AMD CEO says every laptop on the planet has enough processing power

By on May 22, 2012, 6:30 PM

In a follow-up to earlier comments by a company representative regarding future strategy for AMD, CEO Rory Read was recently quoted as saying that there’s enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today. He’s specifically referring to what he calls the conclusion of the era between AMD and Intel to develop increasingly faster processors.

Late last year AMD spokesperson Mike Silverman told the San Jose Mercury News that his company needed to let go of the old AMD versus Intel mindset because as technology moves forward, that strategy will no longer be the key focus.

To further back up this belief, Read told Bloomberg Businessweek that computing is increasingly moving to the cloud where data centers are able to process computations much faster than a single computer, tablet or smartphone can. Instead, he feels that there will be a need for chips that are better at handing various media rather than processing raw data.

Taken literally, the statement is already being compared to the short-sighted quote that some claim Bill Gates said during a computer trade show in 1981. Gates allegedly told those in attendance that “640K ought to be enough for anybody,” referring to the memory limit of the recently-announced IBM PC. For what it’s worth, researchers have been unable to verify its authenticity and Gates himself even denies he ever said it.

"I've said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time," Gates said. "I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again.”




User Comments: 35

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Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So is this AMD throwing in the towel just not officially? And as a statement to say that "there?s enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today." is awfully bold. I know my dual core AMD laptop could use a hell of a lot more power. And if this is the way AMD wants to go, good luck, Intel or nothing.

Guest said:

AMD just shat itself. smh lol

trparky said:

AMD shot themselves in the foot already, they did it with Bulldozer. This quote just finished the job.

Bulldozer was a disgrace to the AMD name. I know of no one except for those hard-core AMD fans that actually wants that chip after the scathing reviews that it received. AMD bet their future on Bulldozer and lost hard.

Long live Intel.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

My laptop overheats and crashes when it tries to do too much. Therefore I beg to differ as to what "enough" means...

ikesmasher said:

I dont think he was taking into account when he said this that in the future things would be using MORE processing power than they do right now.

yRaz yRaz said:

Long live Intel.

Yeah, because that would be good for prices.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And as a statement to say that "there?s enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today." is awfully bold. I know my dual core AMD laptop could use a hell of a lot more power.
Your not cloud computing either are you? That statement was based around the concept of cloud computing. If you are going to look at the equation try including all the variables.

P.S.

I'm not beyond leaving variables out myself, so please let me know when I do leave them out. Ohh and about cloud computing, I don't think it is for me but only time will tell.

RH00D RH00D said:

I hate when companies have mindsets like this. Who cares if there's enough processing power? Why settle for "enough"? We should be pushing technology forward as much as possible, just for the sake of advancing technology. People think it's "enough" because they have no imagination or vision for what the future can be.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I hate when companies have mindsets like this.

Not much else Rory can say really. Bulldozer/Trinity/Piledriver can't foot it with Intel's products in processing power...so if you can't beat em',try to negate 'em. Unfortunately, the flip side of a statement like that is that if these products already have enough processing power...what's the point of buying any of AMD's present/future products?

This is what happens when bean counters give their opinion of technology.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Your not cloud computing either are you? That statement was based around the concept of cloud computing. If you are going to look at the equation try including all the variables.

That statement would be accurate if the internet as a whole was reliable. But its not. Things end up being offline, with cloud storage usually never being the only copy of something, and I have yet to really encounter as good video streaming playback as a local copy of ostensibly the same resolution. So if the could is not ready to take on the brunt of the computing power, why make statements about personal laptops that don't apply? We're not going to be in a holding pattern until the cloud catches up, of course we'll be buying new laptops as the old ones break or wear out.

I just don't think statements like that make much sense, especially when you're dealing with a relatively short lived item like a computer.

ikesmasher said:

I dont understand why everyone is so obsessed with the cloud. Internet is a thing that stays at home for me, and anything I need mobile I copy over to a mobile device for when there is no connection. The cloud comes in use occasionally, but its not the future of computing IMO, at least until worldwide 4g is free.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That statement would be accurate if the internet as a whole was reliable. But its not. Things end up being offline, with cloud storage usually never being the only copy of something, and I have yet to really encounter as good video streaming playback as a local copy of ostensibly the same resolution.
I can't argue with you there which is one of the reasons why I don't think cloud computing is for me. However problems over the Internet really has nothing to do with the capabilities of the laptop. Just because the Internet is not ready for such a concept doesn't mean laptops are not.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

However problems over the Internet really has nothing to do with the capabilities of the laptop. Just because the Internet is not ready for such a concept doesn't mean laptops are not.

Too abstract imo.

The quote is:

The company will also stop trying to take on Intel directly in striving to make faster processors, a strategy that's going to produce chips that are needlessly powerful.

"That era is done," Read, 50, said in an interview."There's enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today."

If the laptop of today is presently powerful enough, then the means to implement that stategy needs to be in place...today.

Cloud computing? Awesome! We live in an age where people summarily ditch a site because it takes a few too many seconds to load, and yet the cloud is going to make personal processing power redundant. Has the problems of packet loss and jitter been eradicated? Has latency suddenly evaporated? Of the people I know who use a desktop replacement, these tend to be major fundamental issues even if for mainstream use they might be termed a minor hindrance. Ol' Rory might be preaching theoretical, but until fact matches fiction I doubt you'll see many people put their faith in the Sunnyvale Saviour.

Guest said:

He's right though, 99% of laptops get used for browsing the web, playing media files, maybe a bit of light productivity like Microsoft Word. Processing power for that kind of activity has been gratuitous even in low-end CPUs for years now. Things like lower voltage are much more important so you can get increased battery life, thinner chassis, less heat, etc. Actual tangible improvements rather than just hypothetical performance numbers that have no bearing on what people are actually using their machines for.

thewind said:

Is this guy crazy?! Has he every tried playing a 1080p video on Youtube?! my laptop thats only 2 years old hardly can keep up with streaming it! and as far as I can tell everythings going 4k so that would even need more processing power just to stream that! This guy is a ***** in every sence. Also I know several laptops that can't even hold windows 7 so how old of computers is he talking about cuz he said every one... dumb ass. lol Or maybe he ment if you put every laptop on the planet together you would have a supper computer that could do everthing! but still computers change so fast its stupid to try and limit anything. Just look at video games we are so far off from them being movie like... even though they say the xbox 720 will have enought processing power to play Avatar. I doubt it...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is this guy crazy?! Has he every tried playing a 1080p video on Youtube?! my laptop thats only 2 years old hardly can keep up with streaming it.
Processing power and streaming Youtube videos are not the same thing, so no this guy is not crazy. He never said the Internet was ready to support such a concept.

Think of it this way. Suppose you built a real work horse computer and placed it in the basement. Next you purchased a Net-book so that you could work from, except the Net-book wasn't doing the work. The Net-book was only sending commands to the computer in the basement. The computer in the basement was doing all your processing needs. Year after year, you never had to upgrade your Net-book. The computer in the basement was the only computer that needed to be upgraded. The only problem is the transmission capabilities between them. Too much lag, too many disconnects, no where near stable enough to support such a concept. The however does not suggest the Net-books are not capable of controlling the computer in the basement. Hell, some people are using their cell-phones to do this already by remote login. Why do you think this is not possible with a laptop?

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Processing power and streaming Youtube videos are not the same thing

Nope. But transcoding and editing for/from YouTube most certainly is. It's possible to run Premiere Pro, After Effects et al on a bog standard dual core...depends what your definition of "run" is (I.e. frames processed per second). Remember that Rory states "There's enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today" ...that's a lot of configurations to take into account.

Suppose you built a real work horse computer and placed it in the basement. Next you purchased a Net-book so that you could work from, except the Net-book wasn't doing the work. The Net-book was only sending commands to the computer in the basement...the only problem is the transmission capabilities between them. Too much lag, too many disconnects, no where near stable enough to support such a concept.

So, theoretically possible but lacks practicality. Now scale up the workload - what's the turnaround on remote processing with CAD, or stock trading apps? And if latency is a dealbreaker, how do those workloads run, or spreadsheet (it doesn't take much for the latter to become a resource hog once the file size increases) -given that Rory says every laptop, that puts a fair strain on the bulk of machines running Pentium/Celeron, C2D, Athlon II, A4 etc.

So, theoretically possible- but it smacks of the shuck that car manufacturers use for fuel economy - y'know, like telling people that a Lincoln Navigator will get you 20 mpg, but neglect to tell you that the highway should be dead flat or inclined all the way...with no other traffic, no passengers or cargo, no brake use, and preferably coasting in neutral wherever possible.

Rory's last quote might be more telling:

"There's been a passion for innovation but there needs to be a passion for delivery and a passion for the customers."

I'd suggest a little less hyperbole and a little more truth in advertising Rory.

Arris Arris said:

A silly statement to make that can be taken out of context. Doing a bit of video and photo work on both a 1str generation i5 laptop and a 2nd gen i7 desktop I can tell you that I could do with a bit more processing power on the laptop. It's not essential but it would improve the experience considerably. Given that many people won't get beyond watching a few videos, checking mail/facebook and writing a document he's not as far off the mark as some might suggest. Also given the "Fusion" path that AMD is taking with their mobile platform I don't see that more processing power is needed for YouTube/1080p playback. With the change from Flash based battery eating playback to HTML5, WebM or other standards I don't think more processing power will be required. Some extra grunt from the graphics capability of laptops would be good though.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

A silly statement to make that can be taken out of context.

Not so much out of context as a continuation of a shoot-first-think-later approach

Jerry Sanders :

"Real men have fabs" ( AMD fabs in 2012 : 0)

John Fruehe & Pat Patla

"Real men use real cores" ( I think we know how that turned out)

Given that many people won't get beyond watching a few videos, checking mail/facebook and writing a document he's not as far off the mark as some might suggest.

And the same argument will be rolled out when Piledriver hits the channel. Given that the basic workload of the bulk of client systems, you could make a case for the desktop needing nothing more than a 2005-06 era dual core...As for mobile...compare Rory's stance with that of a couple of years back:

[link] -Rory Read (Lenovo version)

(BTW: This is the same date as the launch of the Lenovo i5/i7 equipped Thinkpad T410/T510, so Rory foresaw a need for more processing power going forward....well, until he changed jobs anyhow)

Doctor John Doctor John said:

Is the above quotation the complete sentence?

I'm picking up more of a "Every laptop on the planet has enough processing power to.......?"

Certainly my 11 year old Dell laptop hasn't nearly enough power to edit video (unsurprisingly)

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

With the change from Flash based battery eating playback to HTML5, WebM or other standards I don't think more processing power will be required.

See, the point is that this change has not happened. There is still flash everywhere. And as far as Facebook being all cloud, I play this Godfather game on Facebook, and the resources it uses on my computer are sick.

Yeah, one day the web will change so that we don't need powerful computers. And when that day comes, I'l gladly buy something low powered. But we're not there yet, so to make a rather stupid statement like that, especially when you're languishing in failure is not really smart. Absolute statements like this are too easy to take apart, he needs to take a lesson from politics.

wiyosaya said:

This reminds me of the old comment everyone attributes to Bill Gates:

"Who would ever need more than 1K of RAM?"

I think this comment just shows that this new AMD "leader" is arrogant and has no vision for the future. With this guy in charge, I think it reasonable to not expect AMD to return to any kind of technology leadership role. For a while at least, AMDs APUs will excel, however, if this indicates that they are no longer interested in pushing the boundaries of computing power, then AMD will eventually fall. Unfortunately for them, it will probably be a long and painful fall.

Personally, I've been an AMD fan for a long, long time, however, this reinforces to me that my decision to go with Intel in my most recent build was a good one. I find Mr. AMD's comments less than inspiring. As long as Intel continues to produce reasonably priced processors, I'll be happy, but if they start to way over price due to lack of any real competition, I think the PC world will suffer.

AMD, you were great while you lasted, but with this guy at the top, your fate is sealed.

Guest said:

NWO wants to control our pcs entirely?

Guest said:

Any 4 core cpu is more than fast enough ,digging for more power from the cpu has no benefit and is costly,Now it's time to tap the gpu for more power.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Your not cloud computing either are you? That statement was based around the concept of cloud computing. If you are going to look at the equation try including all the variables.

Sorry I tend to focus on the important variable that pertain to my usage, not the theoretical usage of a cloud server in 5 to 10 years time. The reason I brought up my argument was merely because I was in a situation this weekend very far away from the grid and wanted to do some photo editing. This took a very long time, what takes just second on my desktop at home took around 10 minutes on my laptop. Another concern I have with the cloud computing idea, living in Canada there is a limited selection of good ISPs and almost all have bandwidth caps. Would the increase use of such a service not require more bandwidth?

bandit8623 said:

what he said is bad from a pr standpoint, but he is correct. 90% of people that use laptops just browse the web and work on word docs. heck even my desktop core 2 quad from 2008 cant be slowed. I can play all the latest games on max. lets be honest a intel pentium 3 could easily handle word docs and browsing to this day if the computer wasnt loaded down with spyware and crap.

Guest said:

Try running windows movie maker.

Zeromus said:

Until we measure statistics close to total amount of particles in the universe, I don't think anything is enough.

Guest said:

Enough "power" for what ? Viewing porn and pissing about on Facebook ? Bah ! Some people actually do real work that requires a real desktop / laptop.

The media is smitten with ******* smart phones and tablets that really can't do very much

Not that people haven't been fooling themselves - oh look each child needs one blah blah BS.

Seriously AMD has become a joke.

Guest said:

When I think about it...he's kinda right. 90% of the people that own laptops have enough cpu power for what they do. Writing documents, browsing the web, playing casual games, video chating. For these uses more cpu power is not really needed. Therefore, AMD has a point. The only people that need constantly better cpus are gamers and designers. Even then, GPU is more important...therefore, I feel that APUs are the future.

Guest said:

Stop trying to dissect and come up with different idea's on what Rory said.

What he said was, There is enough processing power.

So you have all you need, so forget it.

Guest said:

AMD, CEO Rory Read told Bloomberg Businessweek "... he feels that there will be a need for chips that are better at handing various media rather than processing raw data."

This is a perfect example of the flawed mentality at AMD which has delivered the inefficient and under-performing Bulldozer architecture. AMD has always suffered from an intellectual deficit in comparison to its competition. The acquisition of NexGen in the 1990's saved AMD from itself at the time and the purchase of ATI is keeping the company from going under at the moment. Tragically, for consumers, AMD lacks the finances to keep importing visionary talent to save itself from foolish leadership. One thing is for certain, if Intel thinks they have AMD on the ropes, they're gonna try to pound the life out of their biggest "rival".

Guest said:

You sir, obviously have a crappy computer.

Guest said:

640K was not enough, so start changing your name to Rory Rong !

If you think I want my 3D-Cad / Video-editing inventions, ... up there on a bunch of iCloud servers just for giant corps like you,..., to watch, and steal, and pilfer other peoples' hard work ? then you really are Rory Rong. <- go back to your "too powerful" (LoL) Lenovo lapfarts.

I can't believe amd hired this dink.

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well I for one am not one of those types that I've heard of here, as towards just using my laptop to surf the web and type up word documents. I run a monster of a laptop and even with as beefy and powerful as it is, I would love more processor power! My Intel Centrino dual core @ 2.8g's sometimes doesn't feel powerful enough. I do serious gaming on my laptop, Call of Duty 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2011, Medal of Honor Allied Assault, Neverwinter Nights, Return to Castle Wolfenstein as so forth. I also do my fair share with programs like Adobe Photoshop 7.0, so when it comes to maybe adding a little bit more "hustle behind the muscle", I'm all for it!

So for me AMD saying what they did, it just doesn't jive! If a company is going to go ahead and make defeatist statements, than why bother trying to play the game? Why bother trying to act like a cutting edge processor company? Why bother trying to do anything! If AMD has lost it's testicular fortitude and is going to act defeated, then they should transition to being a whole sale supply company and get absorbed by Intel, but there again why would Intel want to digest a company who's processors aren't worth the silicon there made out of.

"All the laptops out there have enough processor power"!...................."yeah right"!

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