AMD CEO Lisa Su Talks About Company's Meteoric Rise, Zen Strengths And Future Outlook

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AMD has been on a roll in recent months, not only with regards to its product roadmap (i.e. second-generation Ryzenand Ryzen Threadripper), but also with respect to its share price. A lot of AMD's performance can be attributed to the work of its CEO Dr. Lisa Su, who has been executing nearly flawlessly on its CPU product roadmap in a time when Intel has been faltering in its efforts to deliver 10nm products to the masses.

Su took the time to have a long chat with CNBC's Jim Cramer to talk about what makes the company tick. Su has been at the helm for four years and the company’s stock was at around $3 when she took over, and is now trading above $32 this week. In fact, AMD's stock price has nearly tripled since the beginning of 2018. 

"AMD always had great technology assets, but it was about putting those assets to work." Said Su. We definitely saw this come into play when the original Zen-based Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper processors launched in 2017. The Ryzen family proved that AMD didn't have to play second fiddle to Intel; it could actually match and even surpasscompeting Intel processors on multiple fronts.

Su continued, "High Performance Computing is everywhere... and we're good at High Performance Computing. We're one of the very few companies that are." Su says that it’s a $75 billion market, and that AMD is simply trying to provide a variety of products at multiple price points to address the market. "We're going to provide value to consumers and enterprises all over." 

Su specifically called out the gaming market, citing the ever-increasing need for more powerful hardware, be it for your own gaming rig under your desk, or with cloud gaming, which is becoming more popular on both the PC and console hardware side.

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When it comes to product execution, Su admits, "We're making decisions now that you won't see the outcome come for 3, 4, 5 years. We've made some good decisions on architecture. We've made some good decisions on manufacturing process technology. We're moving to the latest and greatest process technology, 7nm, and I love seeing that. We're trying to project the future and hopefully we've made some good decisions."

Cramer pointed out that Intel has been falling behind in process technology and asked Su what would happen if the chip giant were able to catch up. Su bluntly stated, "We never count on our competition not doing well. Moore's Law is changing... we've decided to make some good architectural decisions. Independent of what the competition can do, we know that we can keep our architecture going."

Lisa Su concluded the wide-ranging interview by stating, "This is really just the beginning. We have a ton of work to do".