Multiple sources say AMD plans more layoffs

A couple of weeks ago, we caught wind of a rumor suggesting AMD was preparing to cut its work force to less than 10,000 employees, a drop of about 9%. That report came from VR-Zone, and now CNet has chimed in with word from its own sources. According to “people familiar with that matter,” AMD is poised to axe as much as 20-30% of its staff. However, CNet says the number of layoffs could be lower, and it suggests AMD may release more information on the purported job cuts next week.

SemiAccurate’s sources are talking, too, and they echo the figures posted by the other two sites. Charlie Demerjian’s moles tell him that a minimum of 10% of AMD’s workers will lose their jobs—and, crucially, that 30% of the firm’s engineering staff could be on the chopping block. Those engineering cuts will purportedly hit AMD’s graphics division the hardest, which is a shame considering the performance of recent Radeons.

Round about a year ago, AMD laid off 10% of its work force as part of a restructuring effort designed to improve the company’s efficiency. Numerous high-profile executives have left the company since, and AMD’s financial position has weakened. As we reported earlier today, AMD announced that its third-quarter revenue and margin will be substantially lower than anticipated. Revenue is now expected to fall 10% from the second quarter. Q2 results were themselves down 11% from the first quarter. AMD’s Q3 margin is expected to be just 31%, a drop of 14 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Comments closed
    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    Just to clarify. The rumor is 30% of the planned playoff going toward engineering.
    And so far the layoff rumor is 10%.
    So 30% of 10% is 3%.

    3% of 11,000 = ~330 people in the R&D staff

    On the side, AMD is actively hiring people. The AMD seamicro division got about 12 engineering job open.

    So what trouble me is how management, even TODAY is given themselves multi-million bonus.
    I cant imagine the people that get to stay being happy about that.

    AMD got a huge image problem that the last 3 CEO have failed to address.
    I wish a real company would take control of AMD, fire all management and just keep the R&D.

    AMD is to rotten to be fixed. And the problem start at the core, the board.

    • moose17145
    • 7 years ago

    Yes AMD… fire 30% of your engineering staff that primarily works in the only department your company is doing well in. Bravo… *slowly claps*

    • pogsnet
    • 7 years ago
    • shaq_mobile
    • 7 years ago

    Hasn’t the whole bulldozer finalized the old status quo of AMD<Intel? When I started building in early high school, you went AMD for inexpensive overclocking and Intel if you had money to burn for that extra edge. I realize that the AMD budget CPUs aren’t amazing, but they aren’t terrible either. Most of us won’t be able to determine a 5 or even 10% performance difference without a direct pepsi challenge. Even then, most of us would probably need metrics to help us establish a difference. Yeah we got spoiled and AMD had it’s glory days during the clawhammer era(i think? that was a while ago :)). Seems like we’re just going back to the old model of buying cheaper AMD cpus and overclocking this shiz out of them to end up with a decent bargain gamer rig.

    Heck, if the bulldozer performs as well as it does when it’s overclocked, piledriver should be very competitive for the price. Sure it’s not going to dominate, but even the 8150 at its current price point is not a bad choice if you have a good AC or cold winters. I dunno, i feel we all got pretty spoiled with AMD actually being competitive for how small it was. Anyways, i don’t care if i get a small performance hit or a hotter bedroom because of my AMD purchase. Until things stabilize for AMD, I’m going to support the little guy for all our best interests. IMO, they’ve done pretty good all things considered.

    I don’t know if that makes me a fanboy. Ultimately I’m all about price:performace and if AMD crashes, kiss that goodbye.

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    what can you possibly expect from a company run by a guy named “Rory”

      • phileasfogg
      • 7 years ago

      That’s a terrible thing to say about anyone — he didn’t choose his name, and even if he did, so what? What’s wrong with that name? Comments like this don’t add to the discussion, they only detract from it.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Somebody make sure Jerry doesn’t get a heart attack.

      • phileasfogg
      • 7 years ago

      Many people here aren’t likely to understand that comment. For their benefit: Jerry Sanders is the founder and former CEO of AMD. He was CEO for a good 25+ years. (but well before the ATI acquisition)

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    if they don’t cut mgmt, stock price will sink further.

    I just love how amd can’t stop shooting itself in the foot with these announcements.

      • Farting Bob
      • 7 years ago

      AMD still have upper management? I would have thought with all the recent people leaving that nobody above “head janitor” is left.

    • Morris
    • 7 years ago

    We have some mis-information in this story. AMD is planning to cut another ~10% of it’s employees, which during a turn-around effort with new management and a very difficult economic environment worldwide, is not unusual at all. The 30% figure is a cut in a specific area of engineering with some of the GPU work being outsourced in the future.

    The sky isn’t falling and AMD is not going to be acquired thankfully, as this would be a bad situation for everyone. The reduction in revenues is based on their projected revenues which is always a guesstimate in the best of times and an impossible task in a worldwide economic depression.

    For reference 2012 PC sales worldwide are down drastically to 2001 levels. That explains why so many PC industry companies are laying off tens of thousands of employees. Sharp just cut 11,000. HP is cutting 29,000. Nokia has cut 12,000 and the list goes on and on. Best Buy is about ready to close it doors forever after already closing about 1/3 of their stores in the past year.

    For those who have been fortunate or not noticed, we have been in an economic depression for five years and counting and I would not expect things to improve substantially for another 3-5 years which means unemployment is going to get worse and sales are going to continue to decline for many. When talented, educated people are unemployed for years because there are no jobs available, that is a very bad economic situation.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      It’s only misinformation if it’s not true. Something we’ll find out in about two weeks. Layoffs are not good and morale is, from everything I’ve read, at an all time low. Outsourcing graphics is the worst idea I’ve heard yet from this board. You make this sound as if it were some rosy picture when it is clear that cuts need to be made primarily at the top. Read has had enough time and his complete inability to articulate a direction (instead of spew opaque business speak) or show any kind of leadership makes him a poor choice in my opinion.

      All of the companies you’ve mentioned have made incredibly stupid decisions and are now paying for it – hp and Nokia are quite likely to fail (admittedly I haven’t followed Sharp but they’ve had a decreased presence in the States for some time as I recall) and I fail to grasp what gives you cause to think there’s a silver lining in all this.

      Presuming that AMD can survive another 5 years of losses is not an assumption I would have made particularly as their stock price is tanking.

        • Morris
        • 7 years ago

        You can take what I’m telling you as pretty accurate subject to change at any time by AMD management. This is the plan as of 10-13-12.

        To ignore a five year economic depression is denial. I talk to companies around the globe daily – many of them on the brink of closing their doors forever after up to 65 years in Biz. I have lost count of the well managed companies that have closed because they have been unable to weather this unprecedented economic depression – perhaps the longest known in history.

        The silver lining is that AMD does in fact make money and has done so most quarters over the past two years in spite of the terrible economic landscape. That is good for consumers. They aren’t for sale or going out of business. In fact AMD is buying other companies such as SeaMico to enhance their server division. If you listen to the “ExSperts” AMD has been going out of business for the past 40 years, yet they continue to make money and deliver excellent products. Trinity and Vishera are both good products that will sell well.

        FYI – Stock price has absolutley nothing to do with AMD surviving or making/losing money. Stock price is the market value of the company’s stock. It means little and does not influence AMDs ability to continue delivering excellent products.

        If you look at Intel we see that their node drop from 32nm Sandy Bridge to 22nm Ivy Bridge yielded only a ~5% performance improvement while resulting in heat issues and OC’ing limitations. IB chips are also expensive. AMD on the otherhand is delivering a 10-15% performance increase with Vishera, a full 2x-3x increase over what Intel got with a node drop to 22nm and Trigate transitor in Ivy Bridge and AMD delivered without a node change.

        Vishera will be a lot of fun for overclockers as it will hit close to 5.0 GHz. on good air cooling and 5.0+ GHz. under real water cooling (not the inferior closed loop coolers).

        Trinity laptop is a full year ahead of Intel and Trinity desktop by virtually all reviews is a better value dollar-for-dollar than i3 chips. AMD will continue to deliver the best bang for the buck and smart consumers will continue to buy them. Only a small percentage of people buy the over-priced, over-hyped top of the heap CPU or GPU. The rest of consumers buy the mid-level products because they provide the best value. Any modern APU/CPU will run all software, video games, etc. without issue except for Sandy Bridge laptop chippies with HD 3000 or lower graphics.

        Speaking of laptops, Intel has not been able to buy sales of Ultrabook despite literally spending millions of marketing dollar. So the lesson is don’t buy SB laptops, buy Trinity laptop for the best user experience and value.

          • vaultboy101
          • 7 years ago

          Apple and Samsung called and said what recession…

          ARM is the new power against Intel. We don’t need AMD anymore

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            Apple and Samsung very happy save in court where only Apple is currently happy, HTC and all the rest are notably unhappy, I don’t believe the recession is over so much as Apple and Samsung have become dominant players amongst a crowded field of losers during a long lasting recession.

            on a side note: you believe cpu’s that run half as fast as an Intel Atom are the next great thing?….. seriously?…. really?… ugh, I weep a little for the future.

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            intel can also make arm chips genius

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          I have to ask – are you a part of AMD – p.r. or otherwise (or contracted by them)? Because you sure sound like it – largely because what you’re saying sounds a lot more like spin than what we’re looking at.

          The overall statement sounds like “why yes I bought my tickets for the Titanic merely because I enjoy a cold dip from time to time. Don’t you? It’s so invigorating!”. What you haven’t done is show what the direction is and why – something Mr. Read has also utterly failed to do.

          If you know something that will allow AMD to weather 5 years of upcoming losses please share it with the rest of us.

            • Ringofett
            • 7 years ago

            I’m not sure why you and I don’t agree. You point out the failure of their current management, suggest they cant weather 5 years of losses that you see coming, generally seem to think its running off the rails. We seem to agree on that, but not its resolution.

            The company’s market cap is only about 2 billion dollars; virtually everyone in the ARM game could afford AMD without even needing its stock to continue to slide; Qualcomm has 13 billion in cash, TI 2 billion, NVDA 3 billion. If we want to widen horizons a little, IBM has 11 billion. There’s scores of private equity groups that could get that much money together, sovereign wealth funds (remember, Dubai’s I believe is already a part owner, or maybe thats the foundry side..), etc. Any of those could come in, wipe out any management they see as ineffective, possibly bring some engineers to the table, and definitely give it financial breathing room.

            And any investor also has a small backstop; the idea that the EU and US regulators would never allow Intel 100% of the x86 market.

            Plus, at this rate, AMD could halve it market cap to a billion by Christmas; it’s book value per share’s only 1.58, and the stocks at 2.74 as of this post.

            I’ve been saying it for years now, AMD needs to get bought out by someone bigger. It’s shares are in free fall right now, and it’s already got negative net income; what happens when Haswell drops? The sooner someone new comes in and can start effecting positive change the better, since we know CPU’s aren’t cobbled together in a single quarter. I just don’t see any other way forward, and from the posts I’ve read so far, no one else has any other idea either.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I grabbed the 5 years thing off his/her response “… I would not expect things to improve substantially for another 3-5 years…”. It’s possible I took it too literally but so much of it seemed like market speak I was also trying to see if I could get him to show his hand.

            AMD is a bargain – I agree. The reason that I don’t think they should be bought out is that it won’t help us any and there’s no guarantee that x86 will transfer. Anyone that would want AMD wants it for its parts and patents – not to keep the current business going. The only people that seem to have any interest in keeping things as they are now is ATIC and co.(who I suppose could own 99 percent of it and not go afoul of the agreement with intel). Further I’m not at all sure why people think that an AMD without x86 is really a player. If they can’t make it against intel in one market whose to say they can make it against intel (whether they’re using x86 or ARM) in another?

            The problem is that the board needs to be flushed along with the CEO. Su seems to be alright but with the current brain drain there’s not many people left. AMD is on its way to being just another company – and one that licenses its tech instead of producing anything – and that’s sad.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            This is a semiconductor company we’re talking about, with extensive research and development time requirements and roadmaps that always plan forward by at least 2 years.

            You don’t suddenly turn around a company like this within half a year of being chosen CEO. It will take years.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            That’s a fair point he has had closer to two years at this point though. I question whether they have those years – and AMD’s communication is terrible (which is in part due to Rory’s intense need to use corporate speak). If AMD becomes one of those companies whose only trick in the bag is to do layoffs they’re up for a major downhill slide. It’s questionable that they’ll ever bounce back with them as well.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    What exactly are the chances or feasibility of ATI splitting off from AMD ?

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      Before AMD files chapter 7 – zero.

      • Kougar
      • 7 years ago

      Not sure, but I hope they can do it. If AMD is going to cut 30% of ATI’s engineering staff then it’s only going to be a slow spiral down for both CPU+GPU divisions from here on out. The only thing worse than AMD dying off is if AMD ends up killing the ATI brand with them.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        I think the number is “30% of the layoff” and the rumor number is 10%. So 30% of 10% is
        about 300 people.

        AMD might not even feel 300 people in R&D being let go.
        AMD as been hiring and is still hiring engineers today.
        I see about 20 engineering job open at the seamicro division.

        I seem to me AMD is cleaning house in the R&D department over “cutting cost at all cost”

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 7 years ago

      What would the point of that be? The stand-alone GPU market is shrinking and highly competitive. AMD/ATI is already free to license their GPUs into 3rd party products, if anyone is interested. Splitting the company doesn’t generate any new opportunities, it only makes it harder for ATI graphics to be integrated into x86 systems.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        Because ati alone is a profitable business. They are currently in 2 of 3 consoles, and next generation will likely be in 3 of 3 consoles.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          All those things are true – and from what I understand they’ve received their one-time payment for the Xbox (and possibly the others) already. It doesn’t answer why AMD would sell it off when it is so much a part of their plans.

          • Geistbar
          • 7 years ago

          Consoles don’t actually make all that much money for the hardware makers. The main benefit is that it’s safe money and any technology developed will almost certainly help out with their primary markets.

        • Kougar
        • 7 years ago

        Probably because the consumer GPU market isn’t where the money is at, you should be looking at the server and HPC markets. There’s a reason NVIDIA has been designing its cores specifically for compute first over the last several generations. There’s significant money to be had for the foreseeable future, even Intel has been trying to play in it the market with Knights Cross.

        Both NVIDIA and ATI have had supercomputers based off their GPUs, and both have an active HPC market going for their products. Even though NVIDIA has the dominant position ATI has a slice of the pie, and ATI’s decision to redesign its current generation cards around the GCN architecture shows they are now aggressively targeting computing with their GPUs for this reason. And as was said by lilbuddhaman, ATI has remained a profitable business.

        One doesn’t cut out 30% of your engineering staff when you are running a profitable, proven business model. If AMD follows through with this rumor then it’s a sign the company is willing to sacrifice its future in order to preserve itself in the present.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 7 years ago

          If you don’t preserve yourself in the present, you don’t have a future. If you don’t have an integrated product, you don’t have a future except in the smallest of niches.

          • DPete27
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]There's a reason NVIDIA has been designing its cores specifically for compute first over the last several generations.[/quote<] Until Kepler...

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    This is why I bought a Geforce card recently. AMD is showing all the signs of a company eager for a buyout and any company buying them out will almost certainly see the consumer division of either CPU or GPU as a liability worth chopping. What’s a Radeon worth without drivers? As someone who was using an 8800 Ultra up until very recently, I have to say driver support is paramount and watching AMD cut support for the 4000 series and below a year-ish ago was very informative.

    If not for the driver support question mark, I probably would have gotten the Radeon 7970, but I just don’t think AMD’s got much of a future and I don’t know why I’d ever risk buying a high dollar video card by a company so badly in the red.

    I remember the day 3dfx announced that nVidia had bought them up. They bought out their patents, they bought out their copyrights and trademarks, they bought the tech and the term SLI, they bought many of the engineers, they bought out the company name, but the most telling things were the things they did not buy.

    nVidia did not buy 3dfx’s excess inventory of cards and they did not buy the responsibility of releasing any new drivers for those Voodoo cards that had up until recently been sold. The internet exploded in flames and suddenly lots of expensive video cards were made… worthless. I avoid any scenario remotely like that now. AMD is teetering. Everyone can see it.

    It’s a damn shame. The Radeon 7970 looked pretty hot post-12.7 with power utilization not incredibly higher than GF 670/680 and performance higher in many cases with a promising amount of performance for the future with more bandwidth, etc.

    Looking at the future, I can easily see the performance tradeoff’s of the current 79xx and 78xx series making a whole lot of sense for future games at high resolutions above 2560×1600. I wanted to buy the Radeon card post-12.7, which is high praise given how badly I slammed them for not being able to match nVidia’s mid-range product (that was upconverted into high end after AMD showed up lacking back in December of last year). I really did. Who doesn’t want to pay considerably less for considerably more performance? 7970GE’s for $420-$440 would be a great, great deal for the user who doesn’t use his card for longer than a couple of years…

    But I want my cards to work for their expected purpose for many years. A video card without future driver support is a video card with a ticking expiration date and you just don’t know when it’s going to blow. Even if AMD limps through, their constant firing employees has got to be destroying their morale and key people are going to start departing either by axing or on their own, which’ll affect how often and how well they craft drivers. It took AMD a really long time to get their driver team up to snuff and they’re firing people willy-nilly now. How long before they start trimming driver support for their cards to “within the last two years?”

    There is a ticking timebomb. Either AMD goes bankrupt, is bought by a company not at all interested in continuing their current consumer products, or they trim down driver teams to limit costs going forward and throw the baby out with the bath water, but when their driver support promise disappears or begins to wane, the web will explode with a napalm of rage and flames.

    But at least I’ll be well clear of the blast radius. Surviving the blast, though, will only be the first challenge as a world without AMD is a world where Intel and nVidia self-govern their enthusiast products and pricing. And they just don’t strike me as particularly trustworthy on either front.

    Just seems like a whole lot of sad there and not much to be done about it.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      While I don’t agree with everything here this is a very good post.

      • BestJinjo
      • 7 years ago

      So many assumptions in that post, but most telling of all is your sub-optimal GPU upgrading strategy. Buying a $500-600 GPU and holding on to it for 4-5 years like you did for 8800GTX has never been a good strategy and is NOT how knowledge PC enthusiasts manage their GPU upgrades. Anyone who understands how fast hardware depreciates uses 2 different approaches, generally considered superior for delivering more value and performance.

      The first is to buy a $500 GTX680/7970GE and dump it next generation losing some $ in the process but rolling over the remaining residual value into a new GTX780/8970 card. Using this strategy in 4-5 years, you lose about the same $ in depreciation per each generation as your 8800GTX lost in total (since it’s at best worth $40-50 today but was $599 at launch), but in the end up with top of the line performance every year. Over the course of 20-30 years of using this strategy, the cost of ownership is roughly equal after that first $500 card you buy and with this approach you always have a very fast card. Using your approach you only have a fast card for 1 year and a slow card for 4 years after.

      The second approach is to buy a mid-range $200-250 card and upgrade it more often. Then in 4-5 years you have 2 or 3 mid-range cards that cost about the same as an 8800GTX initially but you got much faster performance in 2/3 of the 4-5 years period. The problem is not HD4000 series drivers but your upgrading strategy – it’s frankly noobish. What you describe is someone who just started building computers and those type of people tend to be obsessed about future proofing (hence the desire to have driver support for 5-6 years out). Hardly any veteran PC builder who understands how fast computer technology evolves and prices drops would care about 4-6 year future proofing. It’s amazing you haven’t realized that the 2 strategies I described are actually what most of us use and how we’ve been able to have great GPU performance without spending a ton OR have had very reasonable performance with small incremental upgrades annually without rapping our wallets.

      Furthermore, HD4000 series drivers are not discontinued. The series is still supported but instead of monthly updates, it’s quarterly or on as needed basis to fix bugs. NV could release a new 8800GTX driver every week if they wanted to but it would amount to nothing as both HD4000 and GeForce 8 are hopelessly bottlenecked in all modern games and have been for a long time. It makes no difference at all if AMD releases drivers ever 3-6 months for HD4000 series or NV releases them every 2 months for GeForce 8 since neither card can even use DX11 or play modern games smoothly. The amount of performance optimizations for 8800GTX are also nil. In addition, that card wastes more in idle energy cost than buying a modern card, another flaw in your upgrading strategy that didn’t take into account the idle power consumption costs compared to modern cards had you upgraded earlier.

      Thirdly, as someone who does buy $400-500 GPUs every generation, I would very much like for AMD and NV to focus on the last 2-3 generations at most and not waste their time trying to get 5-year-old GPUs to run Crysis 1 or Metro 2033 faster. When a company has limited resources, you don’t waste 20-30% of your driver team’s efforts on outdated technology. You are blowing this issue way out of proportion because having up to date drivers on GeForce 8 or 4870 makes no difference whatsoever for improving playability as both cards are slow – ironically HD4870 is faster than 8800GTX in 99% games even without frequent driver updates – so again your theory is different from what happens in actual games. It’s not like HD4870 cannot play games anymore because it doesn’t use the latest Cats 12.9s.

      Finally, your decision doesn’t appear to be in your own self interests. The cost of losing AMD as a company to the marketplace would cost you more long-term financially than the possibility of losing driver support on HD7970 in 3-4 years because if you don’t support AMD when they make a better product (HD7970 GE > GTX680 and 1 Ghz 7970 > GTX670), that there is a greater chance of the company going bankrupt. In the end that means slower pace of innovation and higher prices from NV long-term. Next time you upgrade, NV can set any price it wants since no one else will be selling discrete GPUs. Your short-term gain now with peace of mind of drivers is a life-time of price gouging and slower pace of innovation from NV that you’ll suffer if AMD goes under.

      What you described is just irrational fear that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you were prematurely panicked AMD will go bankrupt and acted in your own short-term interest, ironically ignoring long-term consequences.

      AMD will still survive at least 2 years and by 2014-2015, gaming on an HD7970 will be underwhelming anyway because with next generation of consoles on the horizon, the increase in graphics should be exponential with future games / game engines, crippling the 7970. So again just like HD4870, the driver support for HD7970 only really matters for another 2 years and after most people buying $500 will have upgraded.

      Even if you don’t take most of my post seriously, I strong think you should reconsider your GPU upgrading strategy because the way you are doing it is not optimal. If you can’t afford to upgrade a $500 GPU every generation, it’s better to buy mid-range $250-300 cards and upgrading more often than keeping a $500-600 GPU for 4-5 years. This was true for all GPU generations for the last 15 years and it’s doubtful it would change.

        • DPete27
        • 7 years ago

        +1, This is mostly what I was thinking while reading Divine’s post. I think he’s just sore that his $500 GPU didn’t last forever. That’s like wishing the industry would never advance. BTW, I fit into group #2 as you describe.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Thats a little bit paranoid. and you could make up similar concerns with nvidia.

      Personally I’m more concerned about nVidia board design.
      I had just way, way to many nvidia product fail on me. (laptop, motherboard, GPU)

      My option?

      a) In 2014 I stop getting AMD driver updates
      b) in 2015 my nVidia card stop working

      Most likely by 2014 I wouldn’t care about windows drivers anyways

      I was going to get a 660 ti, but right now I’m set on the 8870.

      Also because ATI is in all next gen console, I expect ATI HW to get a huge boost vs nvidia.
      Similar to what we see in dirt benchmarks.

      So I’m not sure you made a wise choice.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    If steamroller was going to live up to proposed expectations I’m guessing this wouldn’t happen. So we should probably expect steamroller to break even with this version of IB or SB instead.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      At best, Piledriver was supposed to be 10-15% improvement on Bulldozer. That put performance at or below Sandy Bridge. Steamroller is meant to add another 10-15% improvement, probably closer to the higher end. But that’ll only more or less match Ivy Bridge when Intel will be adding their own 10-30% with Haswell plus a leap forward on performance per watt.

      AMD was never going to catch up. Everyone already knew this. Intel’s fab advantage is just far too great. AMD’s only hope is a buyout and no one’s going to buy them until they go bankrupt. Once they implode, then their patent portfolio will make a tempting acquisition to someone like Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple or nVidia/Intel (nVidia gets the CPU patents, Intel gets the GPU patents to avoid antitrust implications). Or perhaps Oracle might want their patents for server chip usage. Certainly, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Apple have been poaching AMD’s engineers for a while now.

      But all of this is to say that AMD is better dead before its remains are picked through. And no one’s going to buy AMD to continue driver support for AMD video cards. I still remember the day 3dfx’s remains were bought by nVidia. I remember the howls from 3dfx users as suddenly their cards were made expensive doorstops that happened to display video for a while with drivers that suddenly had an expiration date after which they were in dire need of support but would never get any…

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        “And no one’s going to buy AMD to continue driver support for AMD video cards.”

        You’re right no one would support one of the best gpu architectures to ever come out of industry.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Meh, this isn’t exactly breaking news. It’s either AMD beginning to turn things around by ridding itself of it’s dead weight or an acceleration toward oblivion. AMD declaring bankruptcy or posting record quarters would be newsworthy though but this was expected, no?

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    I hope they don’t cut their graphics team as that is easily AMDs strongest point.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      Sadly that’s who they’re going after. 🙁

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      That’s [i<]exactly[/i<] why they're cutting them leaner.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 7 years ago

        Since NVidia has been six months behind in getting current-generation products to market, AMD’s graphics engineering team must have been doing their jobs too well.

          • Meadows
          • 7 years ago

          You misunderstand. AMD, as a whole, is not doing well. Within AMD, the GPU division is doing well (obviously). Therefore if you cut the workforce there, the remaining group will still do “good enough”. On the other hand, you can’t really touch the CPU division because it will need all the help and support it can get, despite what savings the company is trying to squeeze out.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    Is it the end for AMD? No (fortunately). It could mean that certain product lines that we have come to expect from AMD might go away unfortunately. Hopefully they can keep up the GPU/APU side of things where they actually have some good offerings.

    In the server world they are not in the best straits, and in mobile they have potential to expand but need to play catchup in getting into the very low power envelopes. Here’s hoping that Rory Read can get them pointed in the right direction. I don’t see them as a takeover target… just yet. If things really go south, then AMD won’t just disappear, but it could get swallowed.

      • Martian
      • 7 years ago

      Future APUs have a lot more potential on the server/HPC market where enormous parallel processing power is required but serial processing can’t be completely eliminated (and so CPU-GPGPU communication over PCI-E is a serious bottleneck), and having the proper software that takes advantage of the hardware is not a real issue. It’s not an accident Intel is messing with Xeon Phi, they realized they are painfully lagging behind compered to AMD’s GCN.

    • ish718
    • 7 years ago

    AMD needs the extra cash for R&D, lol.

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    There was muttering on a number of occasions, but I wonder if this could really be the end.

    I hope someone buys “AMD”, keeps ATI and resurrects it, and spins out the AMD name and debt to crash. AMD’s death shouldn’t take ATI to Hell with them. 🙁

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    didn’t I just read an article ( on this site I think ) stating Intel was lowering it’s profit expectations ? I don’t think anybody is doing any good. This doesn’t surprise me much and I don’t think AMD will be the only ones doing it.

    got add………. this is something for the investors’……….

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    There’s a few companies that are on a downward spiral… Nokia and Rim come to mind, though AMD seems stable for now.

    I get the impression that companies are just as likely to pivot and make a come back as to fail and go out of business.

    Obviously every situation is different and you can’t always look at history to predict the future, but do the TR readers think that AMD will ever be able to rival intel as well as they rival NVidia in the mainstream market?

    I guess if they can pull a compelling mobile solution out of thin air or monopolize the next console generation it could help them out, but we need competition on CPUs.

      • Martian
      • 7 years ago

      Manufacturers will not build tablets on Hondo because it would destroy the sales of Atom and Core tablets as well and Intel would take revenge on them for that.
      Government authorities sometimes take on the chance to pull Intel a billion here and there but they are not willing to hang a fine around it’s neck that would make it’s nose hit the ground. One might wonder how much corruption is in the backround.

    • spigzone
    • 7 years ago

    As I fervently desire to pay $399.99 for Intel’s entry level chip this is encouraging news indeed!

      • clone
      • 7 years ago

      lol, true enough indeed.

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      I have three letters for you: ARM. $399 for a low-end chip ain’t gonna happen when ARM is around, even if ARM isn’t a 1:1 replacement.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        There is a HUGE gap between low end PC cpu and high end ARM CPU.

        Its a bit insane to think their is any overlap. Maybe a few years from now, but you will still be faced with the software dilemma.
        How do you convince company like autodek/Adobe/.. to rewrite all their app suite, and then have them maintain 2 code base on 2 platform (possibly 3)?

        ARM wont be ready to pickup AMD role for another 3 to 5 years.

        So I wouldn’t be surprise if an Haswell based i3 will start at $165.. no matter what ARM is doing.

          • Game_boy
          • 7 years ago

          Go and look how Cortex-A15/Krait/A6 bench vs Atom.

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            …from what I’ve read, they all bench rather [i<]badly[/i<] against it. Also, Atom? Really? That's the bar ARM has to meet? Slow down, Billy, you're reaching awfully high there.

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        Thats cool if you only want to use ARM software, but Windows x86 cannot run natively on ARM, and windows 8 ARM is gimped and really only aimed at tablets. Even if they start releasing proper desktop parts based on ARM, i’d rather take an x86 CPU for my desktop because the software industry has spent decades using it and desktop ARM software is very limited.

        The 2 markets are still pretty seperate. x86 may be trying to muscle it’s way into tablets and phones, but not really the other way round.

        • clone
        • 7 years ago

        best hope and pray for the other 3 letters…. AMD, ARM is making no inroads into x86 at all while x86 is seriously trying to make inroads into phones.

        • ptsant
        • 7 years ago

        You can’t even put ARM and AMD processors in the same performance class. At least the best AMD processor is competitive with a 2500k. I can’t even begin to imagine ARM on the desktop.

    • codedivine
    • 7 years ago

    I think AMD should just actively pursue getting acquired at this point.

      • destroy.all.monsters
      • 7 years ago

      Who would buy them? It’s financially ruinous to take on intel in x86 and the mobile market is ripe for a shakeout (where TI is already exiting). No one would want to take on Nvidia either (Matrox once upon a time but that day is long past).

      Tech sites like ours slamming what they come out with doesn’t help – and the end result will be a desktop that dies much quicker than it should particularly once intel and Nvidia start price gouging.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Maybe Apple, to stop its reliance on imagination, and get the edge over the competition.

        Apple would prefer to have its own graphic core, not one also used in Intel SoC or Samsung SoC.
        For that alone Apple could be interested, AMD paid 6 billion for ATI alone. Its like paying half, and getting Seamicro & all the CPU IP for free.

        Same reason for Samsung… but qualcomm already has Adreno, so AMD price tag might be to high for them.

        Even microsoft might want to start having its own chip design capabilities.
        If they want to be like Apple, what they keep saying, AMD could be a design start.
        Plus they get control over their HW GPU for the xbox.

        If AMD is not even worth 2 billion on the open market… peanuts for all those guys.

          • blastdoor
          • 7 years ago

          It’s not impossible…. but I think the price of AMD would have to fall low enough to reflect the reality that the x86 license and all x86 products made by AMD are worthless. AMD’s only value is employees and non-x86 IP. The employees don’t really count, since Apple can just hire the individuals they want without having to buy the company (and buying the company means you get stuck with a lot of people you *don’t* want). So that just leaves non-x86 IP. I doubt that’s worth any more than $1 billion. And checking yahoo, I see that AMD has about $500 million more in debt than in cash, so the price would have to be even lower to compensate the buyer for the debt they would inherit.

          So…. I don’t see Apple being interested in AMD unless the price falls a *lot* more.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            Nortel’s IP sold for $4.5 billion at auction and you believe AMD’s x86 IP combined with it’s gfx IP is near worthless….. give your head a shake and quintuple your highest number.

            one company that would absolutely love to get ahold of AMD’s x86 license, is absolutely desperate to buy AMD’s x86 license is Nvidia, Cisco would love to have it, IBM would find a home for some of it, Google would love it and Apple would absolutely LOVE TO GET AHOLD, would bust at the seems in glee if they got their own complete platform infrastructure for the right price…… ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT because Apple doesn’t compete with Intel, they use Intel, Apple has no direct hardware competition across multiple fronts.

            note edited to correct Nortel IP sale price.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]IBM would find a home for some of it[/quote<] Na, IBM wouldn't be interested. They got rid of their own license for good reason.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            does anyone here believe that AMD’s patent portfolio consists of 2 documents….. an x86 license and a gfx license.

            as an example when AMD bought ATI they got ownership of s3’s comparatively tiny ip file and it alone was valued at 300 million.

            when I mentioned IBM would be interested in some of it I’m talking about the whole patent library that AMD owns not just a lonely license on page 1.

            • blastdoor
            • 7 years ago

            An x86 license is worthless for two reasons. First, nobody can beat Intel in that market. Everyone who has tried has failed including IBM, Via, Cyrix, and AMD. Second, the PC market is shrinking. Put those two together and there is no way to make money by making x86 chips. It’s a totally lost cause.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            You’re assuming that the x86 license would have to be used for PC’s. I suspect there will be a use-case for the x86 license in portable devices once Intel gets done with Haswell’s and its successors. I don’t see x86 leaving the market for a long time and I can easily see it being the highest performance chip ongoing for a while longer.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            Why? Why would anyone choose the hard road of building their own x86 to compete with intel anywhere? It’s much easier to go ARM. It strikes me as insane. Sure it’s a “business opportunity” but one that only someone with deep pockets as well as a deep and abiding hatred of intel would possibly consider. With the settlement between Nvidia and intel (which included language keeping Nvidia from going after the x86 license as well as some language settling all claims – likely including future claims) and their focus on Tegra it just makes no sense.

            There would have to be a compelling reason for anyone to compete with intel across a wide front – and I just don’t see why anyone would do this (short of Jen Hsun who is likely barred from it and likely doesn’t care any more).

            Meh I came across a bit shrill here. What I’m trying to get to is that there appears to be no compelling reason for a company to jump in (and I’m happy to hear what those compelling reasons for going x86 are vs. ARM) and that even if someone did – or even could – the landscape we have today would be irrevocably changed.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            1st off you have no idea how to value an x86 license at all, you also have no idea what AMD’s IP can be used for and you have no …. absolutely no idea how many patents AMD has directly tied to x86 let alone that the vast majority of AMD’s patents are not related directly to x86.

            AMD’s combined ip is likely worth more than 7 billion.

            the only lost cause is your one dimensional focus on desktop and your flawed opinion that all of AMD’s patents and tech can only apply to desktop.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]AMD's combined ip is likely worth more than 7 billion.[/quote<] So about Apple's annual beer Fridays fund. ;D (Yes, every two weeks Apple employees are allowed to bring company funded beer back to the work desks).

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            at auction why did Apple pay 4.5 billion for Nortel’s IP.

            answer why is it that S3’s IP… remember little s3 graphics…. why was it’s IP portfolio valued at 300 million.

            to successfully file a patent in the U.S. costs $3400 to $20,000+….. AMD has better than 20.000 patents….I’d wager they have closer to 100,000 patents, the costs for filing alone being in excess of 500 million….has anyone considered asking why companies file patents let alone throw away 400 million in coin on the endeavor if not to get a return on the investment.

            note edited to correct Nortel IP sale price.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Actually it HTC’s IP now and Apple successfully crushed HTC’s attempt at winning the texture compression suit for a lot less then 300 million.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            and that explains why Nortel’s IP portfolio sold for 4.5 billion?

            regarding s3 by all accounts the deal went ahead for 300 million despite speculation that the dismissed ruling against apple devalued it.

            note edited to correct Nortel IP sale price.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Ya, they sold it from one family member to another family member. Whoopeee! I sold my sister a car and wrote 10 million dollars on the receipt too.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            you have a consortium of family members sharing your old car?

            my mistake it was 4.5 billion that Nortel’s IP sold for at auction and the consortium that bought it included.

            Apple, Microsoft, Sony, RIM, Ericsson, EMC, amongst several others.

            p.s. you failed, s3 did sell for 300 million despite the dismissed lawsuit and Nortel’s IP did sell for 4.5 billion…. AMD’s IP could be worth, not guaranteed but could be worth 7 billion+ given AMD purchased ATI and all of it’s IP just a few years ago.

            welcome to the new world where patents matter more than parts… it sucks to be sure and needs to be fixed but atm it’s still broken and AMD’s IP is ridiculously valuable.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I’m really late in following this but Deanjo was referring to VIA selling the S3 patents to HTC – which was, as I recall during the lawsuit.

            The IP ended up doing HTC no good though because apparently courts are wholly uninterested in hardware (read actual) patents and only in enforcing software ones (despite how dubious the concept of a software patent).

            I’m not actually making his point but pointing this out.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            partially correct sure but not fully for reasons you know but didn’t mention or forgot to mention…..HTC didn’t buy the s3 patents until after the case dismissal, they chose to re-examine them and following the additional due diligence they paid the 300 million.

            while I’m certain a judgement that favored HTC would have been a gift that would keep on giving HTC decided that the s3 patents were still solid enough to avoid future litigation which would seem valid given they haven’t faced a counter suit.

            to be clear I feel disdain for the current application of patent law in the U.S. and it’s mafia style effects on North America consumers (patent tax built into the cost of all products), I solidly believe current patent enforcement is hurting the U.S. economy and that it’s stifling U.S. innovation at the ground level which is slowly eroding America’s lead in the world.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            Good points. I wasn’t aware of how late in the game HTC bought the patents as I only read the articles at the time due to VIA’s involvement and it’s rare to hear VIA news.

            From a very quick Google search I see this: [url<]https://techreport.com/news/21242/via-to-sell-s3-graphics-to-htc[/url<] [url<]http://www.slashgear.com/htc-buys-s3-graphics-from-via-06163267/[/url<] and this: [url<]http://paidcontent.org/2011/11/23/419-htcs-s3-graphics-buy-in-question-after-itc-rules-for-apple-in-patent-ca/[/url<] Which seem to indicate I was right though we may be talking about different cases. It was only after Apple was found to infringe on 1 S3 patent that the sale went through. I'm sure the whole situation is more nuanced however. Unfortunately patents these days are like M.A.D. was in the cold war days. I didn't figure you were a patent troll cheerleader but I appreciate your explanation. As long as someone can make money though patent (and copyright) reform seem to be in the realm of fairy tales I'm afraid.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            It won’t transfer and they’re making money (albeit not tons of it) with Tegra. The terms of their settlement with intel likely ban it from taking another shot at that apple as well.

            Cisco? Why? IBM? some of the pieces possibly – but they have no reason to return to x86 and they’re out of the consumer end entirely. You mention other names but with none of them do you provide a compelling reason as to why they’d want AMD (and further if they would have a vested interest in keeping it the same company we know today). If anything it will be a bidding war over patents and – that’s it. As blastdoor said Apple wouldn’t even consider it at what it’s roughly worth now.

            Anyone even attempting to gain x86 will have to pester the DoJ into forcing intel into a new second source agreement. There’s no guarantee that either potential presidential candidate will order the DoJ to do much at all.

            But I’ll play devil’s advocate a moment – even if Apple got the license the PC as we know it will die. Apple won’t sell chips to their competitors gpu or cpu.

            I like your optimism – I just don’t see it as realistic.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            you don’t believe the x86 license would transfer if Nvidia bought AMD’s IP?

            I’d go with AMD just AMD not including the ATI acquisition having a patent library larger than 20,000, I wouldn’t say 100,000 is out of reach….. while getting into this thread I took a look and AMD was ranked as one of the top 25 companies in the world for successful patent filing 3 years straight, they filed 1090 patents in 2001 alone…. they were top 5 in North America and have been around since 1969.

            so what would IBM and Cisco want from AMD….. communication patents, interconnect patents, process patents, x64 extension patents, fabrication patents… with regard to IBM, AMD & IBM have been cross licensing and sharing for quite a while which is why I mentioned IBM would be interested in only some of it.

            AMD has spent more than a half billion in coin on patent filings over the years and that wasn’t for charity.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t. I think that the agreement will have likely prohibited that and that Jen Hsun is a lot less likely to be able to have his people successfully lobby the government into forcing the issue than in allowing intel to absorb all the x86 patents (although that’s still a bit of a crap shoot). intel has a strong case that they have heavy competition from ARM and there are a lot of people in government who aren’t particularly tech savvy. I think the absolute best case scenario would be Nvidia v. intel part II but that would still take so long to resolve (18-36 months plus) that desktops will likely either cease to exist or be on life support.

            There’s also no reason to believe that Nvidia is willing to turn away from Tegra to battle intel on the desktop at this late date.

            What the patents get is no concern of mine – sure the patents have value but unfortunately the company itself doesn’t. When we start talking about the patent sales we’re talking about a company that’s already filed Chapter 7 and will never come back. What we’re really talking about is who would buy AMD to keep it doing what it does today – and that answer is no one. That’s not the answer either of us want to hear but it is, to my mind, the only honest and realistic one.

            You’re welcome to try to change my mind. I’d love to be more optimistic about it. At the moment I can’t see anyone keeping AMD alive in the way we know it now – there’s just no benefit to be had.

            The only question becomes whether the UAE, ATIC board or other already invested oil millionaires are willing to give out loans to prop up their investments over near-continuous losses.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            1st off patents are assets, assets that can be borrowed against so if AMD’s patent portfolio is worth 7 billion…. then that is capital they have access too, AMD is not near bankruptcy but the portfolio helps them everyday which is why AMD like many other tech firms spend the $20,000 to get each patent filed…. it’s an investment.

            2ndly everyone seems to be talking up how desktop is a lost cause…. I agree sorta in that the traditional bulky desktop pc in an office or home is indeed likely doomed but desktop’s/x86’s future is also tablet, it’s notebook, it’s server and it may very well become phone if Intel leverages it as only Intel can and if that happens ARM will stop growing.

            ARM’s stock value is 6 billion which is grossly overvalued, it’s projected revenue is 200 million which is comparable to AMD’s last year which I’m certain we all agree was…. meager, when ppl talk up ARM as if it’s a true competitor I suspect they’ve fallen prey to an inner desire for competition that doesn’t exist.

            Intel on the other hand is generating 20 billion in profits annually or 100x’s ARM’s, 40x’s Nvidia’s.

            regarding Nvidia when I say they want AMD’s ip portfolio of that their is no doubt…… everyone wants it including Intel, it’s all about price, if Intel got it for the right price it’d save them coin, if Apple got it it would allow them to make more coin while also saving them money, if Nvidia got it they’d have a potential future which is so very far from certain at this point…. Nvidia pushes tegra and ARM because they have no other option, again it comes down to money, Nvidia may earn 500 million in profits this year…. Intel will generate in excess of 20 billion, like ARM, Nvidia is currently fighting over scraps.

            I keep asking the same question to which no one so far has the answer….. if IP is of such a limited value why did Nortel’s sells for 3.5 billion….. the answer is obvious, a patent portfolio like AMD’s has incredible value.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            You’re really stuck on this patents thing. Sure they can try to take a loan based on the patents value (I don’t know how or if that works and am too lazy to look it up) but when you’ve been downgraded to BB with a negative outlook and your stock is tanking getting a loan, especially at reasonable terms, is a bit of an uphill undertaking (with the possible exceptions of ATIC, UAE etc).

            It doesn’t matter if ARM stops growing as long as intel can spin them as a credible threat to the government in order to allow them to buy all of AMD’s IP (or even just all the x86 patents). You also seem to be missing that ARM is an ecosystem and not just a company.

            What you continue to miss is that no one (except ATIC, UAE) has it in their best interests to maintain AMD as it is now; something you haven’t even bothered to refute.

            The patent portfolio doesn’t mean squat to the survival of companies themselves. Did the sale of Nortel’s patents help them stay alive? No, it was after the fact.

            if you can show me a scenario not involving Middle Eastern oil money that maintains AMD’s business as it is now then you have a point. All that IP does is make sure that its creditors get something when the doors close as well as allow them to operate currently in an extremely litigious time.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            I’m not stuck on the patents thing we are having 2 different discussions.

            when I mentioned AMD’s asset value I include the value of the patents…. the op suggested someone should buy AMD out, the problem being if AMD gets bought out the value of the patents comes into play.

            so it’s not likely to happen.

            the 2nd thing was that in response to the op a few silly ppl mentioned that AMD is worthless…. focusing on only their x86 license which was stupid …. again ignoring the IP value the company has built up.

            this was the discussion I was having and while it’s a tanget it’s an unavoidable lynchpin to anyone trying to buy AMD which was the reason I said AMD is likely too damned expensive to buy with the patents alone ringing in around 7 billion if every last one of them is considered.

            can AMD borrow against the patents…. I agree it’d be difficult and likely a losing option for AMD to be had only in the most desperate of times…. but to buy AMD would cost a fortune that was my point although I suspect I drifted too far off which is why it got confusing.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            Gotcha – thanks for the clarification. That makes sense.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            who would buy AMD to keep it doing what it does?… I believe that is the wrong question, who would continue to support AMD in doing what it is doing indirectly may be more accurate.

            IBM & HP are doing it right now, if you look at AMD as a giant self sustaining research and development center…. almost non profit then for the past 43 years AMD has been an incredible success especially when AMD does a lot of cross licensing deals with IBM and HP those companies are getting the benefits without the direct costs while also keeping competitive alternatives cost down.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            The OP clearly desired AMD to be bought out, incredulous I asked why anyone would do so – particularly maintaining how it does business now. You keep bringing up that it has IP value which, while true, doesn’t help it any except in cross licensing and in the court room.

            AMD isn’t a giant self sustaining research center. The problem is that it continues to lose money.

            I’m sorry but your post just comes across like a tangent that’s devoid of any actual facts. I don’t mean that disrespectfully but really HP and IBM aren’t just going to give them money for the sheer benefit of watching them breathe. Every time they decide to let go of engineers they also decline in value to all their partners as a result.

            If you have actual cases where say IBM is making extensive use of say Torrenza or HyperTransport and paying AMD a good chunk for it I will gladly stand corrected. Further SOI from everything I’ve read is gone on the new nodes along with gate first.

            • clone
            • 7 years ago

            not saying AMD is an R&D center, I’m saying look at them in that light for a moment, if you were Samsung, HP, IBM, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, Apple, Cisco, and every other major manufacturer and vendor on the planet, would you be willing to let AMD fail and then be stuck with only Intel.

            which would you as a company be more willing to do, keep AMD alive via negligible transactions and cross licensing or would you want to take the risk, be willing to absorb the expense, explain in the face of shareholder wrath, be willing to risk your company in an effort to compete directly with Intel…. it would seem a very easy and obvious answer, keep AMD going for a pittance of the financial and political costs associated with direct competition.

            AMD since it was formed in 1969 has rarely been profitable, if all you see is the k7 1998 through 2004 period AMD’s failings seem incomprehensible but AMD has been around since 1969 and had a horrible reputation pre 1998, their manufacturing was jokingly referred to as “somewhat similar” from 1969 to 1998 and they had a notable habit of losing money… in reality they didn’t make all that much during the entire k7 period and that ended 8 years ago.

            I could get into the abstracts of how companies can lose millions just shy of forever….. even lose billions and rarely report a profit while still being exceptionally lucrative to all parties involved except the shareholders but it’s an offtopic that would require a different thread.

            regarding HP and IBM… they have a history of supporting AMD financially… not like a charity… well sort of but not by outright giving AMD money or directly bailing them out but by buying their product constantly in disproportionately large orders compared to any other OEM…. IBM is routinely doing cross licensing and supporting research for AMD’s fabrication processes… all of this during times when Intel is clearly the outright superior option, HP is buying AMD parts now and arguably AMD has nothing interesting let alone compelling yet HP still orders up AMD parts and bundles them into systems unlike Dell.

            you won’t find any magic bullets in this scenario but instead a million slivers… just enough to keep them going and all of that said AMD dropping another 30% of it’s workforce including engineers seems to be a signal that they aren’t just refocusing but that they will be abandoning some markets entirely.

            if I had to guess and I mentioned it earlier and I’m sure I’m wrong on it… but if I had to guess I’d say AMD is going to focus on Trinity like cpu’s that’ll go nicely into notebooks and potentially tablets and server while slowly walking away from desktop and add in discrete gfx…. which seems flawed not just in my guess but because it’s the gfx division that is currently paying the bills.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]I see that AMD has about $500 million more in debt than in cash, so the price would have to be even lower to compensate the buyer for the debt they would inherit. [/quote<] It's because of that debt that might just intrigue some companies that need the write off.

            • blastdoor
            • 7 years ago

            [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEL65gywwHQ[/url<]

        • Ringofett
        • 7 years ago

        Who would buy them? Well, that all depends on how low the stock tanks. There’s always the occasional sucker, too; sovereign wealth funds have a reputation for making, eh… interesting gambles. In a way, people are on a smaller scale buying it every day; one person sells a share, another buys. That buyer could be a trader, market maker, or whatever, but presumably a few people on the other side of the trade have some long-term hope for them. I for one think their position isn’t hopeless, just needs a big dollop of money, patience and a steady hand.

        And tech sites are doing exactly what they should in slamming them when appropriate. AMD is a company, like any other. No more or less moral than a bank or an Exxon Mobil or a Walgreens. And readers at TR and elsewhere deserve real information. Not tech industry socialism where opinions get neutered to protect the weak. To remove pressure from AMD to be competitive would do more damage then anything else in the long run, and in the short run you’re asking TR to lead people down a path that makes them worse off then they might otherwise be (inferior performance by whatever their metric may be where AMD fails). Unethical on every possible level.

        Plus, it’s possible some of AMDs woes come from decisions based on ideas that didn’t come to pass, or didn’t go as well as hoped. There’s been a lot of churn at AMD, plenty of blame to go around. Do you mourn HP’s management-led march towards the abyss? How about RIM? Maybe you do, I don’t know, but most people don’t. AMD, again, is no different.

        And it’s easier to say all the above knowing that anti-trust laws would never allow a total AMD failure… probably, anyway. ARM is also making a feeble attempt to move one day up to desktops too.

          • Martian
          • 7 years ago

          The problem is that HP’s problems and others’ mentioned don’t root in competition locking them out of the market. This is an essential difference. If RIM would head bankruptcy because Apple had price policies penalizing retailers for selling to much Blackberrys, that would be something similar.
          What Intel does on the market is a serious problem, business practicies unethical like this have undesirable impacts on the economy and so (normally) sooner or later result in heavy government intervention of some kind.
          Intel has been sued by the FTC and convicted by EU. Nothing has changed.
          Just imagine if all the companies started applying illigal technics against competition because the expected fines are less than the presumed gains…

            • Ringofett
            • 7 years ago

            Thats an argument for better enforcement of law, not an excuse for TR and others to give AMD a pass as it seemed like was being suggested.

            And I’m not sure how much merit is there, can kinda question that. I thought they’ve been supply constrained quite a bit? I could be wrong there, though.

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          “… readers at TR and elsewhere deserve real information. ” No one disputes this. However saying that Trinity has no real niche is inaccurate by anyone’s measurement that isn’t looking at the high-mid to high end.

          We’ve gotten past the point where cpus are a serious bottleneck and have been for quite some time. Bashing a competitor for the sake of not being able to compete on that high end is ridiculous particularly when it’s entirely likely they will never again be able to compete on the high end. Being “accurate” while killing off your own market is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

          I can’t believe that you or anyone else here thinks that we’ll be better off with a single source with the inevitable elimination of the platform we love as a final result. At some point we have to look at our own actions and see how all of us have contributed to the current state of affairs. I’m not telling people how to do their jobs – but if I didn’t think that sites like ours have an effect on sales I wouldn’t have brought it up. You can’t simultaneously expect someone to perform when you’re busy cutting off their air supply.

            • Ringofett
            • 7 years ago

            “We’ve gotten past the point where cpus are a serious bottleneck”

            I don’t know, got an SSD in all my systems at this point and when I go to do serious work, it sure the hell seems to me like that work gets done quicker on systems with more powerful CPUs. This has been the last resort of AMD fanboys for a while — but not accusing you of being one, but its an excuse we’ve heard before.

            As for Trinity having a niche, some would say any product can be sold at a certain price, sure. But I think TR and elsewhere accurately points out that even on the low end there’s a powerful argument to be made for i3 chips. You admit yourself part of the problem when you rule out people look at the mid and high end. AMD can not survive as the Dollar General of CPUs.

            And I pointed out regulators would probably not allow AMD to utterly fail. There’d be some sort of convoluted agreement to let AMD get on its feet, or a sweetheart deal to investors. Like I said too, there’s still a chance that as its stock plummets someone with deep pockets around the world will be willing to take a long term bet on them.

            At the bottom of this argument comes back to your long-standing distrust or misunderstanding of capitalism. You’re still advocating from a position where the customers should stop “cutting off their air supply” and give them some unwarranted revenue, at the expense of TR’s readers wallets. Capitalism works by people voting with their wallets, you’ve got that right, but the competitive pressure inherent in it that makes people perform only gets muddled when you start coddling them. Look at France’s adventures in coddling industry; they muddle along, underperform international peers, and then STILL have to close factories. AMD has to play to win knowing it’s backs against the wall. If they lose, let someone pick up the pieces.

            And then there’s ARM, other RISC processors, etc. If Intel’s profit margins got too juicy even if AMD completely disappeared if someone wanted in the market anti-trust regulators would force Intel to let them in, maybe even help them get started. It’d definitely not be the first time such a thing has happened.

            In short, I don’t see the merit in your argument (unless you’re an AMD shareholder), as Intel will never be allowed to have no contender in the x86 market, and I’d like to see you upend a couple hundred years of economic theory underpinning the best way to motivate companies to perform.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 7 years ago

            You are more of a power user and as such are exactly one of those people looking at the high – mid to high end. As I said for the mainstream it’s way past “good enough” and has been for years. TR’s point about i3 is specious at best. Most people don’t need a graphics card any more whereas to do gaming at all you used to have to. Now you don’t. If you’re building a pc in a small form factor it’s certainly less to cool despite the whole “zomg, it’s so hot!” angle being played – and going to be cooler period than running a graphics card + cpu.

            You seem to have a lot of faith in regulators for reasons I can’t fathom. Where were they for Aureal, 3DFX, Sensaura, or the numerous times that intel has told potential competitors they couldn’t have or wouldn’t transfer x86? With the basic tenet being “is there competition in the space” it becomes all about the interpretation – and I have absolutely no reason to believe that intel won’t put on a song and dance about how they’re competing against ARM and that’s that. I find it odd that someone that seems to have so much faith in the market feels so strongly that regulators will save the day.

            At the end of the day the only people there “to pick up the pieces” will be those that want the company for its IP – not to continue its businesses. There’s no logical reason to.

            You’re getting into a political argument about a soft science that neither of us are going to agree on (and frankly I don’t want to do at the moment). You can make all the claims you like but by not buying and putting them in a bad light (whether it’s because your goalposts are too high or not) will kill them. Their processors are not “crap” or anything of the sort that we see people continually saying. With a company like AMD that has so little mindshare those of us with the knowledge who are called upon all the time to help make buying decisions and we talk badly about their product the only message people end up hearing is intel – good AMD- bad. That has an effect on sales. The fact of the matter is that we’re so spoiled that we act like petulant teenagers when AMD can’t compete on the high end any more – not realizing it was a miracle they ever could with an R+D department that’s dwarfed by intel’s. That’s not to say AMD isn’t run by idiots but if you want a two vendor market that’s what you’ll do. Anything else is empty rhetoric.

            Funny aside – at what point does AMD become cheap enough for VIA(/HTC) to buy?

            Gah this is poorly written. It’ll have to do though.

        • mutarasector
        • 7 years ago

        Apple?

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Not sure about Nvidia, but Intel yes…

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          intel would *love* this scenario – I agree. I’m sure they’d be told they’d have to sell some minor pieces but ultimately this makes the most sense – particularly when I think of the outcome of the Microsoft anti-trust case (as well as Aureal’s bankruptcy and 3DFX’s).

          The standard for what consists of competition changes with each administration.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Intel and nVidia might buy them. nVidia to buy the CPU parts and Intel to buy the GPU parts. That’s what each of them needs and buying the parts they need would give each of them a way to argue there aren’t many anti-trust implications as they’ll be strengthening two companies that could easily compete in both of these markets.

        Samsung could buy them for the CPU and GPU patents. Or Apple. Apple and Samsung specifically have been poaching AMD’s R&D already anyway, much as nVidia was poaching 3dfx’s talent just before nV bought 3dfx. Rumors suggest Oracle was eyeing AMD for a buyout just before Dirk got axed and when Rory showed up, he seemed to start a series of axing and trimming that was setting AMD up for a buyout of some sort. His #1 priority is to make AMD look better than it is (ie., hiring the Intel and AMD old guard to try and sell the idea that AMD is back to its roots when it’ll be years before they make any meaningful difference in product line) while cutting a lot of fat to last the long haul until that buyout offer materializes.

        Of course, worst case scenario for Intel is Apple buying AMD and making their own x86 chips (with integrated GPU’s tailored to their exacting specifications). Worst case for us, too, since Apple is the company keeping Intel aggressive on improving their GPU.

          • HighTech4US2
          • 7 years ago

          Nvidia already has a CPU as in the Tegra line and Project Denver will be Nvidia’s custom ARM 64.

          Nvidia also is prevented from producing or emulating an X86 CPU by their $1.5 billion cross license agreement with Intel.

          Nvidia has no desire nor need for an X86 CPU.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 7 years ago

            You assume the only CPU patents nVidia would be interested in would be ones for x86 CPU’s. AMD does have patents for more than just x86 technology in the CPU realm.

            • OU812
            • 7 years ago

            I believe that Nvidia’s cross license agreement with Intel has given Nvidia access to all those patents already.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      If they do fire 30% of its engineering team, I’m not sure the company is that valuable anymore to anyone

      edit: I think I got it wrong. 10% cant represent 30% of engineering.
      30% of 10% is 3%. so AMD might let go of ~300 engineer out of 11,000 employees.

        • clone
        • 7 years ago

        it’s so hard to find that talent once you throw it away…. I don’t know where they are going to pull the sweat equity from but losing it will be significant and horribly difficult to replace if ever needed in the future.

        I wonder how close we are to add in discrete becoming insignificant… might be closer than I’d thought and with this move AMD is signalling the shift.

      • Martian
      • 7 years ago

      I think TR should just stop hitting on any rumours detrimental to AMD, it’s plain annoying.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      agreed! i think intel should buy them, that way there will be no competition and this will be your last upgrade ever that you can afford.

        • Essence
        • 7 years ago

        If anyone does buy AMD it will be the Mubadala of UAE

        [url<]http://mubadala.ae/portfolio/capital/assets/advanced_micro_devices_amd[/url<] The amd board members needs knifing within this month by the share holders or amd is a goner if it loses any of its already tight team of engineers

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          Bingo.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      How did you like me acquiring you last night? Did it hurt? But I thought you had enough lube…

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]I think AMD should just actively pursue getting acquired at this point.[/quote<] How does AMD the Abu Dhabi company sound to you? The Abu Dhabi government already owns and operates GlobalFoundries which would make them the likely buyer for AMD if they so choose. However, considering that Rory Reed has already gotten his turnaround efforts going that'll only happen if AMD fudges the execution and ends up in a worse financial position. Note: I don't own any AMD or tech stock. I just read a lot of news. :p

    • LocalCitizen
    • 7 years ago

    what the hey!
    30% of engineers, particularly the profitable graphics division?
    how about 30% of non-productive group, the management. i’m not saying lay them off. surely 30% cut of their big bonus is still a big bonus?

    s&p just lowered amd’s bond to bb- with negative outlook.

    those engineers should start copy their work docs. pretty soon there won’t be an amd left to sue them.
    so very sad..

      • geewhiz
      • 7 years ago

      Sad indeed.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      AMD has already been shedding management and executives left and right. They canned most of the marketing department in the last round of layoffs. If they’re shedding engineers, it really is a last-resort move to get the company’s overhead costs back in-line with revenues.

        • clone
        • 7 years ago

        if true it’s an unfortunate acknowledgement by AMD’s board that they see no way of regaining lost ground, it’s also likely that they’ll be quietly leaving some markets completely leaving Intel to dominate them.

        Bulldozer was evidence of this as well given it’s server focus, unfortunately it didn’t do well for AMD which has hastened the collapse..

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