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Inside AMD: where does it go now?

by Scott Bicheno on 3 December 2008, 13:15


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The full semiconductor Monty

Last month we were invited to visit AMD's largest single site at its new Lone Star campus in Austin, Texas. To give you an idea of its size, the photo at the bottom of this page is of a 3D campus map situated outside building 300.

The official pretext for us being there was to get an early insight into AMD's next generation CPU, but we also got the chance to chat to a number of AMD's executive ground troops, and get a first-hand view of what makes AMD tick.

What follows is one person's impressions of AMD as a company, both commercially and culturally, and a look at what the future might hold for it.

The AMD we see today is, of course, a hybrid of the CPU company of old and the GPU and chipset company it acquired and incorporated when it bought ATI in 2006. The acquisition of ATI was of seismic significance to AMD on three key levels: product, culture and cash flow.

Product wise, AMD can now offer the full semiconductor Monty inside a PC of: CPU, chipset and GPU. This was that most exciting thing about the acquisition and the whole tech industry was intrigued to see what AMD would do with this unique opportunity.

At the time of the acquisition, AMD Chairman and CEO Hector Ruiz said: "Bringing these two great companies together will allow us to transcend what we have accomplished as individual businesses and reinvent our industry as the technology leader and partner of choice.

"We believe AMD and ATI will drive growth and innovation for the entire industry, enabling our partners to create differentiated solutions and empowering our customers to choose what is best for them."