AMD's Analyst Meeting

AMD trying to be the next VIA? At least this is the impression I got. AMD seemed to be trying its best to convey the message that performance no longer matters. Sure, they showed a couple of slides and a demo of an enthusiast system that throws off everyone to think that they care about the insignificant niche of gamers and overclockers. But their primary message of focusing on efficiency rather than performance rings louder and nauseatingly repetitive. They keep talking about giving customers choice. How about they start giving their customers something that competes in the high-end segment. Having only "value" products doesn't sound like choice to me.

I can truthfully say that AMD is doing a good job of trying to fool itself into thinking that the desire of the market shifted to performance-per-watt the exact moment they lost the performance crown to Intel. The moment you can tell when the spin logic falls apart is when AMD tried to answer the question about "returning to profitability" in Q4'07. According to AMD, in order to return to profitability they need to improved their top-line (revenue). They keep trumpeting about how unimportant performance is for their customers while at the same time they seem to have forgotten that their company was making healthy profits right when they had the performance crown.

AMD showed some Barcelona benchmarks only to prove once and for all that the game of leapfrogging which they mentioned just a few quarters ago no longer exist. This supposedly next generation Barcelona core is only as good as Intel's 2.66Ghz Xeon. AMD also showed a "demo" of a 3Ghz Phenom with 3 graphics card. But is it really Phenom because I bet you can make that same demo using a 3Ghz Athlon? The lack of a complete suite of benchmarks only strengthens the concerns about the readiness and availability of these parts.

Also presented are AMD's future products segmented into the Fusion, Bulldozer and Bobcat platforms. While it was interesting to see what AMD is planning not only on the PC space but only on the Consumer Electronics segment, I think I can speak for many that we really would like to see Barcelona successfully ramp first. We'd also like to see how AMD survives for the next few quarters before they could talk about things further down the road. Unfortunately, no details were provided about asset-lite. I'm beginning to wonder if it's more like a strategy-lite problem.

Overall, a lot of self-serving and back-patting hype with nothing substantial to address the current problems both in terms of product competitiveness and financial performance. There was a lot of talk about the successes in the past and intriguing products in the future all the while ignoring the big white elephant in the room - $600M losses per quarter. Now with a very boring corporate agenda that is seemingly similar to VIA in terms of offering mostly "value" products, I can only imagine how abandoned AMD's fanatics feel. I haven't seen a single VIA fan out there because there was no reason to be one. What is the point of supporting AMD and its "value propositions"?


Anonymous said...

I think Scientia will like it. That's all the world needs, is a happy widow, happy marketing from his new "wife".

13ringinheat said...

Thats a low blow man you need not insult him personally like that.

You may disagree/agree with his opinions as do i but no one deserves to get their personal stuff used against them like that.........

enumae said...

I agree with 13ringinheat... some lines can't be crossed.

SPARKS said...

"I think Scientia will like it. That's all the world needs, is a happy widow, happy marketing from his new "wife"."

Soren Kierkegaard, an existentialist Philosopher, wrote a book titled,'Sickness unto Death'. You should check it out.

Empathy is an excellent quality in a well rounded, complete human being, now more than ever.


Ho Ho said...

I wonder why 2P 2GHz quadcore Barcelona is slower in SpecFP_rate than 2P 2GHz dualcore K8. Can anyone analyze it? Links are in Scientias blog in some of my later post.

Anonymous said...

Hey good thing they pushed out this meeting - did you catch all of the talk about DTX and the F30 conversion?

That is why they pushed the meeting out right (according to Scientia).

While I'm not in favor of deleting comments - Robo would you consider deleting the first comment please? It's uncalled for and out of hand.

Anonymous said...

It would nice to see foils and contrast it to last years... From the reports I have read it's been more about future products than current trends and how great the manufacturing and technology is (yield plots showing faster time ot mature yields, aggressive ramps, NY expansion).

I hope they post it on their website.

BTW - I wonder if the media hypocrites will call AMD out on the "end of price cuts comments" as AMD is preparing to slash Opteron prices.

Most 'droids will call this just a cut to clear inventories in advance of K10, of course these are the same 'droids that said Intel's P4 cuts in advance of Core2 introduction was a 'price war'.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I mean widower:(

Anonymous said...

AMD delays Dresden plant expansion by 'several quarters' due to financial woes

Maybe Scienta and other AMD fanbois can adjust their capacity expectations accordingly.


Anonymous said...

AMD may buy Via.

Why not? They're pretty much run ATI into the ground.

So why not DAAMITIVA?

Anonymous said...

I like competition. Please let DAAMIT sink its own course!

Anonymous said...

"It would nice to see foils and contrast it to last years... "

What is a foil? Is that like the stuff they wrap the BBQ take-out ribs I buy once in a while? Or is it like the material that the hat Sharikou wears is made of? Or both?

Anonymous said...

http://www.bit-tech.net/columns/2007/07/29/logical_conclusions/1 cool

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

For a humorous look at AMD's analyst meeting go over to Scientia's....the guy has lost it....

"Apparently AMD's success with the yields at 65nm has allowed them to push back the upgrade schedule for FAB 30."

Huh? Yeah nothing to do with AMD bleeding money - they're so successful with capacity they don;t need to add as much... yeah that's it... If 65nm is so good why not PULL-IN (or at least continue on schedule with) the conversion which would allow AMD to be EVEN MORE COST COMPETITIVE... do you think he actually believes what he writes? Hey guys - our yields are so good...I figure we'll just slow down a bit - continue grinding out 90nm chips...we got time, no need to hurry...

"AMD's financial problems are not over, of course, but it should be able to steadily improve its losses over the next three quarters"

Hmmm... AMD said break even in Q4 (2 quarters)... I believe someone is setting himself up by saying look they beat what I expected them to do... some call this sandbagging.

"Realistically, the 3.0Ghz chip could have been cherry picked. And, it generally takes about six months for production to catch up to a cherry picked chip. So, I can't imagine that 3.0Ghz would arrive later than Q1 08."

Did he not just say several blogs ago that one of the differences between AMD and Intel was that AMD DOESN'T CHERYYPICK chips for demos - that was the reason they were showing off 1.6GHz Barcelonas...by that outstanding logic AMD has either changed its strategy or tey should have 3.0GHz chips immediately available no?

Just curious any info on Vcore, temps, power (other than the 1200 Watt POWER SUPPLY!)...was this, I don't know, maybe...overclocked?

"AMD is already counting DTX as a success for 2007"

Here's what it said on the slide:
'DTX strong eco-system support with first planned platforms for late 2007/early 2008' Where exactly is AMD already counting this as a success? For someone who touted DTX and the one of the reasons they pushed back the analyst meeting only to have DTX constitute one small bullet on one slide... smashing SUCCESS!

And did you see the US retail graphs - HOLY SPIN and playing with graphs batman!

The graph plots flat from Q2'05 to Q4'06, with data points every quarter... it THEN GOES FROM Q4'06 to Q2'07 directly showing a nice jump... wow great...what's wrong with this?

Q1 WAS OMMITTED! Wonder why? I'll let folks guess / figure this one out ... UNBELIEVABLE crap they're trying to pull on the analysts... And I'm sure folks like Scientia and Shari-kook are lapping this up blissfully unaware of what it would look like if Q1'07 and Q2'07 (not just Jul'07) were plotted. It is kind of funny though... What they had Jul'07 data but no data on Q1'07 or Q2'07...

Like a good magician you see only what AMD wants you to see...

Anonymous said...

...oh and on the graph they also messed with the scale on the X-axis and the space between Q4'07 anf Jul14 is shorter to make the slope of the line look bigger...

Man that's really tweaking things...

...kind of funny though...plot every quarter and then, I don't know, let's skip 2 data points and just show Jul 14... and we'll tweak the x-axis a bit...

Hey Henri - is the slope big enough I can continue to alter the x-axis to make it look even steep if you'd like... also I took out the Q1 and Q2 data points like you asked so now it looks like we are just making steady upward progress...

Anonymous said...

Scientia is a crazy crazy man. I mean he's lost his wife but is it that hard to keep it together?

Deleter said...

How dare you politely correct me! *delete*

Oh CSI isn't broken? *delete*

*save face*

- One and only Deleter AKA Scientia.

Axel said...

Since Scientia has a nasty habit of deleting / editing posts that don't jive with his worldview, I will be copying this post onto Roborat64's safe haven for blogger comments where I don't have to worry about censorship reminiscent of fascist times.

I could be wrong, but it's pretty clear to me that AMD not showing any benchmarks from the 3 GHz Phenom "demo" pretty much confirms that K10 will not compete with Penryn clock-for-clock. Cannibalization of current K8 sales is a non-argument. The vast majority of AMD's K8 sales are to OEMs, to customers who could care less about a Phenom demo and wouldn't know the difference between K10 and the original Pentium. Most of the enthusiasts who would care about the demo have already jumped onto the C2D / C2Q bandwagon anyway.

AMD would cannibalize an insignificant amount of sales if they showed off shockingly fast K10 benchmarks. OEM sales would be unaffected. Tech-savvy IT pros responsible for major server purchases aren't buying Opterons right now, they're hanging on for K10 benchmarks! It would be dumb for an IT pro to buy K8 when much better performance per watt is right around the corner. Enthusiasts have either already jumped to Intel or are waiting for K10 anyway. So exactly whose sales would be cannibalized?

No. The only logical explanation is that K10 isn't all that. It's not going to bring ASPs up enough to bring AMD back into the black. Inexpensive quad-core Penryns will be a far better value. Intel is apparently preparing a 45nm assault of massive proportions. According to TGDaily, in Q2 08 45nm will make up 50% of Intel's notebook CPU shipments!


Anonymous said...

Widows just want to have fun!

Axel said...

Another long comment to Scientia's blog about Analyst Day that I decided to copy here because:
a) In case he deletes / edits it.
b) It's germaine to the discussion in this blog as well.


Axel, you can give any opinion you want as long as you don't flame.

Several of my comments over the past couple months have either been deleted wholesale or edited here and I have never flamed. My latest comment about fascism is the closest I've come to flaming.

And I have seen countless comments by others mysteriously disappear or re-appear in an altered form. You can go back and check your repository, then you'll see the truth about what you've been deleting. A good half of the deleted / edited comments have been germaine to the topic at hand and offered meaningful insight.

Therefore I will continue to copy my posts to Roborat's blog (including this one) until I see a positive change towards respect for freedom of speech in your moderation. In fact I post it there first before hitting the publish button here. I've already been burned several times and it's a pain to lose a comment that took a good ten or fifteen minutes to compose. Trust me, you are deleting more than flamer comments. Just take a look at your records.

We know that Intel's sales were cannibalized in 2006. So now you would have to explain how it could happen to Intel but not happen to AMD.

Can you supply a link proving that Intel's P4 sales were cannibalized specifically due to the C2D benchmarks that were shown during the Spring IDF? I don't think you'll be able to convincingly show any such thing. Intel was losing ground in P4 sales and marketshare well before IDF as K8 was rapidly gaining mindshare and acceptance. I would venture that only IT pros and enthusiasts were really interested in the IDF benchmarks. Around that time, both of these groups were far more likely to purchase AMD K8s than the inefficient Intel P4s.

No. What the IDF benchmarks and circulating engineering samples accomplished was more to cannibalize *K8 sales* than *P4 sales*. Tens of thousands of Intel users who were ready to go AMD after running P4 furnaces for a couple years or AMD users who were ready to upgrade to the next Opteron or Athlon64 X2 saw the IDF benchmarks, stopped, and decided to wait. Then they checked out xtremesystems and saw how fast these ES Conroes were. None of these people was about to buy a P4. Why would people in the know buy a P4 when a next generation product is around the corner? So the benchmarks simply changed their original decision from
- Buy K8
- Wait FOR C2D.
Cannibalization of P4 sales due to pre-release benchmarks doesn't even come into the picture.

OEM sales in Q2 06? Unaffected by the IDF benchmarks and ES Conroes floating around. The average Joe didn't see the benchmarks, didn't care, doesn't know what IDF even is. He bought the K8 or P4 that he was going to buy anyway, decision completely unaffected by the benchmark hoopla.
Now I'll grant you that P4 sales were cannibalized AFTER the release of Conroe. But that's not the issue, we're specifically discussing AMD's reluctance to share pre-release performance information.

By showing impressive benchmarks now, AMD would at least forestall purchases of C2D/C2Q products even if their own K8 sales would not improve. But of course AMD can't show impressive benchmarks because, well, they're not that impressive.

Anonymous said...

It just gets better and better.
Posting it here because Scientia will probably nuke it from his blog.

AMD's Phenom another PR fiasco?


Roborat, Ph. D. said...

I think the press are starting to talk after all the fun fare and glitter of the new powerpoint slides disappear. The bottomline is AMD still hasn't shown anything working. It's hard to look far when there's a ditch in your path.

from link:

Apparently AMD has a different take on the matter as at some point during the AMD Analyst Day presentations AMD demoed a PC brimful of all the best the company has to offer: a 3GHz quad-core Phenom, triple HD2900 graphics cards, fitted onto a motherboard featuring AMD's own RD790 chipset. You'd think that this would be the defining moment, the instance in time that would mark AMD's return as a viable competitor to archrival Intel. If AMD ever had a window of opportunity that they desperately needed to cash in on, a golden opportunity so to speak, to impress the media and shareholders present, this certainly would have been it.

But true to their dismal PR record they choose to ignore this golden opportunity to show to the world that they have indeed got the goods and 'will deliver', as everything concerning the performance of said demo PC is kept under wraps or explained away with silly excuses that nobody cares about.

Ho Ho said...

Just as axel, putting it here for safe keeping :)
Though I doubt Scientia removes my post, it wouldn't look that good and I think my points are valid.

Btw, if anyone has any experience with QT or database programming and is willing to help me with building that Spec analysis program I wouldn't mind some helping hands. I'd especially like if someone would come up with a half-decent DB schema ontop of SQLite3 (preferred) or MySql.


"ATI officials specifically stated that XT was only intended to compete with GT and not GTX"

I know that, I was just saying that 3D mark doesn't mean almost anything when it comes to real games. Kind of like Spec, it depends on what you are interested in.

"When I looked at SPECfp it seemed to me that K10 was getting about 15% higher performance than K8"

I wish it was that simple.
Compare those two systems (sorry, no time for bigger analysis):

Same architectre, nearly the same configuration (nothing should have too big effect on results), different clocks.

Going from 3GHz down to 2GHz, an dencrease in clock speed of 33%, we get roughly 22.5% worse result. If clock speed would be the only thing affecting the benchmark then we should see roughly 22.5% speed difference in every sub-benchmark. Same should go if memory bandwidth is not an issue.

Now lets put all the sub-benchmarks side-by-side:

Well, well, well. What do we have here. Not all things scale equally. Let's see how well they do scale:

As you can clearly see things are quite odd in some places. Scaling ranges from ideal 33% all the way down to negaive -5% scaling. As was said before average comes down to around 22.5%.

Now question is why exactly do some benchmarks scale worse? It can't be CPU execution efficiency as it is same for both of them. To me it seems as only thing that can have so big effect on the results is memory system as this one didn't scale with CPU clock speed. Question is if it is raw bandwidth, latency or something else.

Now let's try to compare the results with K10. K10 with 8 2GHz cores has a score of 69.5. With half the number of K8 cores AMD scored 40.7. Increase core count by 100%, gain 71%. Kind of small gain for more effective core, especially when considering that K8 in 2P at 2GHz is very little ahead of same specced dualcore Core2. Comparing to 3GHz K8 (same power envelope according to VMWare slide) you'll gain only 32%.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised to see the difference between K10 and Core2 to grow smaller with increasing both of their clock speed, mostly thanks to Core2 being able to use its larger cacche (twice the capacity per core vs K10).

I don't currently have time to do similar charts about Core2 or other CPUs but I bet we'll see similar results. With Core2 (and non-availiable K10 result) I excpect to see much higher variation with those bencmarks that scale linearly with clock speed to keep on scaling that well and others to lag behind even more than with K8.

To get an accurate picture of the things much more systems should be analyzed. Currently I only took two of the highest ranking ones in their respective categories. As I said I have no time to create an automated system that would do the work for me. I might do it in a few days or couple of weeks but don't count on me too hard. It isn't too hard to make something yourself and you'd probably get results sooner if you did it yourself.

If I made some mistake somewhere I'd be glad to hear about it. I wouldn't like to write a bunch of code just to find later that it is buggy.

because the VMware numbers are similar (34% greater IPC than K8) we can probably accept the 20% figure."

You'll have to take into account that VMWare also benefits from virtualization improvements in K10. If what AMD said is true then those improvements are substantial.

Another interesting thing to note on that slide is that they say Opteron gets 79% performance increase at same power. They compare against 3GHz dualcore opteron. Unfortunately they don't tell which one exactly but if it is DDR2 one then keep in mind it has TDP of at least 119.2W, unless they compare it with 1P one at 125W.

"These are ranked in order of speed for each test. NBI = Not Bandwidth Intensive."

Interesting thing is when I look at the scaling chart then it doesn't match with what I found. SOmeone should make similar chart for Core2.

As a movie title once said, "Analyze That" :)

Lem said...

To whoever that is posting the "widow" comments..

Man, have some respect. Unless of course you are preparing yourself for this exact same scenario to occur in your life.

The Universe can be a mysterious place sometimes, yet at other times, completely predictable. Sow as ye shall reap.

Anonymous said...

I have more sympathy for those that fell into Scientia's false confidence of AMD and invested at even $20 now down to $14.