After years of turmoil, Advanced Micro Devices
is finally taking a breather. A brief one, but a breather nonetheless. With the tables turning somewhat, AMD has recently seen Intel admitting to chip delays
and staring at an imposing $1.45 billion fine
from the EU over anti-competitive practices against it. That, combined with the recent divestiture of its manufacturing business, is giving the 40-year old chip maker a new lease on life, or at least a new attitude.
The company's chief executive, Dirk Meyer, recently opened up in an interview over at The New York Times, noting that "things feel very different now than they did a year ago." By spinning off its manufacturing business (which is now handled by GlobalFoundries
), the company finally has "a business model that works now." In essence, the shedding of that has enabled it to focus more on its core business: design. In around a month, the company is expect to ship a product that's being code-named Istanbul, and while it's not apt to have the same sweeping success as the groundbreaking Opteron, just shipping a product on schedule will go a long way in proving that AMD has righted the ship somewhat.
Dirk continued by proclaiming: "From my perspective, I think AMD has a much clearer opportunity and business case now than we had even five years ago. One of the challenges we have always had has been the financial model of the company being a manufacturer. It was really a challenge. I feel that AMD, the product company, has a business model that works now. Another potential for change is the opportunity that I think we will have if the market is really open to competition in a way that frankly it hasn’t been. It is hard for folks outside of the industry to understand the degree to which customers haven’t been free to choose in the past.
Potentially most interesting was his take on the future. To quote: "I think we are going to see a lot more innovation and maybe even disruptive change around computing over the next few years. The PC industry is clearly more interesting than it was 10 years ago." Obviously, we can't read too far between the lines, but that sure sounds a lot like the vibes emitted over at NVIDIA, which is trying desperately to snatch away market share from Intel as the GPU and CPU converge
. Quite frankly, this is an exciting time for AMD. It has freed itself from the burdens of manufacturing, the CPU and GPU are coming together for the first time ever, and Intel is shaken by a staggering antitrust lawsuit. Could we finally see AMD gain any serious ground against its competition? Don't let the opportunity pass you up, AMD.