We are a global semiconductor company that designs and sells microprocessors, chipsets and graphics processors. Within the global semiconductor industry, we offer primarily:
(i) x86 microprocessors, for the commercial and consumer markets, embedded microprocessors for commercial, commercial client and consumer markets and chipsets for desktop and notebook PCs, professional workstations and servers; and
(ii) graphics, video and multimedia products for desktop and notebook PCs, including home media PCs, professional workstations and servers and technology for game consoles.
We are one of two companies who design and deliver x86 microprocessors in volume and also one of two companies who design and deliver leading-edge 3D graphics. We are the only company who can develop and deliver both of these technologies, and we believe we are well positioned to provide our customers with the variety of computing platforms that they demand.
On March 2, 2009, together with Advanced Technology Investment Company LLC (ATIC) and West Coast Hitech L.P., (WCH), acting through its general partner, West Coast Hitech G.P., Ltd., we formed GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Inc. (GF), a manufacturing joint venture that manufactures semiconductor products and provides certain foundry services to us. Pursuant to the Master Transaction Agreement entered into among the parties on October 6, 2008, as amended, we contributed certain assets and liabilities to GF in exchange for securities of GF and the assumption of specified AMD liabilities by GF. Specifically, we contributed our ownership interests in certain of our subsidiaries including the groups of German subsidiaries owning our wafer manufacturing facilities in Dresden, Germany (Fab 30 and Fab 36), other manufacturing assets, employees performing manufacturing-related functions, certain real property, tangible personal property, inventories, books and records, a portion of our patent portfolio and intellectual property, and rights under certain material contracts and permits. In exchange, GF issued to us GF securities and assumed certain liabilities. ATIC contributed approximately $1.4 billion of cash to GF in exchange for GF securities consisting of equity and convertible notes and ATIC paid $700 million in cash to us in exchange for additional GF securities. At the completion of the transaction (the Closing), we issued to WCH 58 million shares of our common stock and warrants to purchase 35 million shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $0.01 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $125 million. The warrants are currently exercisable and have a ten-year term.
At the Closing, we also entered into a Shareholders’ Agreement (the Shareholders’ Agreement), a Funding Agreement (the Funding Agreement), and a Wafer Supply Agreement (the Wafer Supply Agreement), with ATIC and GF, certain terms of each of which are summarized below.
Shareholders’ Agreement. The Shareholders’ Agreement sets forth the rights and obligations of AMD and ATIC as shareholders of GF. We currently have the right to designate three directors. The number of directors a GF shareholder may designate is determined according to the percentage of GF shares it owns on a fully diluted basis.
Pursuant to the Shareholders’ Agreement, if a change of control of AMD occurs within two years of the consummation of the transaction, ATIC will have the right to put any or all GF securities (valued at their fair market value) held by ATIC and its permitted transferees to us in exchange for cash, or if a change of control of AMD occurs after a specified event, ATIC will have the option to purchase in cash any or all GF securities (valued at their fair market value) held by us and our permitted transferees.
Funding Agreement. The Funding Agreement provides for the future funding of GF and governs the terms and conditions under which ATIC is obligated to provide such funding. Pursuant to the Funding Agreement, ATIC committed to additional equity funding of a minimum of $3.6 billion and up to $6.0 billion to be provided in phases over a five year period commencing from the Closing. We have the right, but not the obligation, to provide additional future capital to GF in an amount pro rata to our interest in the fully converted ordinary shares of GF. To the extent we choose not to participate in an equity financing of GF, ATIC is obligated to purchase our share of GF securities, subject to ATIC’s funding commitments under the Funding Agreement. ATIC’s obligations to provide funding are subject to certain conditions including the accuracy of GF representations and warranties in the Funding Agreement, the absence of a material adverse effect on GF or AMD and the absence of a material breach or default by GF or AMD under the provisions of any transaction document. There are additional funding conditions for each of the phases which are set forth in more detail in the Funding Agreement. In July 2009, pursuant to a funding request from GF in accordance with the Funding Agreement, ATIC contributed $260 million of cash to GF in exchange for GF securities. We declined to participate in the funding. As of December 26, 2009, on a fully converted basis, we owned approximately 31.6 percent of GF and ATIC owned approximately 68.4 percent.
On December 18, 2009, ATIC International Investment Company, or ATIC II, an affiliate of ATIC, acquired Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. On December 28, 2009, with our consent, ATIC II, Chartered and GF entered into a Management and Operating Agreement, or MOA, which provides for the joint management and operation of GF and Chartered, thereby allowing GF and Chartered to share costs, take advantage of operating synergies and market wafer fabrications services on a collective basis. In order to allow for the signing of the MOA on December 28, 2009 prior to obtaining any required regulatory approvals we agreed to irrevocably waive rights under the Shareholders Agreement with respect to certain matters that require unanimous GF board approval. Additionally, if any such matters come before the GF board, we agreed that our designated GF directors will vote in the same manner as the majority of ATIC-designated GF board members voting on any such matters. As a result of waiving such approval rights, as of December 28, 2009, for financial reporting purposes we no longer shared control with ATIC over GF.
In June 2009, the FASB issued an amendment to improve financial reporting by enterprises involved with variable interest entities. This new guidance became effective for us beginning the first day of fiscal 2010. Under the new guidance, the investor who is deemed to both (i) have the power to direct the activities of the variable interest entity that most significantly impact the variable interest entity’s economic performance and (ii) be exposed to losses and returns, will be the primary beneficiary who should then consolidate the variable interest entity. We evaluated whether the governance changes described above would, pursuant to the new guidance, affect our consolidation of GF. We considered the purpose and design of GF, the activities of GF that most significantly affect the economic performance of GF and the concept of “who has the power,” as contemplated by the new guidance. Based on the results of this evaluation and in light of the governance changes whereby we now only have protective rights relative to the operations of GF, we concluded that ATIC is the party who has the power to direct the activities of GF that most significantly impact GF’s performance and is, therefore, the primary beneficiary of GF. Accordingly, beginning fiscal 2010, we will deconsolidate GF and account for GF under the equity method of accounting. We will continue applying the equity method of accounting until we are deemed to no longer have the ability to significantly influence the operations of GF.
We were incorporated under the laws of Delaware on May 1, 1969 and became a publicly held company in 1972. Since 1979 our common stock has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AMD.” Our mailing address and executive offices are located at One AMD Place, Sunnyvale, California 94088, and our telephone number is (408) 749-4000. References in this report to “AMD,” “we,” “us,” “management,” “our,” or the “Company” means Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and our consolidated majority-owned subsidiaries and GF and its subsidiaries. However, references in the “Business” and “Risk Factors” sections to “AMD,” “we,” “us,” “management,” “our,” or the “Company” do not include GF or its subsidiaries unless specifically stated otherwise.
AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, ATI, the ATI logo, AMD Athlon, AMD Opteron, AMD Phenom, AMD PowerNow!, AMD Sempron, AMD Turion, Cool‘n’Quiet, Geode, FirePro, Radeon, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista, and DirectX are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. HyperTransport is a licensed trademark of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Website Access to Company Reports and Corporate Governance Documents
We post on the Investor Relations pages of our Web site, www.amd.com, a link to our filings with the SEC, our Principles of Corporate Governance, our Code of Ethics for our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Controller and other senior finance executives, our “Worldwide Standards of Business Conduct,” which applies to our directors and all of our employees, and the charters of our Audit and Finance, Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance committees of our Board of Directors. Our filings with the SEC are posted as soon as reasonably practical after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. You can also obtain copies of these documents by writing to us at: Corporate Secretary, AMD, 7171 Southwest Parkway, M/S 100, Austin, Texas 78735, or emailing us at: Corporate.Secretary@amd.com. All of these documents and filings are available free of charge. Please note that information contained on our Web site is not incorporated by reference in, or considered to be a part of, this report.
Semiconductors are components used in a variety of electronic products and systems. An integrated circuit, or IC, is a semiconductor device that consists of many interconnected transistors on a single chip. Since the invention of the transistor in 1948, improvements in IC process and design technologies have led to the development of smaller, more complex and more reliable ICs at a lower cost per function. In order to satisfy the demand for faster, smaller and lower-cost ICs, semiconductor manufacturers have continually developed improvements in manufacturing and process technology. ICs are increasingly being manufactured using smaller geometries on larger silicon wafers. Use of smaller process geometries can result in products that are higher performing, use less power and cost less to manufacture on a per unit basis.
As a result of the credit market crisis in 2008 and other macroeconomic challenges affecting the global economy, end user demand for PCs and servers, and therefore ICs, decreased significantly in the first half of 2009. Although end-user PC demand stabilized in the second half of 2009, end-customers continue to demand value-priced products.
The x86 Microprocessor Market
A microprocessor is an IC that serves as the central processing unit, or CPU, of a computer. It generally consists of millions of transistors that process data and control other devices in the system, acting as the brain of the computer. The performance of a microprocessor is a critical factor impacting the performance of a computer and numerous other electronic systems. The principal indicators of CPU performance are work-per-cycle, or how many instructions are executed per cycle, clock speed, representing the rate at which a CPU’s internal logic operates, measured in units of hertz, or cycles per second, and power consumption. Other factors impacting microprocessor performance include the number of CPUs, or cores, on a microprocessor, the bit rating of the microprocessor, memory size and data access speed.
Developments in circuit design and manufacturing process technologies have resulted in significant advances in microprocessor performance. Currently, microprocessors are designed to process 32-bits or 64-bits of information at one time. The bit rating of a microprocessor generally denotes the largest size of numerical data that a microprocessor can handle. Microprocessors with 64-bit processing capabilities enable systems to have greater performance by allowing software applications and operating systems to access more memory.
Moreover, as businesses and consumers require greater performance from their computer systems due to the exponential growth of digital data and increasingly sophisticated software applications, semiconductor companies are designing and developing multi-core microprocessors, where multiple processor cores are placed on a single die or in a single processor. Multi-core microprocessors offer enhanced overall system performance and efficiency because computing tasks can be spread across two or more processing cores each of which can execute a task at full speed. Moreover, multiple processor cores packaged together can increase performance of a computer system without greatly increasing the total amount of power consumed and the total amount of heat emitted. This type of “symmetrical multiprocessing” is effective in both multi-tasking environments where multiple cores can enable operating systems to prioritize and manage tasks from multiple software applications simultaneously and also for “multi-threaded” software applications where multiple cores can process different parts of the software program, or “threads,” simultaneously thereby enhancing performance of the application. Businesses and consumers also require computer systems with improved power management technology, which allows them to reduce the power consumption of their computer systems thereby reducing the total cost of ownership.
While general purpose computer architectures based on the x86 architecture are sufficient for a large portion of customers, for selected applications, an architecture that enables the ideal resource to be used for a given workload can provide a substantial improvement in user experience, performance and energy efficiency. In this environment, we believe our vision of “heterogeneous computing” and an accelerated computing architecture can benefit customers. Heterogeneous computing refers to computer systems that rely on multiple computational units such as the CPU and the GPU. An accelerated computing architecture enables “offloading” of selected tasks, thereby optimizing the use of a CPU or GPU, depending on the application or workload. For example, serial workloads are better suited for CPUs while highly parallel tasks may be better performed by a GPU. Our vision for an accelerated computing architecture is that the CPU and GPU components are combined onto a single piece of silicon, which we refer to as an AMD Fusion Accelerated Processing Unit (or APU). We believe that high performance computing workloads, workloads that are visual in nature and even traditional applications such as photo and video editing or other multi-media applications stand to benefit from our accelerated computing architecture and heterogeneous computing approach.
We currently offer microprocessor products for servers, workstations, notebooks and desktop PCs. We base our microprocessors and chipsets on the x86 instruction set architecture and AMD’s Direct Connect Architecture, which connects an on-chip memory controller and input/output, or I/O, channels directly to one or more microprocessor cores. We typically integrate two or more processor cores onto a single die, and each core has its own dedicated cache, which is memory that is located on the semiconductor die, permitting quicker access to frequently used data and instructions. Some of our microprocessors have additional levels of cache such as L2, or second level cache, and L3, or third level cache, to enable faster data access and higher performance.
Our processors and chipsets support multiple generations of HyperTransport™ technology, which is a high-bandwidth communications interface that enables higher levels of multi-processor performance and scalability over traditional front side bus-based microprocessor technology. Energy efficiency and power consumption continue to be key design principles for our products. We focus on continually improving power management technology, or “performance-per-watt.” To that end, we offer processors and chipsets with features that are designed to reduce system level energy consumption, with multiple levels of lower clock speed and voltage states that can significantly reduce processor power consumption during idle times. We design our microprocessors to be compatible with operating system software such as the Microsoft® Windows® family of operating systems, Linux®, NetWare®, Solaris and UNIX.
Our microprocessors and chipsets are incorporated into computing platforms that also include graphics processing units, or GPUs, and core software. A platform is a collection of technologies that are designed to work together to provide a more complete computing solution. We believe that integrated, balanced platforms consisting of CPUs, GPUs, and chipsets that work together at the system level bring end users improved system stability, increased performance and enhanced power efficiency. Also, by offering our customers an all-AMD platform, we are able to provide them with a single point of contact for the key platform components and enable them to bring the platforms to market faster in a variety of client and server system form factors.
Server and Workstation. Our microprocessors for servers and workstation platforms consist primarily of our six-core, quad-core and dual-core AMD Opteron™ processors. A server is a system that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. Servers are designed to run an application or applications, often for extended periods of time with minimal human direction. Examples of servers include web servers, e-mail servers, database services, file servers and print servers. A workstation is a high-end PC, designed for technical applications such as computer-aided design and digital content creation. Workstations usually offer higher performance than is normally seen on a PC, especially with respect to graphics, processing power, memory capacity and multitasking activity.
We design AMD Opteron processors for servers and workstations with Direct Connect Architecture to enable simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing. These processors can be used in a variety of server applications, including database processing (enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and supply chain management) and business intelligence. They can also be used in applications such as engineering and digital content creation and other information technology infrastructure applications such as intensive Web serving, cloud computing, high performance computing and email messaging. Cloud computing is a computing model where data, applications and services are delivered over the Internet. High performance computing involves the use of AMD Opteron processor based supercomputers and computer clusters to solve advanced computational problems in industries ranging from oil and gas to weather forecasting. AMD Opteron processors also allow enterprise customers to efficiently implement virtualization across their businesses. Virtualization is the use of software to allow multiple discrete operating systems and application environments to share a single physical computer by providing the illusion that each operating system has full control over the underlying hardware. By enabling different operating systems and applications to run on the same server, virtualization offers the benefit of consolidating workloads and reducing hardware requirements, which can also reduce power, cooling and system management costs.
In June 2009, we introduced our six-core server processor with Direct Connect Architecture for two-, four- and eight-socket servers. These processors incorporated six processor cores on a single die of silicon and added a 6MB shared L3 cache. The increased cache helps increase the speed of memory-intensive applications. Our new six-core AMD Opteron processors are more energy efficient than our previous generation quad-core processors. Furthermore, the six-core AMD Opteron processors leverage existing platform infrastructure and a low-cost, power-efficient DDR-2 memory architecture, a memory technology used for high speed storage of working data, which can help lower system acquisition costs for end users. High performance computing (HPC), virtualization and database workloads can also benefit from the increased memory bandwidth enabled by HyperTransport™ technology and HT Assist, which helps reduce processor to processor latency and traffic. Finally, AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™) technology and the AMD-P suite of power management features are available across all performance and power bands, so that our customers do not have to compromise on saving power in order to obtain the highest performing product.
Client Notebook. There has been a shift in consumer demand towards thinner and lighter notebook platforms with longer battery life. To participate in this market shift, we are increasing our investment in low power notebook platforms. In January 2009, we launched the “Yukon” platform, which was our code name for our first generation ultrathin notebook platform. The Yukon platform incorporates the AMD Athlon Neo processor with ATI Radeon™ X1250 integrated graphics and ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3410 discrete graphics. The Yukon platform offers a complete PC experience at lower price points. Our second generation
AMD Ultrathin notebook platform launched in September 2009 incorporates the AMD Turion™ Neo X2 Dual-Core Processor. This platform provides up to six hours of resting battery life and superior video performance.
Our microprocessors for notebook PC platforms consist of the AMD Turion™ X2 Mobile Processor, AMD Turion X2 Ultra Mobile Processor, AMD Turion™ Neo X2 Mobile Processor, Mobile AMD Sempron™ processor, and the AMD Athlon™ Neo and AMD Athlon Neo X2 processors. We design our mobile processor products for high performance, long battery life and wireless support.
AMD Turion X2 Ultra Mobile Processors are our most advanced dual-core processor family for notebook PCs. This technology supports leading-edge graphics for the visual experience provided by the Windows® 7 operating system, long battery life, and enhanced security and compatibility with the latest wireless technologies and graphics solutions. In addition, the process used to manufacture AMD Turion X2 Ultra Mobile Processors results in a thermally efficient processor and low power consumption.
Client Desktop. Our microprocessors for desktop PC platforms consist primarily of the following tiered product brands: AMD Phenom™ II, AMD Phenom, AMD Athlon II, AMD Athlon X2, AMD Athlon and AMD Sempron processors. All AMD desktop microprocessors are based on AMD Direct Connect Architecture.
In January 2009, we introduced a desktop platform product codenamed “Dragon.” The Dragon platform is a combination of the AMD Phenom II X4 microprocessor, the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series graphics processor and the AMD 7-Series chipset. The Dragon platform provides enthusiasts, gamers and other demanding users with an affordable system capable of delivering a graphic-intensive gaming experience. The Dragon platform works with existing DDR2 memory infrastructures and is designed to work with the upcoming DDR3 memory that is transitioning into the marketplace. We refreshed the Dragon platform in April 2009 to include the new AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor, ATI Radeon™ HD 4890 graphics card and AMD 7-Series chipsets.
In January 2009, we introduced the AMD Phenom II 9000 series of microprocessors. The AMD Phenom II 9000 processors are true quad-core processors designed for high performance desktop PCs. The true quad-core design enables cores to communicate on the die rather than through a front side bus external to the processor, thereby reducing a bottleneck inherent in other competing x86 architectures. Additionally, our Direct Connect Architecture allows all four cores to have optimum access to the integrated memory controller and integrated HyperTransport links, so that performance scales well with the number of cores. This design also incorporates a shared L3 cache for quicker data access and enables end users to upgrade from dual-core systems. In addition, AMD Phenom II microprocessors also feature Cool’n’Quiet 3.0 technology that we designed to enhance energy efficiency.
We design the AMD Athlon processors for advanced multitasking on mainstream desktop PCs, and they are currently available with single or dual-core technology. Refreshes of AMD Athlon X2 product occurred in April and June of 2009, marking the ten year anniversary of the AMD Athlon product family. We designed the AMD Athlon dual-core processors for users who run software applications, such as productivity applications, multimedia applications and basic content creation, simultaneously. With AMD Athlon dual-core processors, for example, an end-user may be able to perform multiple tasks with uninterrupted performance. In addition, AMD Athlon dual-core processors enable systems to have the ability to simultaneously download audio files such as MP3s, record to digital media devices, check and write email and edit a digital photo, all without compromising performance.
We design AMD Sempron processors for everyday computing and provide performance for entry-level productivity and entertainment software for the mainstream segment.
Embedded Processor Products
Our embedded products address customer needs in PC-adjacent markets. Typically our embedded products are used in applications that require high to moderate levels of performance where key features include low cost, mobility, low power and small form factor. Customers of our embedded products include vendors in industrial controls, digital signage, point of sale/self-service kiosks, and casino gaming machines as well as enterprise class telecommunications, networking and storage systems.
The embedded market has moved from developing proprietary, custom designs to leveraging the industry-standard x86 instruction set architecture as a way to reduce costs and speed time to market. Emerging requirements for these systems include: very low power for small enclosures and 24x7 operation, support for Linux, Windows and other operating systems, and high-performance for increasingly sophisticated applications. Other requirements include advanced specifications for industrial temperatures, shock and vibration, and reliability.
Our embedded products include options from the AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon, AMD Turion, and AMD Sempron processor families; the ATI Radeon graphics processor family; and numerous AMD chipsets. These products are part of the AMD Longevity Program, which provides for an availability period of five years in order to support lengthy development and qualification cycles and long-term life of the system in the market.
In June 2009, we introduced two new embedded client products: the dual-core AMD Turion™ Neo X2 processor and the AMD Athlon™ Neo X2 processor. These processors deliver PC-caliber performance in a very low power envelope with an embedded-friendly ball grid array (BGA) package and are used in traditional embedded applications such as single board computing and thin client systems, as well as self-service kiosks, point of sale machines and digital signage. The BGA package helps alleviate potential reliability issues for systems that are deployed in rugged environments and has a low z-height that we designed to enable thin, compact enclosures.
In September 2009, we announced a new enterprise-class embedded platform based on the 45 nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron processor and the new AMD SR5690 chipset, allowing high-end embedded vendors to enable increased performance-per-watt for edge-of-network systems such as telecom/datacom, storage, and security servers, and routers and switches. This platform enables increased performance for virtualized and multi-threaded embedded applications and advanced power management features.
The chipset sends data between the microprocessor and input, display and storage devices, such as the keyboard, mouse, monitor, hard drive and CD or DVD drive. Chipsets perform essential logic functions, such as balancing the performance of the system and removing bottlenecks. Chipsets also extend the graphics, audio, video and other capabilities of computer systems. All desktop, notebook and server PCs incorporate a chipset. In many PCs, the chipset is integrated with additional functions such as a GPU. An integrated chipset solution is commonly known as an IGP (integrated graphics processor) chipset. Chipsets that do not integrate a graphics core are referred to as discrete chipsets. By eliminating the need for a discrete GPU, IGP chipsets offer a lower cost solution and in some circumstances can offer reduced power consumption or smaller system form factors. A majority of desktop and notebook PCs make use of IGP chipsets, while discrete chipsets are used in higher performance PCs and servers.
Our portfolio of chipset products includes IGP and discrete chipsets targeting desktop, notebook and embedded computing segments. In August 2009, we introduced the AMD-785G chipset for notebooks with ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics. Like their predecessors launched in 2008, these chipsets directly integrate support for the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and Digital Visual Interface (DVI) digital display standards used in many flat panel monitors and HD televisions.
The semiconductor graphics market addresses the need for visual processing in various computing and entertainment platforms such as desktop PCs, notebook PCs and workstations. Users of these products value a rich visual experience, particularly in the high-end enthusiast market where consumers seek out the fastest and highest performing visual processing products to deliver the most compelling and immersive gaming experiences. Moreover, for many consumers, the PC is evolving from a traditional data and communications processing machine to an entertainment platform. Visual realism and graphical display capabilities are key elements of product differentiation among various product platforms. This has led to the increasing creation and use of processing intensive multimedia content for PCs and to PC manufacturers creating more PCs designed for playing games, displaying photos and capturing TV and other multimedia content creating more PCs designed for playing games, viewing online videos, photo editing and managing digital content. In turn, the trend has contributed to the development of higher performance graphics solutions.
The primary product of a semiconductor graphics supplier is the GPU. The GPU off-loads the burden of graphics processing from the CPU. In this way, a dedicated GPU and CPU work in tandem to increase overall speed and performance of the system. A graphics solution can be in the form of either a stand-alone graphics chip or an integrated chipset solution. To further improve graphics processing performance, semiconductor graphics suppliers have introduced multi-GPU technologies that increase graphics processing speed by dividing graphics rendering and display capability among two or more graphics processors. At the same time that the visual experience is growing in importance, semiconductor graphics suppliers are recognizing the potential of leveraging the GPU’s computing capabilities to accelerate certain workloads.
Our customers generally use our graphics to increase the speed of rendering images and to improve image resolution and color definition. Our products include 3D graphics and video and multimedia products developed for use in desktop and notebook PCs, including home media PCs, professional workstations and servers. With each of our graphics products, we provide drivers and supporting software packages that enable the effective use of these products under a variety of operating systems and applications. Our latest generation of graphics products and related software offer full support for the Microsoft® Windows 7® operating system. In addition to the Microsoft® Windows® family of operating systems, our graphics products support Apple’s Mac OS X, as well as Linux® -based applications.
Heavy computational workloads have traditionally been processed on a CPU, but we believe that the industry is shifting to a new computing paradigm that relies more on the GPU or a combination of GPU and CPU. Stream technology or GPGPU (General Purpose GPU) refers to a set of advanced hardware and software technologies that enable AMD GPUs, working in concert with the computer system’s CPUs, to accelerate applications beyond traditional graphics and video processing by allowing the CPUs and GPUs to process information cooperatively. Heterogeneous computing enables PCs and servers to run computationally-intensive tasks more efficiently, providing a superior application experience to the end user. In addition, our latest generation of graphics products offers full support for the Microsoft DirectX® 11 and OpenCL application programming interface standards which enable the handling of key multimedia tasks such as gaming programming and video. OpenCL is the widely adopted industry standard for running parallel tasks on CPUs and GPUs using the same code. As the only hardware provider in the industry designing and delivering both high-performance CPU and GPU technologies, AMD is also the only company providing a complete OpenCL development platform for the entire system.
Discrete Desktop Graphics. Our discrete GPUs for desktop PCs include the ATI Radeon HD 5700 and 5800 series of products targeting the enthusiast and performance segments of the desktop PC market as well as other ATI Radeon Premium graphics series targeting the mainstream and value segments. In September 2009, we launched the ATI Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 each with 1GB GDDR5 memory. With the ATI Radeon™ HD 5800 series of graphics cards, PC users can expand their computing experience with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology and accelerate their computing experience with ATI Stream technology. ATI Eyefinity is a technology that allows a game to be played seamlessly across multiple screens in a panoramic view with minimal distortion by allowing up to six monitors to be connected to one graphics card. In November 2009, we released the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970. Combined with the AMD Phenom II processor and the AMD 7-series chipset, this GPU further bolsters the capability of the “Dragon” performance desktop platform.
With the availability of Microsoft® Windows 7™ and Microsoft DirectX™ 11, HD video standards like Blu-ray™ and the availability of PCI Express 2.0, graphics capability is becoming an increasingly important aspect of a computer system.
Discrete Notebook Graphics. When selecting a graphics solution, key considerations for notebook PC manufacturers are visual performance, power consumption, form factor and cost. In January 2009, we launched our next generation of graphics processors for notebooks, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series of products. These products bring the power of desktop graphics to mobile users, allowing users to have life-like gaming experience, watch Blu-ray movies and play HD content with high visual fidelity while maintaining energy efficiency with ATI PowerPlay™ power management technology for long battery life. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series support multi-GPU hybrid graphics, external graphics capabilities and Microsoft DirectX™ 10.1. This product line includes the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4800 series for gaming enthusiasts, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4600 for multimedia performance notebooks, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4500 for mainstream notebooks and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4300 for value and ultra-thin notebooks. These GPUs offer HDMI video and audio support, reduce CPU utilization, extend battery life and improve the visual quality of HD video playback, such as from Blu-ray disc drives.
Professional Graphics. Our products for the professional workstation market consist of our ATI FirePro™, ATI FireGL™ and FireMV™ product families. We designed our FirePro3D and ATI FireGL graphics cards for demanding 3D applications such as computer-aided design and digital content creation, with drivers specifically tuned for maximum stability and reliability across a wide range of software packages. We designed our ATI FirePro Multiview and FireMV 2D workstation cards for financial and corporate environments. We also provide products for the server market, where we leverage our graphics expertise and align our offerings to provide stability, video quality and bus architectures that our server customers desire. Through our ATI CrossFireTM Pro, we enable computer aided designers and digital content creators to connect two identical ATI FirePro™ 3D graphics cards with a flex cable connection that can boost performance of geometry-limited applications.
FireStream Processors. We designed our AMD FireStream™ series of products to utilize the parallel processing power of the GPU for heavy floating point computations and to better meet the requirements of various industries, such as the high-performance computing, scientific and financial resources sectors.
Game Consoles. Semiconductor graphics suppliers have leveraged their core visual and graphics processing technologies developed for the PC market by providing graphic solutions to game console manufacturers. In this market, semiconductor graphics suppliers work alongside game console manufacturers to enhance the visual experience for users of sophisticated video games. We leverage our core visual processing technology into the game console market by providing customized GPUs for graphics in the Microsoft® Xbox 360™and Nintendo Wii videogame consoles.
As of December 26, 2009, we had approximately 10,400 employees, and GF had approximately 3,000 employees.