AMD banks on new chips to drive comeback

May 30, 2013 by Kirk Ladendorf
AMD logo

After a year like last year, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is shooting for some sort of comeback. The chipmaker lost a boatload of money in 2012 as its sales of personal computer processor chips plunged amid a downturn in the PC market.

Dropping sales forced the company its second major global downsizing in two years as it struggled to find a pathway back to profitability. Some analysts openly doubted whether AMD still had a relevant role to play in the future of the .

Today the company attempts to answer those doubts with three new processor chips that it expects to be used in systems ranging from low-power tablets to mainstream performance laptops.

The chipmaker is targeting two of those new chips to fit into what it sees as a gap in the product capabilities of its far larger archrival, .

Intel has made a public commitment to become a stronger player in providing low- for smartphones and tablets. At the same time, it dominates the market for high-performance chips aimed at premium laptop and desktop computers in its Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 chips.

Two of AMD's new chips, code-named "Temash" and "Kabini," deliver considerably more that Atom, AMD claims, while offering the price, performance and graphics processing that makes them well-suited for tablets, entry-level notebooks and mainstream notebooks costing $550 or less.

Along with Temash and Kabini, AMD is introducing a performance processor, code-named "Richland," that is targeted at higher-performance notebooks.

The new chips incorporate a redesigned processing core called "Jaguar" as well as other design advances that help it dramatically improve performance compared with prior generation chips while improving battery life.

Temash and Kabini are designed to be made and sold profitably in a price range of from $30 each to slightly more than $50, one analyst said.

The chipmaker has won early commitments from computer makers Acer Group and Hewlett-Packard Co. to introduce new models incorporating the new chips.

While the new PC products are announced, AMD is making progress developing and making new processor chips for video game consoles. Sony Corp. this year said it was using an AMD "semi-custom" processor to run its next-generation PlayStation 4. Microsoft Corp. this month acknowledged that it will use an AMD to run its brand new Xbox One. AMD says that in the fourth quarter it expects 20 percent or more of its company revenue will come from sales of chips to noncomputing "embedded" devices, including game consoles.

Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager for AMD's global business units, noted that the chipmaker has been shipping the new chips to computer makers for the past few months now, which gives them time to incorporate them into new products for the back-to-school and holiday consumer selling seasons.

She described the level of customer commitments to use the new chips as strong, and said many of them will be for tablets, low-cost notebooks and hybrid machines that will feature the touch-enabled features of Microsoft's Windows 8 software.

"Our focus has been very much on the execution around these new products and we are pleased with where we are," Su said.

Analysts said the "clean launch" of the new products is a hopeful sign, but the real test will be the level of commitment from computer makers and customer acceptance.

"It looks like part of a comeback story, but it is too early to say," said analyst Patrick Moorhead with Moor Insights & Strategy.

Explore further: Technology turns eyewear into a smart device capable of displaying visual information

4.8 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AMD names new CEO from Lenovo

Aug 25, 2011

(AP) -- Chipmaker AMD says its new chief executive will be Rory P. Read, the chief operating officer of Lenovo Group.

AMD Fusion APUs plumped, primped, stretched

Aug 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- AMD has announced some new additions to its Fusion APUs optimized for notebooks, netbooks and PCs. Users will see the immediate difference in battery life and enhanced graphics. So what’s ...

Recommended for you

US seeks China's help after cyberattack

58 minutes ago

The United States is asking China for help as it weighs potential responses to a cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that the U.S. has blamed on North Korea.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

17 hours ago

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

21 hours ago

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

Cadillac CT6 will get streaming video mirror

22 hours ago

Cadillac said Thursday it will add high resolution streaming video to the function of a rearview mirror, so that the driver's vision and safety can be enhanced. The technology will debut on the 2016 Cadillac ...

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

22 hours ago

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Eikka
5 / 5 (1) May 30, 2013
I bought a laptop with AMD APU processor because it was the only cheap small laptop out there that wasn't a netbook with a silly low resolution display that struggles to play HD video.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.