AMD CEO Lisa Su discusses supply problems and the future of CPUs

mongeese

Posts: 466   +106
Staff member
In context: AMD's CEO held a small press conference this week during CES 2021 where she discussed the big topics relating to the future of AMD and their corner of the industry. Now that AMD is in a strong position, she believes that they should double down on their own technologies and innovations without worrying about other companies.

Desktop CPUs are AMD's greatest strength, and laptop and enterprise CPUs are the two largest markets AMD has the opportunity to invade -- and AMD has no plans to become complacent. Lisa Su says that AMD is placing a heavy focus on Zen 4 and Zen 5, and anticipates them being "extremely competitive" at a minimum.

It was asked, because core counts have remained the same for two generations, if the current numbers – eight for mobile, sixteen for mainstream, and sixty-four for enterprise – would become de facto limits. Lisa Su laughed the question away, confirming that "there will be more core counts in the future – I would not say those are the limits! It will come as we scale the rest of the system."

One of the ways Intel plans on adding cores is by mixing up technologies; they're including high-performance and high-efficiency cores in their Alder Lake CPUs. AMD doesn't plan on pursuing this route, and Lisa Su pointed out that their current designs already scale "very well from entry to enterprise, with the right mix of power, performance, and die area."

AMD does foresee an increase in specialization over "the next couple of years" but Su believes that they're already equipped to handle the challenges. Pointing at consoles, she said that "AMD has a strong semi-custom division to meet those opportunities." She also reiterated her faith in x86, as opposed to the more malleable Arm, describing it as a "strong ecosystem" that merits a heavy investment.

However, AMD can't continue to invest in new products without securing the capacity to manufacture them. AMD do have new GPUs and Milan Epyc processors launching soon. Sadly, AMD are anticipating "tightness in the first half of the year" that will only abate in time for the next round of CPUs and GPUs in the second half of 2021.

Fortunately, AMD do expect that prices will begin to decrease as tariff countermeasures come into effect and Covid-19 issues decrease. They're also willing to undercut OEMs with reference design GPUs (which is pretty funny, if you think about it).

To prevent future supply problems, AMD have invested in the construction of new equipment and facilities. They'll be prepared to handle this level of demand for future launches.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 139   +187
This goes in line with what I was saying: Obviously production doesn't stop and ramping up production is a predictable response to their success and expansion of their market share.

But as I said on another article, she is completely disregarding botched consumer launches here for another 6 months: She has a road map and she will stick to it come hell and high water and the peasants can wait 6 months to actually get their hands on the products at reasonable prices.

To her, the fight against intel and Nvidia as almost entirely theoretical discussions of advantages and disadvantages in the press is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than actually ensuring products are only released once the increased demand can be met or can be at least a little bit mitigated.

This is a strategy to show her board and investors AMD is strong and ready to continuously battle their opponents relentlessly. Consumers are just assumed to be of secondary, little consequence with a "They should wait, what are they gonna do? We're the best" attitude.

Yes AMD is successful and "producing" the almost undisputedly best products around. But they've turned the "pro consumer" attitude that kept them half way alive during the pre-ryzen, Bulldozer years and have basically decided this is a fight they can win entirely with white paper articles and favorable press coverage, not actual consumer products being delivered.

Disgusting.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,533   +3,316
This goes in line with what I was saying: Obviously production doesn't stop and ramping up production is a predictable response to their success and expansion of their market share.

But as I said on another article, she is completely disregarding botched consumer launches here for another 6 months: She has a road map and she will stick to it come hell and high water and the peasants can wait 6 months to actually get their hands on the products at reasonable prices.

To her, the fight against intel and Nvidia as almost entirely theoretical discussions of advantages and disadvantages in the press is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than actually ensuring products are only released once the increased demand can be met or can be at least a little bit mitigated.

This is a strategy to show her board and investors AMD is strong and ready to continuously battle their opponents relentlessly. Consumers are just assumed to be of secondary, little consequence with a "They should wait, what are they gonna do? We're the best" attitude.

Yes AMD is successful and "producing" the almost undisputedly best products around. But they've turned the "pro consumer" attitude that kept them half way alive during the pre-ryzen, Bulldozer years and have basically decided this is a fight they can win entirely with white paper articles and favorable press coverage, not actual consumer products being delivered.

Disgusting.
Everyone is having supply issues right now. Aside from investing in new facilities to increase production(which she said AMD was doing) I don't know what you could possibly expect them to do.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 139   +187
Everyone is having supply issues right now. Aside from investing in new facilities to increase production(which she said AMD was doing) I don't know what you could possibly expect them to do.
Delay the products. It's a simple as that: just stop announcing products and stop releasing products until you can meet demand. This doesn't means stopping building up your supplies to get ready. We know it's going slowly, that it can't be helped and that it will take 6 months.

The part that wasn't necessary was Lisa calling and hosting a keynote to talk about new products she is well aware will not be able to deliver, at all in some cases.

You see what she is doing here, is merely producing a tiny amount of samples for press coverage, because she wants press outlets to keep talking about her products, constantly, even whens he knows nobody will be able to buy them for months.

She decided on a timeline. That timeline was affected by Covid related constrains to her supply chain and unprecedented demand, both things at the same time. But she HAS NOT ALTERED HER TIMELINE. She is not only paying for keynotes and press to talk about non-existing products, she continues to do so after admitting this is the case: She wants publicity for non-existent products.

She does not care this is greatly devaluing the value of press outlets by disrupting the social contract with the readers and viewers and generating great mistrust and possibly a large consequence in viewership and loyalty. She does not care about anybody on the press: she see's the press and the bad faith their incur as expendable. She even sees the bad faith of dissatisfied end users as also expendable.

She is calculating that as long as she comes out on top of intel in 6 months, it doesn't matter how many paper launches she promotes, how many key managers she allows to FLAT OUT LIE about launches and mock the competition for doing what she is well aware she was going to do in a few weeks. Her attitude is "Just defeat the competition, customers do not matter as long as we have the best product eventually, they'll be forced to buy it"
 

ColdSoup

Posts: 112   +241
I don't think there is anything wrong with showing off technology that consumers can't actually buy. The real problem is consumer expectations not aligning with reality.

The world effectively shut down for a few months last year. That causes tons of problems. Now we must deal with them. If not being able to spend $500 on a GPU or CPU until six months from now is a major issue for you, reevaluate your priorities.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 139   +187
I don't think there is anything wrong with showing off technology that consumers can't actually buy. The real problem is consumer expectations not aligning with reality.

The world effectively shut down for a few months last year. That causes tons of problems. Now we must deal with them. If not being able to spend $500 on a GPU or CPU until six months from now is a major issue for you, reevaluate your priorities.
That would only be true if there was an open, sincere dialogue. What Lisa allowed her people to do was openly mock Nvidia for a paper launch and enter silly Twitter threads "betting" about the RDNA 2 availability when she was well aware for a while it was going to be the worst paper launch of all of 2020.

What you are doing is taking what should be an apology and not merely and acknowledgement, and completely burying the fact that Lisa's people flat out lied to the public about availability. It did not blind-sight them that was kind of the point of letting Nvidia launch first actually.

Suit yourself but if you ask me, this type of "Is my own fault as a consumer for not foreseeing AMD was going to lie to me about meeting demand" attitude that enables future botched releases: the fact that you not only condone but defend the practice of lying to consumers.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,533   +3,316
Delay the products. It's a simple as that: just stop announcing products and stop releasing products until you can meet demand. This doesn't means stopping building up your supplies to get ready. We know it's going slowly, that it can't be helped and that it will take 6 months.
I don't think that's the answer to the supply shortages, development costs are extremely expensive and they need to recoup some of that money. They've essentially stopped production of the 3000 series and gone all in on the 5000 series. There should just as many 5000 series in the wild at release as there were 3000 series.

The part that wasn't necessary was Lisa calling and hosting a keynote to talk about new products she is well aware will not be able to deliver, at all in some cases.
It was AMD's presentation at CES, talking about future tech and development goals is kinda' the whole point


You see what she is doing here, is merely producing a tiny amount of samples for press coverage, because she wants press outlets to keep talking about her products, constantly, even whens he knows nobody will be able to buy them for months.
these are not paper launches, demand is extremely high right now and AMD is far from the only one with problems. Intel, Samsung and TSMC are having trouble keeping up with demand. This isn't some global conspiracy where everyone is pretending to have products that aren't released yet. On top of that you have scalpers buying up all the products and trying to sell them at double the price.
 

toddincabo

Posts: 6   +20
Delay the products. It's a simple as that: just stop announcing products and stop releasing products until you can meet demand. This doesn't means stopping building up your supplies to get ready. We know it's going slowly, that it can't be helped and that it will take 6 months.

The part that wasn't necessary was Lisa calling and hosting a keynote to talk about new products she is well aware will not be able to deliver, at all in some cases.

You see what she is doing here, is merely producing a tiny amount of samples for press coverage, because she wants press outlets to keep talking about her products, constantly, even whens he knows nobody will be able to buy them for months.

She decided on a timeline. That timeline was affected by Covid related constrains to her supply chain and unprecedented demand, both things at the same time. But she HAS NOT ALTERED HER TIMELINE. She is not only paying for keynotes and press to talk about non-existing products, she continues to do so after admitting this is the case: She wants publicity for non-existent products.

She does not care this is greatly devaluing the value of press outlets by disrupting the social contract with the readers and viewers and generating great mistrust and possibly a large consequence in viewership and loyalty. She does not care about anybody on the press: she see's the press and the bad faith their incur as expendable. She even sees the bad faith of dissatisfied end users as also expendable.

She is calculating that as long as she comes out on top of intel in 6 months, it doesn't matter how many paper launches she promotes, how many key managers she allows to FLAT OUT LIE about launches and mock the competition for doing what she is well aware she was going to do in a few weeks. Her attitude is "Just defeat the competition, customers do not matter as long as we have the best product eventually, they'll be forced to buy it"
So you want Su to stop doing exactly what their main competitors do in this regard. If she were to do what you are suggesting Intel and NVidea would be popping the champagne. Look at how much vaporware Intel has pumped up over the last few years. You either work for one of these companies or just have a gripe with AMD.
 

Lounds

Posts: 694   +611
AMD has room to grow into the enterprise and data center market, intel will continue to lose in this sector in years to come as they can't be competitive with products and fabs. Because of the scalability of the chiplet design, Eypc/Ryzen is extremely profitable for AMD, intel is selling 6 core 12 thread CPUs for the price of an dual core i3 from 5 years ago, put that into perspective.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,225   +1,958
Delay the products. It's a simple as that: just stop announcing products and stop releasing products until you can meet demand.
Didn‘t AMD just do that with Navi 22 and 23 ? Milan also appears to have been somewhat delayed and for Zen 3 desktop CPU we so far also only have four SKU for retail. Then there are the Ryzen 4000 APU that were also not released to retail.

I don‘t recall AMD getting much praise for this.

For new products that are ready, should AMD continue offering the less desirable older products, I.e. simply say „yes, Zen 3 is ready, it‘s great, there will be more demand than we can fill, so let‘s not release it“?


 

ColdSoup

Posts: 112   +241
Suit yourself but if you ask me, this type of "Is my own fault as a consumer for not foreseeing AMD was going to lie to me about meeting demand" attitude that enables future botched releases: the fact that you not only condone but defend the practice of lying to consumers.
Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware. As a consumer, you should always be careful of listening to PR departments and sales people. Their job is to make money, not take some alleged moral high ground. I don't defend the practice, I'm just telling you about the reality that exists and you seem rather upset to realize how market works.
 

HardReset

Posts: 937   +523
Delay the products. It's a simple as that: just stop announcing products and stop releasing products until you can meet demand. This doesn't means stopping building up your supplies to get ready. We know it's going slowly, that it can't be helped and that it will take 6 months.
That's not how it works. You simply cannot make stuff and keep it "until you have tons of stock to meed demand". First, expenses run all time. Secondly, stuff loses it's value whole time.

What you're asking is simply impossible.

You see what she is doing here, is merely producing a tiny amount of samples for press coverage, because she wants press outlets to keep talking about her products, constantly, even whens he knows nobody will be able to buy them for months.
Thousands of people = nobody?

She decided on a timeline. That timeline was affected by Covid related constrains to her supply chain and unprecedented demand, both things at the same time. But she HAS NOT ALTERED HER TIMELINE. She is not only paying for keynotes and press to talk about non-existing products, she continues to do so after admitting this is the case: She wants publicity for non-existent products.
Once again, understand that keeping tons of stuff on storage is expensive and so it's not an option. Period.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,533   +3,316
Yup - while AMD can definitely not supply demand and availability seems to differ by location, Mindfactory‘s December sales definitely don‘t support the „nobody“ notion. And this is just one retailer:

that's only one retailer and it looks like the 5000 series is in the ~9-11,000 units a month range. If you want to extrapolate those numbers to amount of other retailers selling AMD 5000 series CPUs you're looking at hundreds of thousands of units sold a month.

Shipping hundreds of thousands of CPUs a month IS NOT a paper launch.
 

brucek

Posts: 708   +940
TechSpot Elite
As an investor, I do not understand why they aren't raising prices in order to equalize demand with supply.

As a customer, I appreciate the sentiment of not raising prices, although the generosity is lost on me when there's no way to take advantage of it short of an arduous purchase process with a lot of luck thrown in.

The "there's no better way" is utter BS. Apple proves this every time it launches a new iPhone generation, in unit volumes of millions ready for day one shipment, including not just the silicon but the rest of the phone's components too. What probably is true is "there's no easy better way and it'll never happen if you make each decision about what's expedient in the next quarter."

I agree the tactics behind what Apple does are very expensive -- just less expensive than leaving lots of unmet demand on the table (and under-pricing your products, and not artificially convincing your customers that you should plan to upgrade yearly on a set schedule.) Apple's no charity, just smart.

Anyway, I don't expect changes over night. There is an industry wide capacity problem that goes way past PC components. The WSJ reported yesterday that Ford just idled an automobile factory in Kentucky because it could not purchase one of the chips that goes in the cars. Think of all the downstream impacts that and similar situations will start to have on the larger economy. Ultimately being a generation behind on gaming graphics is probably the least of the troubles we have here.
 

Bulllee

Posts: 138   +104
Gamers down the line have taken the biggest hit I reckon.Last gen.cards expensive and unavailable and used ones holding their price.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,054   +481
that's only one retailer and it looks like the 5000 series is in the ~9-11,000 units a month range. If you want to extrapolate those numbers to amount of other retailers selling AMD 5000 series CPUs you're looking at hundreds of thousands of units sold a month.

Shipping hundreds of thousands of CPUs a month IS NOT a paper launch.
People will always call things a paper launch if they cant get ahold of things. Just cause a company sells a thousand units doesnt mean they ever got sold to consumers. Scalpers and bots buy things up in droves these days. While that money counts for the company n sales it doesnt account for that no actual customer got one. Weve seen that with AMD, Nvidia, xbox and playstation. AMD and MS being the worse of them all. Although now, all companies claim to be on rebound and producing more products but at the same time will it be enough? Only time will tell.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 139   +187
Didn‘t AMD just do that with Navi 22 and 23 ? Milan also appears to have been somewhat delayed and for Zen 3 desktop CPU we so far also only have four SKU for retail. Then there are the Ryzen 4000 APU that were also not released to retail.

I don‘t recall AMD getting much praise for this.

For new products that are ready, should AMD continue offering the less desirable older products, I.e. simply say „yes, Zen 3 is ready, it‘s great, there will be more demand than we can fill, so let‘s not release it“?
That's not how it works. You simply cannot make stuff and keep it "until you have tons of stock to meed demand". First, expenses run all time. Secondly, stuff loses it's value whole time.

What you're asking is simply impossible.



Thousands of people = nobody?



Once again, understand that keeping tons of stuff on storage is expensive and so it's not an option. Period.
To clarify this questions, yes in the case of the 5600x and the 5800x I agree that there is enough of those SKUs around.

But this numbers are not showing the reality of the other 2 SKUs that were released: the 5900x and the 5950x Those go from rare and very briefly available still after months from the official release to being fully unavailable for weeks upon weeks at the time.

So to clarify these kinds of questions, I can concede the 2 lower SKUs for Ryzen 5000 are somewhat decent. But this is not true of the other SKU.

Also none of you guys are even acknowledging how utterly non-existent is the 6800 and 6800xt I'd be surprised if it's even 1% of the parts ever made available at retail when compared to the 5600x. It just doesn't exists outside of reviewer hands period.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 139   +187
So you want Su to stop doing exactly what their main competitors do in this regard. If she were to do what you are suggesting Intel and NVidea would be popping the champagne. Look at how much vaporware Intel has pumped up over the last few years. You either work for one of these companies or just have a gripe with AMD.
Nvidia maybe but that's because not even RDNA 2 is superior to Nvidia. It's comparable and rather close, but their software support continues to at the best of times, lack severely behind all of the investment Nvidia makes.

AMD model of "open" protocols is inherently superior, from a technological standpoint and from an availability standpoint. The issue is that first ATI then AMD have not been able to combat the bribery Nvidia incurs to force game publishers to include proprietary technology simply because they products were not as good and the open software technology they wanted to push gets passed over because of this.

So all in all, I would say we're able to talk about AMD still being relevant today in at the very least equal parts due to the failure of intel that could not sustain the risk of insisting on keeping all forges in house. It was a very big risk not to seek partnership with external fabs earlier and they're paying dearly for it.

As for working for any of these companies no, I do not: I think every single one of them AND Microsoft AND Sony are basically inefficient corporations that hinder technological progress more than they help it overall.

EDIT: Apologies for the major edit I left out an important thought.
 

HardReset

Posts: 937   +523
To clarify this questions, yes in the case of the 5600x and the 5800x I agree that there is enough of those SKUs around.

But this numbers are not showing the reality of the other 2 SKUs that were released: the 5900x and the 5950x Those go from rare and very briefly available still after months from the official release to being fully unavailable for weeks upon weeks at the time.

So to clarify these kinds of questions, I can concede the 2 lower SKUs for Ryzen 5000 are somewhat decent. But this is not true of the other SKU.

Also none of you guys are even acknowledging how utterly non-existent is the 6800 and 6800xt I'd be surprised if it's even 1% of the parts ever made available at retail when compared to the 5600x. It just doesn't exists outside of reviewer hands period.
5900X and 5950X are two times larger (on 7nm chips) than 5600/5800. Not surprising it's harder to find them. You can see from sales charts that there were around 4000 sold on just Mindfactory.

You can buy 6800XT and 6800 immediately, so you are wrong again:


 

yRaz

Posts: 3,533   +3,316
People will always call things a paper launch if they cant get ahold of things. Just cause a company sells a thousand units doesnt mean they ever got sold to consumers. Scalpers and bots buy things up in droves these days. While that money counts for the company n sales it doesnt account for that no actual customer got one. Weve seen that with AMD, Nvidia, xbox and playstation. AMD and MS being the worse of them all. Although now, all companies claim to be on rebound and producing more products but at the same time will it be enough? Only time will tell.
I didn't say thousands, I said hundreds of thousands. The only people complaining about the shortages are the people who can't get them, there are likely well over a million happy customers(for reasons I explained in my post).
5900X and 5950X are two times larger (on 7nm chips) than 5600/5800. Not surprising it's harder to find them. You can see from sales charts that there were around 4000 sold on just Mindfactory.

You can buy 6800XT and 6800 immediately, so you are wrong again:


correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the 5900x and 5950x used their chiplet design.
 

HardReset

Posts: 937   +523
correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the 5900x and 5950x used their chiplet design.
Of course. What I meant is that 5900X and 5950X have double 7nm capacity consumption, as they have 2 chiplets while 5600X has only one. When capacity is constrained, AMD could make two 5600X/5800X with "price" (7nm capacity) of one 5900X/5950X.
 

Bulllee

Posts: 138   +104
5900X and 5950X are two times larger (on 7nm chips) than 5600/5800. Not surprising it's harder to find them. You can see from sales charts that there were around 4000 sold on just Mindfactory.

You can buy 6800XT and 6800 immediately, so you are wrong again:


Maybe it's the inflated prices that is driving everyone nuts!
 
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