago

        Wud ju like a >10 paragraph pust??? Heh,,,L( KKKKK….:) ‘scuse me.

        Edit: I confess that utter barbarism has overtaken me.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 9 years ago

    We need an endearing nickname for Dirk so a successful “I’m with CoCo” type campaign can be launched.

      • neon
      • 9 years ago

      “I’m Berserk For Dirk”?

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 9 years ago

        Not bad, really.

        Perhaps “don’t be a jerk bring back dirk”

    • shank15217
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, this just after a massively successful launch of the Brazos platform? AMD just took out atom with one blow. Intel may make a better Atom in the future but it will certainly lose a lot of the market to AMD for the next 8 months and will probably never recover. AMDs GPU division is making Nvidia sweat and AMDs cpu division will release a brand new architecture in the next 6 months…. What exactly went wrong here? I really home this isn’t a preface to some bad news regarding Bulldozer performance and schedule because that would potentially do some serious harm to AMD.

      • tejas84
      • 9 years ago

      Huh??

      AMD has nothing to answer Sandy Bridge GPU. The Sandy Bridge GPU wipes the floor with AMD’s best IGP the 890GX. It took AMD what like… 3 years to come up with an Atom competitor?

      And now ARM is on the scene with Windows 8.

      AMD now has Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Samsung as CPU competition come Windows 8.

      You say AMD is making Nvidia sweat. Well Nvidia just got a $1.5 billion payout from Intel added to their $2billion savings in their bank. Just let’s see who has the better quaterly fiscal results. Facts speak volumes bro…

        • shank15217
        • 9 years ago

        You are comparing the 890GX to Sandy Bridge when AMD is about release LLano? Obviously a newer product would be faster and it manages to be about as a fast as a 80 SP AMD gpu big deal. Arm on windows 8 means nothing. Tegra 2 is going to compete with bobcat in the tablet scene and get it’s ass kicked, not to mention bobcat can run every single x86 compiled program ever made.

        • cegras
        • 9 years ago

        A terrible GPU (e.g. Sandy Bridge) is still a terrible GPU, whether it’s relatively good or not. All the functions that it could do pratically (like displaying a 2D desktop) can be done by any other IGP. I guess if you transcode a bunch you can buy one, but I don’t think anyone will justify their purchase of SB just for the GPU transcoding.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          If you think you’ll be playing 3D games at decent settings with an IGP – be it Intel’s or AMD’s – you’re fooling yourself.

          Beyond 3D gaming, most IGPs are perfectly adequate, and that includes X4500HD.

          => Llano is a pointless product for epeen strokers and fanboys.

            • cegras
            • 9 years ago

            Considering the resolutions that Fusion will power, you will probably be able to game on it.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Sounds like a weak compromise to me; then again, one must draw the line somewhere. If Llano is good enough for you, that’s cool – I’m sure you’re not the only one.

        • gamoniac
        • 9 years ago

        I agree. An AMD fan myself, Sandy Bridge does look good. The integrated GPU looks descent enough for most but the hardcore gamers, and it beats all AMD integrated GPU currently in the market (Llano is not here yet, not matter how blindsided fan boys are). AMD simply missed and delayed their Fusion milestones one too many time. I hate to see Dirk Meyer leave, and hope that AMD can come back with Bulldozer in April. Realistically, since BD will not have an integrated GPU, it most likely won’t match SB’s performance. Perhaps Bulldozer NG will, but that will be a couple years from now if everything goes well for AMD.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          [quote<]The integrated GPU looks descent enough for most but the hardcore gamers[/quote<] I'd be interested to hear what you consider decent enough... If I can't play at 1920x1080/60fps, I'd be sad... and I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer. (And setting details to zero is depressing - I'd like to see what's going on)

          • kamikaziechameleon
          • 9 years ago

          When looking at AMD integrated being able to feasably play COD at low res has a huge appeal. Plus who plays cutting edge games on mobile anything???

          I avoid Intel IGP like the plague, with the driver support they’ve been known for they could produce the gtx 580 and I’d still not pick it up.

        • designerfx
        • 9 years ago

        sandy bridge is no less crappy than amd’s solution.

        integrated graphics can, and always has been, for size constraints and not for performance.

        no integrated graphcis is ever capable, so acting like it matters whether sandy bridge is better or worse than AMD is a complete misnomer.

        Traditionally, AMD tends to do better with IGP anyway, so your point is moot.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          ^ This.

          • BlackStar
          • 9 years ago

          The issue with Sandy Bridge is drivers. They suck.

          What’s the point of a semi-capable IGP (I’m being generous here) when the drivers don’t actually work. Don’t fool yourself, Intel’s 3d drivers still suck.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Um, have you tried SB drivers?

          • kamikaziechameleon
          • 9 years ago

          hardware asside, Drivers drivers drivers.

        • Edgar_Wibeau
        • 9 years ago

        Sandy 17W vs. E-350 18W will show

        We’ve only seen benches of 12EU Sandy gfx at 95W TDP by now. Once there are benchmarks of the ULV sandys which have only 1/3 the standard GPU freq, we’ll know more about how it really compares to Zacates netbook/TnL-graphics. And it’ll still not sport DX11, nor OpenCL or DirectCompute, crappy drivers which often enough fail in games.

        Don’t get me wrong: sandys iGPU ist a big step forward for intel and I hope they’ll continue this path, but miracles look different.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          Plenty of i3-2100 reviews around. Try this:

          [url<]http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1143-page5.html[/url<]

            • Edgar_Wibeau
            • 9 years ago

            That’s a 65W part, not an 17W ULV.

            i7-2657M, i7-2617M, i5-2537M are valid candidates.

            • nico1982
            • 9 years ago

            i3’s IGP has 6 EUs at up to 1100 MHz, while the 17W i5-2537M IGP has 12 EUs at up 900 MHz. Unless aggressive throttling due to thermal constraints downclocks the IGP to 350 MHz, performances should ends up to better than i3’s, if not closer to the full-sized 2500K and 2600K’s IGPs.

            • Edgar_Wibeau
            • 9 years ago

            i5-2537M: 12EU, 350 MHz base, 900 turbo, 17W, 2 Cores @ 1.4/2.3 GHz
            i3-2100: 6EU, 850 MHz base, 1100 turbo, 65W, 2 Cores @3.1/3.1 GHz

            Power budget of the ULV Sandys is 1/3,8 of your Celeron example. Headroom is WAY lower and 12 EUs consume double the power at any given frequency (though likely lower voltage matters of course). Plus both CPU cores will likely run at high load in games, they might eat the turbo headroom already.

            We don’t know the outcome, but one thing is for sure: at almost 1/4 the power budget, you’ll get significant frame rate drops.

            We’ll have to wait for real benchmarks using a real 17W model. Prior to that it’s all speculation.

            And we haven’t even started talking cost efficiency 😉

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            [quote<]And we haven't even started talking cost efficiency ;-)[/quote<] I don't think we have to... I believe everybody agrees Zacate is more cost effective than SB in low-end gaming. I'd like to repeat again, though, that to me low-end gaming (something that Zacate or SB is capable of) is too painful. I think Llano would be the first 'fusion' chip that's adequate for gaming... Intel won't have anything adequate until maybe Haswell, at which point the BD+IGP products are out.

            • Edgar_Wibeau
            • 9 years ago

            Depends.

            I know serious gamers (seriously spend a lot of time …) who use outdated hardware to play older games. I sold a GF8600GS to one of them recently. He’s totally happy with it, and with the X2 2.4 GHz he got at the same time.

            But yes, I agree, Llano will sport the first iGPU ever to be userfull for playing current games at usable FPS and quality settings above the lowest. If AMD manage to get it out the door this year, that is 😉

    • tejas84
    • 9 years ago

    Dirk Meyer was fired for a few reasons I think

    1. Sandy Bridge was a lot better than AMD was expecting.
    2. AMD had no idea about Nvidia’s Project Denver
    3. Microsoft announcing ARM CPU competition from Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments for Windows 8
    4. Bulldozer is turning into another Barcelona fiasco.

    The scene is set for Larry Ellison to get AMD, gut it out, sell the graphics business to Nvidia and turn AMD into a server company.

    AMD bet too much on Fusion and Intel beat them to it with a superior Fusion product.

    Oh the irony!

    Also Dirk Meyer deserved better…

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 9 years ago

      Those are all sad reasons, if true. No idea about Bulldozer.

      I don’t think that ATI could be sold to Nvidia or even necessarily intel due to monopoly concerns (intel being the sole surviving graphics on mobo vendor, and nvidia being the only add in board vendor of note).

      I suspect that it has more to do with the fact that AMD really has nothing in the phone space added to board panic. Even in the tablet space they aren’t there yet though the lower wattage apus might work well.

      I just don’t see someone better that is already in the industry. Bringing in execs from other industries has had decidedly mixed results (John Scully for one). Getting someone more type A and assholish is easy. Someone that actually knows something and can get things done – not so much.

      • shank15217
      • 9 years ago

      1. Sandy bridge is about 20% faster per clock than Annandale. I am sure AMD expected that.
      2. Who cares about project Denver, it is pie in the sky at the moment and AMD is not even in the ARM business.
      3. Microsoft also released Windows for DEC Alpha and Itanium, whats you point?
      4. That all depends on how Bulldozer performs at release, if its faster or on par with Sandy Bridge overall it would be a success.

      Intel’s fusion product is laughable, please.. turn off the fanboy.. no one would ever buy Sandy Bridge for great GPU performance but they might buy LLano for a decent integrated CPU platform.

      LoL Oracle wont buy AMD.. and they have a server company already called SUN.

        • tejas84
        • 9 years ago

        The AMD board cares about Project Denver and mobile type chips. As Scott said Intel and Nvidia are shifting to mobile everywhere computing and AMD are not.

          • shank15217
          • 9 years ago

          Yea and AMD has a stronger presence in the mobile sector more than ever. They actually have a decent Atom competitor, the sector that totally blew up in the last 2 years so they will certainly take loads of business away from Atom and in the mean time scale down their designs to smaller form factors. Saying AMDs board of directors suddenly wanted AMD to start making arm chips is preposterous, AMD would have hinted in that direction 2 years ago.

          • Lans
          • 9 years ago

          Well, that boat is long gone… We can debate about the decision to sell the entire hand handle division to Qualcomm back in 2008 but I think it would be extremely short-sighted for AMD to try and get back into mobile space now. At this point, I think AMD would be more profitable if it aimed for > 50% of the CPU/Fusion market.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 9 years ago

            Do you think the board might have thrown that in Dirk’s face? They sold off all of that stuff – flash memory, tv wonder, moblie, because they had to survive as a business – and with all the hits during the Ruiz period they really had no choice imo.

            I agree with your points.

            • Silus
            • 9 years ago

            Well, that was Meyer’s long turn strategy. He wanted to grow in big markets, where there are very few competitors and not in markets where there are dozens and dozens of competitors.

            AMD’s board certainly disagrees…

        • NeelyCam
        • 9 years ago

        Intel’s fusion is far better than Zacate, and Llano isn’t out yet (who knows when it will be). So, maybe you should turn off the fanboy.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      Looking at where AMD is now VS 4 or even 1 year ago is huge. I don’t think anyone can say AMD has gone down hill, and tech is not a immediate buisness, it takes 4 or more years to really develope this stuff.

      I think their graphics component is phenominal for consumers, while the last two generations have had sever supply constraints I don’t think engineering had much to do with that.

      The transformation from prior to phenom to now is phenominal. The X6 line is even now extremely relevant and in the right applications competative. And AMD’s management of sockets has been far better than intels, that takes planning. If you want people to buy more processors you keep the sockets similar, and keep processor prices lower, then people can afford to step up every 1.5-2.5 years, vs. when I buy intel I’m dropping 300 for their worthwhile product and the sockets get all messed up leaving me with that for 4 or more years. I’m not saying AMD’s model is outright the best but its a very logical A symetrical advance on intel.

      I don’t love AMD but I bought my first ever AMD processor in the last year due in large part to these innovations and their price/preformance superiority in the sub 200 dollar market for multi threaded applications.

        • swaaye
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t think they’ve gone up or down. They are sort of in the same spot as the K6-III days. They are being forced to price things low to compete, such as those huge 6 core CPUs. Intel sells six cores too but they make big money on them. If you look back at the pre Core 2 days, AMD was sliding their pricing upward because they had overall performance dominance. That ended in 2006.

        I do agree that upgradeable sockets are neat but I really don’t get that caught up on it. I don’t upgrade enough for it to matter much. And I’m somebody that actually upgrades PCs. The bulk of the market buys OEM boxes and never goes inside so sockets don’t mean jack. Also, consider that still today Socket 775 has CPUs available that rival just about the entire AM3 lineup (priced Intel-style higher of course).

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Whoa – what’s with the -7? The man has good points!

        • ludi
        • 9 years ago

        That’s the problem with attaching popularity contests to these posting systems, the moderately good comments get boosted but the wickedly snarky ones get boosted more, and on the flipside, the insightful-but-critical posters get dinged just as hard as the trolls.

        I wish TR would ashcan that feature.

          • axeman
          • 9 years ago

          Thumbs down for you 😛 It doesn’t do anything does it? It’s not like other sites where comments below a certain threshold are filtered by default, or even optionally. I like that I can feel the general consensus about people’s opinions, it makes me less motivated to get sucked in to feeding the trolls. If someone has minus a bazillion, the point has been made. And if someone has valid points and has minus seven, well maybe my general opinion of the TR community just lost a couple of points. But TR is still over 9000.

            • ludi
            • 9 years ago

            In the site redesign thread, I believe there was an indication that the thumbs up/down feature would be used more extensively in the future for filtering options and such.

        • poulpy
        • 9 years ago

        [quote<]The man has good points![/quote<] Which ones? #1 - As said by shank SB isn't revolutionary CPU wise, it's evolutionary so I don't see any heart attack for AMD there. #2 - Pure speculation. nVidia has been dabbing into the ARM world for a while now and with the thousands of rumors of them going into CPU business I seriously doubt AMD wasn't thinking something along the lines was up. #3 - like #2 this isn't for now at all. And even when release time comes it'll probably take a generation or two for the ARM cores to get a) wide Windows app support (as x86 enjoy) and b) catchup on the x86 desktop/server performance level. #4 - How is it like Barcelona? Because it slipped in schedule? The main problem of Barcelona -apart from not that exciting performance bump- was a blown out of proportion TLB bug which would only happen in very rare cases when you had x virtual machines all maximizing the CPU at the same time.. I won't even get started on Larry Ellison buying AMD out to turn it into server division only (he already owns one, thank you very much) and selling the graphic business to nVidia..

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        He doesn’t. At the risk of stating the obvious, the guy’s stupid. Let’s visit points 1 and 2 for example:

        [i<]"1. Sandy Bridge was a lot better than AMD was expecting."[/i<] "Quickly, we didn't expect THAT! Fire the CEO!" What kind of an idiot comes up with that train of thought? It's like if someone were to drop their cup of coffee at your workplace, and the boss would shout "WELL, I didn't expect THAT! Fire the janitor, quickly!" [i<]"2. AMD had no idea about Nvidia's Project Denver"[/i<] How do you connect this to the CEO, again? "Quickly, we couldn't see through walls or obtain clairvoyance! Fire the CEO!" Purely moronic points, and the rest aren't much better either.

          • ludi
          • 9 years ago

          Actually, if the news from the competition is better than expected, and the board is already walking a thin rope with the CEO, announcements like this can seem very sudden from the outside even though the tension has been building internally for a while.

      • axeman
      • 9 years ago

      Agree, upvote, they need to come up with a better reply to Intel than evolutionary K10 designs seen so far, they haven’t been able to answer the original i7 now, and now Sandy Bridge going to ship, and the best they can do is ship a Core 2 competitior for slightly cheaper. After they caught intel off guard with K8 they should have been putting everything into the next big CPU, instead we got gradual evolution and big dollars spent on ATi…. BAH! If the Arabs hadn’t bailed them out, they’d be done. And the Arabs were the only ones willing to throw a ton of money at Gf, which should tell you something..

      AMD, you are the unfinished and unsold Dubai condo of the semiconductor industry now, good luck, and I mean it. We don’t want the bad old days, where a Pentium II cost $500 bucks and there wasn’t a Celeron option at all, you can thank AMD for budget CPUs from Intel methinks. I shudder to think what the landscape without AMD would become.

      DM may be the scape goat, dunno. Someone always takes the fall. Like the coach getting fired when really the club management is the one making all the really bad calls.

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    I doubt it has anything to do with nVidia’s getting 1.5bill. AMD wasn’t as interested in the 1billion they got as much as Intel allowing AMD to spin off the Global Fab at the time. Doing that enabled them to cut off a highly expensive, low-profit part of their business. Then they got 1 billion to go with that. Intel basically paid for a good chunk of ATI and then enabled AMD to become profitable with the removal of what kept losing them money year after year.

    I’m immediately reminded of those rumors late last year that Oracle was looking at possibly buying AMD and how we all at the time said that it didn’t make any sense as long as AMD had its focus on the consumer side of things.

    Now the big guy is kicked off the top of the totem pole because he isn’t the man to lead them into new, profitable ventures. Meaning they have new ideas about what those ventures will be.

    /shrug

    Probably nothing.

      • WaltC
      • 9 years ago

      [quote<]I doubt it has anything to do with nVidia's getting 1.5bill. AMD wasn't as interested in the 1billion they got as much as Intel allowing AMD to spin off the Global Fab at the time.[/quote<] Bear in mind that it will take nVidia 5 years to collect their $1.5 billion, whereas AMD got their $1B in a single check--and AMD retains its x86 license, while also granting Intel something of consummate value--its x86-64 license. There really is not much that is directly comparable between the two settlements.

    • PRIME1
    • 9 years ago

    I have already submitted my resume.

      • tejas84
      • 9 years ago

      PRIME1 for AMD CEO!

    • sschaem
    • 9 years ago

    This is weird to say the least.

    So its an Immediate resignation and force AMD to put in place an interim CEO.

    This is not orchestrated, seem like allot of emotions VS clear heads made this happen.

    nvidia in the mean time got 1.5 billion $ from Intel to boost is already rich cash account.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 9 years ago

    Well my jaw just dropped.

    They won’t have his expertise even in chip development either. His experience makes him quite valuable having gone from chip design to successful executive. I can’t imagine anyone taking AMD to actual leadership since they’re a lot smaller than intel.

    Perhaps someone from Abu Dhabi has been lobbying for the job? ATIC sunk a ton of money into GloFo.

    I can’t imagine this being anything other than a bad idea. Besides look how long they let Hector ride and he was nicely allowed to ride into the sunset. Dirk doesn’t even get that. It seems harsh and short sighted.

      • khands
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, I don’t get this, I don’t think Dirk would volunteer to come back either after this.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 9 years ago

        I wouldn’t. Think someone like IBM or Intel won’t snatch him up? Dirk has a unique knowledgebase and skills. he built the Alpha, had much to do with K7 and K8 (largely develeoped the bus K6 rode on) and set the ship right after the disaster that was Hector Ruiz. Managed the difficult tasks of merging ATI and AMD and getting out the cpugpu hybrids and this is the thanks he gets.

        This just makes me go “arrgh!”.

        You know if Oracle is going to keep Sun’s chip division they might hire Dirk, especially since they love rubbing other companies bad decisions in their faces.

          • bdwilcox
          • 9 years ago

          I’d love to see nVidia hire Dirk to work on their ARM platform. It would server AMD right for spitting in this guy’s eye.

            • tejas84
            • 9 years ago

            Actually I reckon Dirk Meyer would make an excellent VP at Nvidia.

            Also Jen Hsun Huang used to work at AMD so I think Dirk would be an amazing addition to Nvidia.

            Here’s hoping they get him!

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            Once you’ve been a CEO of a company, VP would be a horrible demotion.

            • Silus
            • 9 years ago

            Tell that to Mark Hurd. I’m sure he feels the same way…not…

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 9 years ago

            isn’t Mark co-president at Oracle? I’m not sure that president or coo is necessarily a dramatic hit ti one’s status like becoming a vice president might be.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 9 years ago

            Agreed. If I had any AMD stock I’d be seeing what I could do to oust the board. Really the wrong guy to piss on in my estimation. Ruiz was just terrible but he got away with it. Why?

            • kvndoom
            • 9 years ago

            Maybe they just WANT to fail. Dang, this is ridiculous news. Might as well just put [s<]Ruinz[/s<] Ruiz back in charge.

            • srg86
            • 9 years ago

            Now this I would love to see!! Get the guy back to what he’s best at, a CPU architect! I think it would be and excellent idea!

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Dirk got fired for dealing with TSMC. He should’ve known AMD is supposed to do business only with GloFo.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 9 years ago

        Your argument appears to be a red herring unless you know something about GloFo putting out bulk silicon that I am unaware of. I had thought that wasn’t going to come online until sometime later this year?

        Although I can imagine ATIC grumbling either way.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          I don’t know nothing, i pulled that one out of my a$$. I think it’s more likely that the true reason has something to do with a continued stream of losses. Maybe it’s related to next week’s earnings announcement…?

          Maybe the stock price crashed because the market thinks this might be a predictor of a horribly negative quarter, instead of somehow meaning that AMD is doomed without Dirk..?

    • sparkman
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder if we are seeing the beginning of the end for the desktop PC, to eventually (long-term) be replaced by the smartphone you carry in your pocket. Plug the phone into a keyboard and screen to work at your desk.

      • Ushio01
      • 9 years ago

      You mean phone to bluetooth keyboard and mouse, WiDi
      (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4119/ces-2011-intel-widi-20-brings-new-media-extenders) to monitor/TV and with wifi to NAS.

      • srg86
      • 9 years ago

      I hope not, I cannot think of a more boring future as far as my geekdom goes. I like the flexibility of a desktop PC, and not a closed off box.

        • axeman
        • 9 years ago

        The continued upward swing of Apple’s market share in pretty much every segment they exist in doesn’t bode well for you. But I agree, that’s why I’ve already decided on Android. If I couldn’t get Android, I’d give Windows Phone 7 a chance before Apple. I can’t deny the impact or even the brilliance of some of Apple’s designs from a usability standpoint, but Microsoft is a more benevolent overlord in many respects.

        • paulWTAMU
        • 9 years ago

        Agreed. I like the increase in mobile options (because sometimes you do want mobile) but dear god I don’t want a mobile platform to be my main one. At any given point you’ll be able to get more power in a desktop form factor than a tablet or truly portable (i.e 12″ or so) laptop. And I WANT the power. Yes it’s only to play PC games but still, I want it.

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