Phil Hester, senior VP and chief Technology Officer of computer chip maker AMD, was in India recently. He spoke to Business Today's Rahul Sachitanand on the semiconductor market. Excerpts:
What are the trends in the semiconductor market?
The applications that people run are getting much more media-rich; e-mail and spreadsheets are not going away but you're seeing the emergence of a generation of rich-media content such as 3d gaming, etc. The microprocessor that goes into the next generation client (notebook or desktop) needs to be optimised for this new environment.
What are the primary challenges for chip designers?
The prevalent challenge is power per Watt per dollar. If I design a server that has 50 per cent better performance, but uses 50 per cent more power, I have achieved nothing. On the other hand, if I develop one that has 10 per cent lower performance but 50 per cent better economy, I can deploy it elsewhere.
How important is India to AMD?
A lot of the work on our Fusion chip will be done out of India. The limitations to our growth here are not due to a talent crunch, but due to government regulations, which prevent AMD from bringing some work to India and, instead, compel us to look at Russia or Israel.
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