Business Today

AMD and cheap chips

The #2 chip maker is eyeing mobile devices for growth.

By Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: Sept 23, 2007

Rick Hegberg, senior vice-President (Sales), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the world's second-largest microprocessor maker, is not unduly perturbed about market leader Intel's resurgence in the microprocessor market. That's because Hegberg feels AMD is making the right bets across the spectrum. In the high-end of the market, AMD has bought (for $5.4 billion) ATI, a graphics card maker, and is bringing in more high-end graphics solutions.

But it is towards the lower-end of the market that AMD is making most of its moves. Recently, the company introduced its Geode processor in devices in India. This relatively cheap processor consumes only 1 watt of electricity, running a lot cooler than conventional processors. "We are introducing processes that will make processors in this segment of the market much more capable. At the same time by innovating in manufacturing, we are trying to enhance affordability as well," says Hegberg.

He is also excited about AMD's move to smarter mobile devices. "Not just laptops, even your average mobile device is becoming smarter nowadays, and this means that mobiles need more processing power and this is an area that AMD is investing heavily in," he says. AMD's processors are already present in LG's Prada smart-phone, and Hegberg says that several more devices with AMD processors will come out soon, "We are working with all major phone manufacturers on this front", he says, "the mobile phone is the next computer." Unfortunately for AMD, its cross-town rival knows that as well.

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