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  • AMD names Intel/LSI vet head of its PC CPU/GPU division [View news story]
    According to LinkedIn, spent 8 years @ Intel early in his career in processor design & planning. Then 9 years @LSI in progressively more senior management roles. Seems like a decent background to me esp. with respect to Server.
    Jun 1, 2015. 06:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD's 2015 Desktop Market: Misery Loves (The) Company [View article]
    Upon reflection, I disagree some:

    #1 performance - agreed, AMD not in the game at all against i5+ higher.
    #2 Budget/value - much better but I think their APU's are not properly priced, the premium is too much. If G3258 is head on with X4 860 @$70 or so, no APU In my opinion should be over $100. $30 for slightly faster value part + integrated graphics is more than enough. Why AMD insists here is beyond me - probably they think their APU is this and that but it still has a ball chain called shared DDR3 memory. If AMD was priced right ie no triple digit APUs, they would do much better.

    #3 - For unknown reasons (too much DT inventory, not enough Carrizo for mobile OEMs?), Carrizo is not POR on the desktop for AMD. But if it was, it has some attractive attributes: it's low power, its integrated and it has good graphics. The integration, form factor and power alone could save $25 (my guess). The power savings over 5 years might be 0.1kwh (125W vs 25W) x 8x5x52x5 x $0.15 = $150. When desktops are going for $300, saving half on energy alone is very significant. I feel this would an attractive battleground for AMD because at that power draw, performance overall may not be deficient after all.

    Question is, is a 25W mobile APU a desktop? I think it is.
    May 29, 2015. 07:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD Bonds: How Much Time Is Really Left On The Clock? [View article]
    Excellent piece, thank you.
    May 29, 2015. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD: Bankruptcy By 2020 Unlikely, Further Downside Still A High Probability [View article]
    Definitely. AMD seems very focused now, which is a very good thing. Reminds me of that old investment expression - "we'll run out of cash before we run out of deals" - same for R&D projects - and AMD certainly appear to have chosen wisely.
    May 28, 2015. 05:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD: Bankruptcy By 2020 Unlikely, Further Downside Still A High Probability [View article]
    AMD bonds reminds me of those high yield MBS circa 2008. High yield greed honey trap.

    The PC market is declining, AMD has to gain share to survive/prosper. To gain share, they have to have better products that compete favourably with Intel's higher end stack. Otherwise, its meet comp city baby and in such case, AMD is bringing a pencil to a gun fight - this business of subsidizing tablets has ruffled more than a few feathers of some much bigger birds, I suspect at some point Intel will be more than happy to retreat, then all barrels will be pointed at AMD.

    So its a product issue not a financial one. Will Zen perform? Will 14nm FF yield? Will HBM be cost effective? Will the next GCN catch up? Will Carrizo one up Intel? In a timely manner? If they all do, grandslam. If some, homerun. If fail, ya know.

    AMD is a casino and casinos are for gambling - I personally like the odds and the payout. Not a place for junk bonds at least not for small timers, leave it to the pros.

    R&D budget doesn't mean that much. If it did, why are big companies buying up so many start ups? They have more R&D then them, right? Just look at ATI circa 2006, smaller R&D budget then now (and probably a lot more outsourcing today), they were fine then. Where big companies have an advantage is their currency - they can buy start ups for very little dilution and thus pay a lot more.
    May 28, 2015. 12:03 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Micro Devices Will Live To Fight Another Battle [View article]
    Dear speculative* investors (if you're here, that's what you are), the assumption behind the fear, uncertainty and doubt discussion around change of control and the x86 license is that AMD is not viable and a strategic investor/change of control is the only way out. When really, the outcome is uncertain - penny stock is a possibility as is 10x share price. There are many such examples in tech, Micron most recently.
    May 23, 2015. 06:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Micro Devices Will Live To Fight Another Battle [View article]
    Vlad, I've been around the industry for 30 years. I've seen Intel slip on banana peels more than once, usually because they were overconfident, just like you are now.

    I've read - and we'll find out soon enough - that Carrizo outperforms Intel on graphics and battery life based on 15W SDP, despite the seriously trailing manufacturing process, the broken architecture and the memory bottleneck. If I'm Intel, that's a scary thought.
    May 23, 2015. 04:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Micro Devices Will Live To Fight Another Battle [View article]
    Vlad, I think what you're saying is you're concerned about Intel if AMD executes to plan. I share your concern.

    Right now AMD has the worst processors on an old process and they still survive.

    If AMD thru a combination of a better process and a better core with ZEN significantly narrows the performance gap, that will have a positive impact on AMD's bottom line and valuation and a negative impact on Intel's. We all know why - ASP (average sell price) and marketshare.

    That's not even the biggest upside for AMD - that would be the use of HBM (high bandwidth memory) in APUs - this is going to completely change the game in my opinion.

    As far as Intel on GPU, I will believe it when I see it. They've been at it for what, 20 years (remember i740?)? If anything, HBM will exacerbate Intel's weakness in this area.
    May 22, 2015. 12:32 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Advanced Micro Devices Will Live To Fight Another Battle [View article]
    I think financially AMD will be ok, I don't see the immediate concern. The WSA with Global Foundries was a big part of the liability in the past but recent changes are pointing to a healthier relationship, as does adopting standard processes. I also think they could cut costs further if they had to which they don't so they won't.

    The products is the biggest opportunity and challenge. Short term, HBM based GPUs and Carrizo are steps in the right direction. They definitely need ZEN and 16nm FinFet ? to come thru in 2016 though.

    HBM will also be a game changer for APUs though that's probably in the 2017 timeframe.

    At current share price, risk reward is good. The greed inside me would like it to get down to the low $1's but that's probably unrealistic.
    May 21, 2015. 03:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD's Processor Roadmap And Its Implications For Consoles [View article]
    The other factor is that a ZEN based APU might not be great value.

    Like right now, I can put together an 860K + R7 265 bundle that vastly outperforms an A10-7850K (ex 3x faster on Firestrike GPU benchmark) graphics wise for practically the same $$$. Obviously its expected that a ZEN based APU would outperform either on processor benchmarks but would it match the above bundles' GPU performance? I doubt it.
    May 21, 2015. 03:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD's Processor Roadmap And Its Implications For Consoles [View article]
    Get the Athlon X4 860K (its a Kaveri 7850K I believe with the GPU disabled). After typical rebate, you could get it for $70. Motherboard will be around $40. You'll have to add a video card but the value in the $110-150 range is tremendous at the moment.
    May 21, 2015. 02:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD's Processor Roadmap And Its Implications For Consoles [View article]
    ^ Agreed.

    At one point AMD was running 3 x86 designs concurrently (BD, Bobcat, Llano), they all worked well to varying degrees short term but mid term not so much. Focus is a better strategy.

    Moreover, the inflection point going forward in gaming will be HBM, its the elephant in the room. Not only for graphics cards but also I speculate for Console but most importantly for APU's - not only to win back share from Intel but to deliver a blow to NVIDIA as well.

    I would be shocked if ZEN did not take full advantage of CAT know-how. We'll get a glimpse of lessons learned with Carrizo (not -L) when it launches as rumor has that it significantly improves perf./watt despite being on the same process.

    Again I'm far from being an expert but it seems the custom gloflo 32nm process was as much part of the problem as the original BD design; at the same time, that was part of CAT cores' advantage, that it was built on standard process first on 40nm then on 28nm. In this context, the next generation process being licensed from Samsung will be more akin to the latter.

    AMD is absolutely moving in the right direction - finally.
    May 20, 2015. 01:26 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Scenarios Which Can Significantly Lower Our Valuation For AMD [View article]
    @Fiberton, agreed with your first sentence, disagree on your second.

    The reason is average sell price. As you know, Intel cannot afford to sell all their parts for $70, they sell lower performing parts at those price points. Even then, they have an unlocked G3258 there today which wasn't there when I bought my i3 a year ago. If AMD improves their offerings, Intel has to bring some higher priced, higher performing skus down the stack.

    Therefore, AMD doesn't need to match Intel's performance, they need to narrow the gap.

    Intel is already at the leading edge of processor and fabrication development, based on economic laws of diminishing returns, they have to expend more and more R&D to get less and less improvement. Whereas AMD is still on a 3-4 year old 28nm process with a processor design that went backwards from 6 years ago!

    So in all likelihood, AMD will narrow that gap. And when they do, the result will fall somewhere between Intel meet comping AMD across the board and foregoing Billions in profits to maintain market share, and AMD reaping the benefits from higher ASPs and improved market share.

    HBM is very important to AMD because first, it helps their brand, market share and bottom line short-term until they've ported designs over to GF's finfet and until Zen is released. Btw, there were benchmarks leaked today, very impressive if true.

    And secondly, it will be I believe a game changer in APUs if AMD chooses to implement it (they'd be crazy not to) - any performance shortcoming on DDR3 today will be exacerbated by HBM in my opinion (I also like the simplicity of the talking point - this AMD comes with this new HBM memory (sic) technology). Especially that computation is less important than graphics in Consumer - look at the benchmarks, most of them focus on gaming. Look at how big the Consumer Console market is, its certainly not for its computation power.

    That's my take at least. Remains a highly speculative stock but I can see upside here from one or more of HBM, a more updated manufacturing process and a new core.
    May 15, 2015. 07:51 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AMD's Financial Analyst Day: What Did We Learn? [View article]
    Fortunately for AMD, HBM is probably the elephant in the room. Explains their bullish 2nd half forecast.
    May 15, 2015. 02:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Scenarios Which Can Significantly Lower Our Valuation For AMD [View article]
    On the upside, HBM will probably be a significant win. Memory has always been a game changer in the GPU field. Seems AMD made a shrewd decision to focus on HBM.

    Also, I find it interesting that AMD has positioned HBM into 3 different segments from the get go: enthusiast gaming, desktop OEM, and mobile. That indicates to me that they have sufficient supply from Hynix. Looking at the 3 markets:

    - enthusiast gaming. I think its a given they'll do well there.

    - desktop OEM. That's a strange one but it probably accomplishes 2 things: gives a boost to their relationships with OEMs who at this point must be looking for any and all avenues to improve sales and margins; and it could obviously help lagging processor sales.

    - mobile - with the lower power that HBM draws, that's obviously a natural plus of course the reduced pcb real estate. More importantly, it gives AMD an advantage over Intel/Nvidia that they have no response to.

    That also leaves them room to grow the HBM business further in retail down the road as supply improves. And of course, the biggest game changer would be in APUs. Very significant performance boost probably, lower power, a lot less pcb real estate. They could ride this for 2-3 years easily. What's nice about HBM is it should generate a lot of excitement in the moribund PC business.

    To me, HBM and Carrizo explains their confident 2nd half forecast both top line and improved margins. Finally a win for AMD in PC?

    I'd be interested to hear others' opinion on this.
    May 15, 2015. 02:28 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment