AMD reportedly readying Radeon-branded SSDs

AMD surprised everyone last year by getting into the memory business. Radeon-branded DRAM modules have been available online for a while now, and AMD recently released matching RAMDisk software to complement them. Like the modules, which are manufactured by Patriot, VisionTek, and XFX, the RAMDisk software comes from another firm. AMD is just slapping the Radeon name on an existing application from Dataram.

The Radeon brand may soon enter another market, if a report at SemiAccurate turns out to be correct. AMD apparently has the SSD market in its sights next—because, you know, the one thing we need right now is more cookie-cutter SSDs.

If Radeon-branded solid-state drives are indeed on the way, it seems likely that they’ll be built by someone other than AMD using the same controller and NAND combos available to everyone else. Only a handful of SSD makers have truly unique technology, whether it’s custom firmware, proprietary controller silicon, or NAND that’s produced in-house. With AMD already slashing its workforce, I don’t imagine the firm has any engineering resources to devote to building materially different SSDs. The marketing department seems to have plenty of Radeon stickers, though.

With no shortage of competition in the SSD space, AMD faces slim margins and an uphill battle if it intends to become an important player. Of course, the same could be said about the memory market.

Comments closed
    • rrr
    • 7 years ago

    Imagine having full AMD branded PC. AMD CPU, AMD mobo, AMD RAM, AMD card, AMD SSD, AMD case and AMD PSU. All AMD… fanboys of Intel and nVidia would be soooo envious that they couldn’t have the same.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Never go full AMD.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    It might be water under the bridge now, but weren’t AMD’s motherboard chipsets renowned for having poor storage performance and niggling issues that persisted for years?

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Why not? They could use the royalties they get from licensing their logo. Unless you read tech sites such as TR regularly you’d think AMD really makes those DRAM modules and SSDs. Of course it could also come back to bite them if the products bearing their name are crap.

    • Silus
    • 7 years ago

    ….???

    What’s the point ? Another market where AMD has no recognition and has lots of competitors…
    Just focus on what you do best and invest in the areas with higher profit margins (servers for both CPUs and GPUs)…You need the money!!!! Stop wasting time in markets where there are dozens of competitors and your margins are extremely small or non-existent!!!!

    I’ve said it many times, for quite a few years now, but whoever manages AMD at whatever point in time, seems to drop in IQ several points….they might not be incompetent before they go to AMD, but once at the helm of AMD, they only do stupid things!

    • marvelous
    • 7 years ago

    AMD please stop with your knockoffs and start innovating.

    • tygrus
    • 7 years ago

    Can they stick a single unit CPU/GPU/DRAM (DRAM with basic CPU and basic GPU cores) along side a few chips of FLASH to make a computer node on a module (for slots) which is then networked with many others as you add and dynamically share the load. As your CPU, GPU, DRAM and storage needs grow you can add or replace modules. FLASH data has redundant data on other modules in case a module fails or is replaced to the recover the missing data. Ability to tell a module to prepare itself for removal (moves data to remaining modules) or migrate data to new module prior to removal. Base it on point-to-point PCI-E links or similar.

    Turn computer into a stack of drawers that slot into a back-plane for easier assembly and upgrades. The general dimensions for each type of component is set (eg. 1 size for each power, # of slots back-plane, CPU/IO, storage, video). Instead of opening a case, removing screws, removing cables etc. you buy the new device, pull the old device out and slide the new device in and turn the computer back on, done.

      • Joe Miller
      • 7 years ago

      A couple of years ago there was such a prototype from AMD. I do not remember right now what kind of cpu it used – maybe Geode. It was approx. a cube with a side of 10 cm., with video out, ethernet and usb ports.

    • DarkMikaru
    • 7 years ago

    If the price/performance/reliability ratio was good, I’d give them a shot. Right now all my machines are Samsung 830 based primarily due to reliability track record thats been stellar. But think about it… say they could name this the AMD Radeon Performance Pack or something like that. Package the SSD with a 7750/7770/7790 cards for gamers and a lesser package for the HTPC crowd. Say a 32GB SSD & 6450 class card for the movie & streaming crowd.

    Just a thought.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Sure, why not? If a company like Kingston and Sandisk can do it without being anything special AND make money, why can’t AMD?

    I think a premade option gives AMD a chance to test the water before doing anything all of their own. AMD is WHOLLY capable of developing something good and all of their own (being a GPU and CPU maker). It’s important to note that the company is still trying to expand into different areas instead of going belly up.

    This could definitely make for some interesting competition for Intel/OCZ/Samsung in the future.

    • forumics
    • 7 years ago

    why doesn’t amd have the capability to manufacture SSDs on their own?
    glofo has massive manufacturing capabilities don’t they?
    all they need now is somebody to write up the firmware and they’ll have a kickass SSD riding on years of AMD experience to sell

    i know i’d be one of the 1st in line to buy their SSDs!

      • neon
      • 7 years ago

      AMD used to have a joint venture with Fujitsu, called Spansion, for manufacture of memory chips. They spun it off into an independent company several years ago. I think they still operate a fab in Austin.

      • Zoomer
      • 7 years ago

      Different fab technology.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    If they sell cheap SSDs that are better than average… could make for great complement to a Samsung SSD as the OS drive. Buy a bunch of Radeon SSDs and turn them into a raided media/steam stack.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Oh the poor SSD bandwagon.
    How many more people will try to jump on before it collapses in a heap?

    • rwburnham
    • 7 years ago

    Their hardware are great values, so if they can continue that trend with the SSDs, I’m all in.

    • Sahrin
    • 7 years ago

    I was just thinking AMD was one SSD away from competing with Intel and nVidia.

    • dmjifn
    • 7 years ago

    That’s exciting! Maybe the next step is Radeon-branded usb thumb drives! Kingston’s quaking – AMD TOO DOMINATE!

    More seriously – I thought companies were supposed to succeed by doing things other companies couldn’t, or at least by doing them better. If they pursue this from a rebanding perspective, that seems like a dead giveaway that they’re cashing in on the way out.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Another bad management decision just like the aquisition of SeaMicro…..this company MUST go bankrupt because it would defy logic if they manage to stay afloat.

      • Ringofett
      • 7 years ago

      Not just bankruptcy, but fire the board of directors, too. Everybody always targets the CEO, but when so many CEO’s come and go and things keep getting worse, then what the heck is the board doing to earn their paychecks?

    • Meadows
    • 7 years ago

    Actually, if there were an AMD SSD that provided better price/performance than competing offerings (similarly to how they’ve done business on the CPU side since forever), I might even consider buying that.

    It’s 2012 and so far I’ve found no difficulty in resisting SSDs, and I’m waiting for someone or something to change that.

    • Firestarter
    • 7 years ago

    I have 16GB of AMD-branded RAM in my PC. It’s like RAM, but with an AMD sticker!

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      Are they Crossfired?

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Not yet, but there will be some more layoffs in Q1

    • dextrous
    • 7 years ago

    Sounds like a potentially good business decision to me. This has very little start-up cost for AMD and could potentially provide them with some much needed revenue. Same situation as the AMD memory modules. Even if they are exactly the same as many other brands, who wouldn’t buy one if they are priced right? You might be able to make the argument that it would be good for the computing industry as a whole to support AMD by buying their competitive products (SSDs & RAM) so we don’t end up with one performance x86 CPU vendor.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      Revenue is usually only good if your margin is equal-to or greater-than 0 or adds value to your main products.

      It could act like free advertisement because any retail that wants to sell it has to advertise it, so it gets retailers to advertise for them.

    • DPete27
    • 7 years ago

    This is just rediculous. First off, their RAM is nothing different than all the other manufacturers out there, yet AMD insists on trying to convince people that their RAM is the best match for their APUs. I can’t see their SSD mascarade being any better.

    Here’s a thought. Maybe AMD should be putting more resources into fixing/advancing their CPU/GPU product lines so they can gain some market share back from Intel and Nvidia instead of investing in worthless over-crowded markets like RAM and SSDs. Sad…just sad.

    • LaChupacabra
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t think this is intended for the American market. If I remember correctly, the AMD branded memory was targeted towards Asian markets where customers value having a single brand for all the components in their systems.

    Kind of like Buick. Most people don’t know that they are the number 1 selling brand in the world largest car market.

    [url<]http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/analysis/drive-by-numbers-buick-excelling-in-china.html[/url<]

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    I miss ATI…

      • danny e.
      • 7 years ago

      Would be nice if ATI would be spun off .. kinda like Global Foundries, except cut all ties to AMD.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 7 years ago

      Me too!

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      A year from now.. ‘I miss AMD.’

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    I wish AMD would stop being a branding company and start being a CPU company.

      • ULYXX
      • 7 years ago

      I gotta agree. At least intel give’s their SSD line their own name. It seems AMD knows their only success lately is their Graphics (Radeon) and they have to latch that name onto everything to make their side products enticing.

    • Ryhadar
    • 7 years ago

    Is AMD working on producing their own line of computers or something? Sheesh.

    The only things they need now are the enclosure, PSU, and motherboard for a core build.

    • Shambles
    • 7 years ago

    Well they certainly are trying to be creative to get themselves out of this hole. While things like this may not pan out it’s certainly better than having them do the same thing over and over and expect their fortunes to magically change.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      How in the world is this creative?

      1.) Figure out what’s popular
      2.) Put your name on it
      3.) ???
      4.) Lose less money than normal!

        • dextrous
        • 7 years ago

        Because it’s not the status quo? AMD is trying new things (ARM, RAM, SSDs) which I think is a good thing. May not look like innovation today, but if it goes well for them perhaps future investments will be warranted. That could lead to new ideas in the same old tired spaces.

          • bcronce
          • 7 years ago

          I think the issue is that it seems less like a business plan and more like see what sticks by throwing money all over the place.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          Desperation can look a lot like “trying new things.” I live in Colorado, the home state of the now-defunct Ultimate Electronics. Originally, they operated in Colorado as SoundTrack for some strange reason, and Ultimate everywhere else.

          During their first bankruptcy reorganization, they dropped the SoundTrack branding and converted their Colorado stores to Ultimate Electronics. They also closed down underperforming stores nationwide and tried to consolidate their core product lines. In general, that strategy made sense.

          As business conditions continued to deteriorate, they converted a a portion of their retail floor space to appliances. Logically, they probably figured they could leverage the same suppliers and shipping networks that provided their other stocks. But as a business strategy, it made less sense, as they had no established expertise in selling appliances, and put themselves in direct competition with Sears, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowes.

          When that failed to push up revenues, they expanded into gameroom fixtures and furnishings, including billiards and foosball tables. That was clearly a desperation move, because although logically big TVs and billiards tables might end up in the same room of a house, they are not typically purchased on the same ticket and there are dedicated stores which have expertise in selling such things.

          After the second bankruptcy, Ultimate Electronics decided to liquidate, and they are no more.

          Watching AMD play with sticker branding and grand plans for ARM components after three rounds of layoffs is like watching the Ultimate Electronics failure all over again. They aren’t innovating; they’re flailing.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        If you can’t set trends, the next best thing is to ride them.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      I agree. I personally wouldn’t let AMD sticker on an SSD or a DIMM affect my buying decision, but branding works in the larger market place.

      This is somewhat similar to Centrino in a branding sense. Centrino resulted in a breakthrough for WiFi, while AMD is not introducing anything particularly new with the PC component branding scheme, but overall I think this move makes sense for AMD.

      Pretty much the first Rory Read generation move that I consider smart.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    And for using Radeon as a brand name… SABOTAGE!

    AMD previous marketing group was lame, but this new crowd is destructive.:(

    I’m now certain, they will be nothing left of AMD in 12 month time.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      Much like the FX brand has been thrown under the bus. That trademark is worthless now.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    AMD should be worried about the Radeon trademark being diluted. A trademark is supposed to be for identifying a source of a good or service, and splashing Radeon all over products that have nothing to do with what Radeon really stands for (graphics) isn’t helping a whole lot.

    It would be like if Intel starting calling its SSDs the “Pentium XXX SSD!” or “Core iWhatever SSD!” It really makes no sense.

    It’s one thing for AMD to say: Hey! This is an “AMD” SSD! (event though it’s just a re-brand) to show association with AMD, but dropping “Radeon” all over the place is a little sloppy.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, but this is the AMD marketing department we’re talking about. They haven’t traditionally been restrained by such considerations as “Does this make sense?” or “What is the long-term strategy for this initiative?”

        • bthylafh
        • 7 years ago

        At least they won’t be slinging random gratuitous “X”es over this thing, since that fad seems to have passed.

        RADEON SSD X210XTX

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          Don’t give them any ideas!

          • xii
          • 7 years ago

          It’s a gratuitous way of pointing out that the SSDs are straight-edged.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 7 years ago

      Exactly my thought. They are cheapening their name.

        • Waco
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly.

      • neon
      • 7 years ago

      I can’t wait for Radeon’s Fatal1ty Golden Sample XLX Edition

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      You gotta love those shrewd AMD marketers.

      • just brew it!
      • 7 years ago

      That was essentially my reaction as well. It dilutes the brand *and* I don’t think it helps sell the SSDs; a lot of people will probably react by thinking “ATI? WTF do they know about SSDs?”

      It makes about as much sense as Western Digital getting into the CPU business. (And I pick them as an example because amusingly enough, WD *was* in the CPU business back in the late 1970s. But they eventually ditched the non-storage businesses and focused on what they were good at.)

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    Soon a fanboy/girl will be able to have a complete system made/branded by his/her favorite company:

    Intel:
    CPU w/ iGPU
    Motherboard
    SSD

    AMD:
    CPU w/ iGPU or dGPU
    Memory
    SSD

      • LocalCitizen
      • 7 years ago

      all AMD needs now is Radeon power supplies (based on Enhanced, Channel Well, ATNG, or Seasonic), Radeon keyboards (based on Cherry keys), Radeon mice based on… generic mice, maybe Radeon cases, Radeon cooling and Radeon mouse pads, then they can compete very well with Corsair.

      Well, at least Corsair makes money.

      • ClickClick5
      • 7 years ago

      Wait till they start making cases.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Didn’t they sponsor/partner on a custom CM 932 HAF case?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Poor Apple fanboys will be left out in the cold 🙁

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        I was going to suggest don’t tell Jdaven. I looked up and laughed. He’s so sad, I bet.

    • Hattig
    • 7 years ago

    I just don’t understand why they are wasting time selling these rebranded products when they have so many other things to be working on. I have to hope that it is more of a licensing out the name deal.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Because they have nearly zero overhead to do so and any sales adds a bit of revenue to their bottom line. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

      • anotherengineer
      • 7 years ago

      I heard they are getting into cases and PSU’s next, they are going to give Corsair and Antec a run for their money 😉

    • cegras
    • 7 years ago

    The most logical explanation I can come up with is increasing mindshare among Joe Average. Thoughts?

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      My thoughts are that Joe Average doesn’t even know what an “AMD” is, let alone a “Radeon.”

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        I’d go further and say Joe Average doesn’t even know the difference between an SSD, HDD, or RAM. The number of people that still refer to the entire desktop as ‘the hard drive’ is cringe-worthy.

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