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AMD: The Rise, Fall and Future of an Industry Giant

By Julio Franco
Nov 21, 2012
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  1. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,266   +42

    He also finds time to help us noobs. Who woulduv thunk it!
     
    dividebyzero likes this.
  2. ArXiv76

    ArXiv76 TS Rookie

  3. Delahaya

    Delahaya TS Rookie

    AMD has had great products at better prices for a long time now. The frustrating part is how little hay they have been able to make from that. And now, Intel really does actually have superior processors - albeit much more expensive. But even during the P4, which sucked, Intel was making more money than AMD. And Atom! How did Intel get way with that POS? It is like Intel can do anything and make money, but AMD must be perfect and even then barely get by. But AMD compounds things with stupid mistakes! Okay, you're going to buy ATI, why that price? And if you're paying that for ATI, why are you giving away Adreno for chump change? Think about how much better off AMD's bottom line would be if they were getting royalties off every Snapdragon! Ugh...
     
  4. gamoniac

    gamoniac TS Enthusiast Posts: 239   +54

    Nice article. Thanks!
     
  5. Very well written.. nice facts and actual truth. AMD will rise again hopefully since w/o them we are f'ed by Inhell.
     
  6. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Posts: 432

    Great article. One oversight: "SLOT-A", the very first Athlon format immediately prior to "Socket-A".

    AMD was hoping to make CPU upgrades as easy as swapping out a PC card. But it was a slow inefficient design plagued by problems with cards not seated properly (one thing you CAN'T have is a CPU making a bad connection.)

    I bought my first x86 PC in 1995... an AMD 120MHz 486 in had built for me by a local retailer (I build my own now). I've used nothing but AMD ever since. Never owned an Intel CPU.
     
    dividebyzero likes this.
  7. What are you smoking? I was an AMD loyalist and had owned everything AMD since the original K6 but Intel have dominated since the introduction of Core 2 Duo, I only switched when the Core 2 Quad's were introduced and ive never looked back. AMD/ATI is drowning.

    I dont mind paying extra for the performance and features Intel provide.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,442   +503 Staff Member

    Very nice article dividebyzero I enjoyed reading it and like others said it was a trip down memory lane, at least from about 1996 ;)
     
  9. AMD have trailed (badly) on CPUs since at least Core2Duo. But they are currently more-than-competitive on GPUs. I'm thinking of buying a new PC. It will be Intel (sorry) but as for GPU, 7870 or 7950 currently offer better performance for the money than anything nvidia have.

    I don't know if AMD will survive, but even if they do it seems like its going to be a very dull period in the CPU market for some time to come - the days of the likes of Am486, 586, K6-2, Athlon, Thunderbird or A64, giving Intel a much-heeded kick up the behind seem to be long gone.

    Not only is no competition bad for consumer value, its also boring to watch. The underdog suddenly overtaking the top dog put some excitement into the business.
     
  10. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Enthusiast Posts: 174   +12

    I always owned AMD up until the dual core intel chips were intel just got better than AMD. Hopefully AMD can make a big comeback as competition for intel is good for everyone.
     
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,950   +731

    Oops, my bad. Had originally intended to cover the plug-in module slot, but being an evolutionary dead end as far as AMD were concerned ( server mezzanine cards and proprietary connections notwithstanding) decided to omit the info and concentrate on the mainstream socket implementation, but you are 100% correct. Slot-A (June 1999) predated Socket-A (August 1999) by around three months.
     
     
  12. Thanks for the excellent read Graham Singer, appreciate it.
     
  13. So adreno is radeon eh...
    if the ceo of amd during that time is the same as of now = "you're fired!"

    qualcomm made a coup buy buying it.
     
  14. kukrek

    kukrek TS Rookie

    Article is missing lots of important things from past and just mentioned small amount of them superficially . I hope it is for to make article short enough not to bore the readers in the expense of going superficial.
     
  15. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,384   +15

    Wow that was probably the best reading I've ever read on TS.
     
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,950   +731

    The idea was to publish an article that is accessible to a large readership. Capturing every nuance in forty-three years of history of a semiconductor company isn't particularly practical....and of course, the article was never intended as an official biography of AMD, nor a substitute for the knowledge base that is the web.
     
    cliffordcooley, Steve and madboyv1 like this.
  17. veLa

    veLa TS Booster Posts: 530   +88

    I sure hope they don't pull out of the desktop CPU market, I always preferred their price to performance ratio, although I must admit I had to go with Intel at some points. The last AMD machine I built was an Athlon 64 X2 and I'd really like to build a Piledriver system and overclock the hell out of it soon.
     
  18. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Enthusiast Posts: 617   +96

    This was a great article DBZ thank you.

    Takes me back down memory lane.

    My first home pc was a 286. the first system I build was using an AMD 386 processor.

    Miss those early days of Socket A and the thunderbird cpu's the durons were great cheap overclockers also.

    Sadly my last amd system is Socket 939 Opteron 170, which I still have doing HTPC duty. I jumped ship and Nehalem and never looked back.

    I do miss those years in the early 2000 with the back and forth between intel and amd and its sad to seem them in their current state. And if we do lose AMD I really hope someone will pickup Ati and keep the radeons alive.

    And I think someone mentioned it but Slot A athlons were out before Socket A.
     
  19. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,715   +89

    Cyrix CPU gone and the rest of them now AMD with ATI next Quad-core gen CPU with turbo I have that now with 32GB or DDR3 RAM (ram was cheap with the heatsinks and XPReady features) but in all CPU is quick for what I need it for. I hope they don't go under Out of the 3x new system I have purchased in 2012 only one is Intel the other two are AMD base. If Intel is the only maker of the chips then we're in trouble with pricing on desktop, laptops and tablets.
     
  20. Great articel, and a wonderful trip down the memorylane, have built round 100 amd pcs up til core2 came, after that I stopped building for others, couse when I coudnt build the best with amd in a given budget (beside real cheap pc, witch are boring to build) with AMD I told them to go somewhere else to get their pcs build.

    Couse it was not just that they paid OEMs to not build AMD comps, if my memory serves me well, Intel also cheated with its compiler, not letting AMD take advantage of instuctions sets that AMD cpus supported.

    But aslong as a PC build had a budget that was not just the best of the best, u could almost always build an AMD gamer rig that was faster than an Intel gamer rig for the same price (a lil cheaper cpu and motherboard gives room for a lil better gpu, and as long as the cpu dosnt bottelneck the pc with the fastest gpu, is the best gamer rig)

    Well thanks for the articel, great reading

    greatings from Norweagian Oldtimer nerd.
     
  21. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Enthusiast Posts: 617   +96

    I see this argument posted alot and I disagree and where is why.

    Intel has to continue selling cpu's to keep their insanely high profit margits something like 60% last I checked. They also have shareholders to answer to. So while I do see prices going up abit without competiton they cannot price themselves out of the market. If there products becomes too expensive and sales drop. They can no longer keep those margins and it will cause them more trouble than its worth and lost profit.
     
  22. Darran

    Darran TS Rookie

    What about the lawsuit AMD had against Inel. As far as I know that was the killing stroke. Intel payed off all the major distributors so that they wouldn't sell AMD computer from 2000 to 2005 when AMD had the it's fastest processors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_v._Intel
     
  23. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,950   +731

    I think if you read the article you'll find in paragraphs 10 and 11 of page three - with a provided link to an earlier TS news article, touch on the litigation. If you're after a more comprehensive breakdown. The judgement is available on the SEC archive site, the backround is available in many formats, and the ancillary information- such as what constitutes a loyalty discount ( a key factor in Intel's defence case) and any other point of interest can be found relatively easily via search engine... and as noted, Intel's judgement would have been a helluva lot more severe had it not been for the fact that AMD could not supply the customers it already had

    AMD's woes were certainly compounded by Intel's behaviour in this timeframe- and led directly to AMD spinning off their foundry's amongst other things, but the decline of the company didn't hinge on that one facet. Rather than rehash the whole article, I'd suggest reading the relevant portions.


    .
     
  24. Darran

    Darran TS Rookie

    thanks divide. Personally I think Intels payoffs have been the biggest factor in hurting AMD. The company hasn't had enough breathing room to make a mistake here and there, even Intel makes em. AMD should have gotten 9 or 10 billion from the settlement.
     
  25. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,950   +731

    Unfortunately for AMD, they got decked by a combination rather than a single punch. AMD's fabrication capacity lagged majorly during a time when they offered a reasonable alternative to Intel's P5/P6/NetBurst CPU's- a lack of capacity and production generally scares away larger contracts, which compounded when AMD was late to market with the K8. The ATI deal effectively hung a debt millstone around AMD's neck that they still carry, and of course Intel's hardball litigation (which also included NEC and basically destroying Cyrix), "optimized" compilers, and cash incentives to OEM's. I really don't think you can pin AMD's fall on one cause- if you're going to war against Intel, I don't think it helps if your commander-in-chief is Hector Ruiz.
    They do, but between an efficient management, and a ruthless business methodology, they tend to minimize the fallout. Keeping your competitors tied up in court translates into increased market share. Facing antitrust suits down the line might result in fines/sanctions, but those are likely to more than offset by the years of previous profit. The FTC might take some cash from you, but they certainly won't repossess your increased presence in the market that the unfair practice netted the company.
    Maybe. But, AMD needed to service debt accrued from the ATI buyout., and antitrust cases don't seem to be the money earners that some believe them to be - Cyrix and Chips & Technologies basically got zilch, and Intel got less than a wrist slap in Japan and South Korea- even the EU's 1.06bn euro fine wouldn't make a dent in Intel's yearly profit line.
     


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