AMD plans to deliver a package of security, virtualization and lower-power processing
to its AMD64 platform by next year, plus a new core, faster Hyper Transport and DDR3
support by 2007, company executives said last week at a meeting with financial
analysts in New York.
The chip maker aims to go toe-to-toe with rival Intel on delivering supporting and
performance-enhancing technology to its processor lineup. AMD CEO Hector Ruiz told
analysts that the company should get a boost by shedding its flash memory business in
an upcoming spinoff.
"We believe we are putting together a solid foundation for the company," Ruiz said at
the meeting. "It's clearly important in a company that's trying not only to transform
itself, but transform the industry, that the foundation be very solid so you have the
confidence in the things we're going to build going forward.
"We are sharpening our focus intensely," he added. "Going forward, this
[microprocessor business] is the heart of the company."
AMD has struggled over the past two quarters, attributing its lacklustre financial
performance to an erratic, price-pressured flash memory business. In the first
quarter, the company lost US$17 million. However, AMD has been praised for its
delivery of dual-core Opteron processors for servers and workstations, and last month
the vendor began shipping the X2, its first dual-core processor for the desktop.
Besides Ruiz, several other AMD executives spoke to analysts, laying out the
company's strategy for ramping up the performance and efficiency of its processors.
Marty Seyer, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor
Business Unit in its Microprocessor Solutions Sector, delineated much of the
company's road map through 2007.
Next year, AMD plans to add its Pacifica virtualisation technology and Presidio
security technology to its Opteron and desktop processors. In 2006, the Opteron
lineup is slated to begin shipping with Hardware RAID 5 technology and Serial SCSI,
in addition to PCI Express 2 and a fault-tolerant I/O. And in 2007, AMD expects to
add multicore capability to the Opteron, an L3 Cache and I/O virtualisation.
On the desktop, AMD next year aims to begin shipping dual-core processors with
support for DDR2 memory, enhanced graphics technology called Aero Glass and
lower-power performance. In 2007, the company plans to bring a new core to the
desktop processors, as well as DDR3 support and larger caches.
And looking at the mobile side, AMD executives said they plan to introduce WiMax
wireless support and six-hour battery life to the vendor's Turion 64 processor lineup
Henri Richard, AMD's executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer,
also told analysts that the company is working to strengthen its channel.
"We're implementing a comprehensive, direct-marketing support program for our channel
partners and [plan] to increase demand generation in support of our distributors,"