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We chat to Neil Spicer about the company's future

AMD vows to carry on making money

The processor underdog says it can offer better value for money than anyone else. Matt Grainger talks to EMEA sales manager, Neil Spicer, to find out why.

It must be tough to be AMD. Amid wider reports of an eight per cent downturn in the global PC industry, the underdog chip manufacturer recently revealed that it had suffered a drop in profits that would mean that it would have to axe around 15 per cent of its workforce.

Despite this, with the release of its second generation A-Series processors (codenamed Trinity), AMD has stated that it remains the best company to offer value for money in the consumer technology channel.

“AMD uses a combined approach that not only offers the best integrated graphics performance but it’s at the best price point for its class too,” says AMD’s sales manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Neil Spicer.

The new A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APU) combine the capacities of both the CPU and the GPU to offer a boost in processing power as well as enhanced graphics capabilities. The chips draw a comparatively small amount of power, have a low price point for their capabilities, the negation of a need for discrete graphics means less space is required for components and AMD’s commitment to the FM2 socket gives it longevity too.

“We’re working to dominate the $50 to $200 segment in the processor space,” notes Spicer. “These are the areas where we can really leverage the strengths of the APU – price and performance. These are the price points where we’re going to be offering the very best user experience.”

The FX-series processors, including the new ‘Vishera’, embody an example of this strategy. Designed as a value addition to the desktop PC enthusiast market, early reviews suggest that these components will light a fire under the opposition in terms of pricing.

So while AMD does still have its eye on its traditional desktop market, the enhanced capabilities and options provided by the APU has allowed the vendor to cast its gaze a little wider.

This includes looking at what it can do for the reseller channel. The vendor is confident that it can offer a proposition to system builders as bespoke systems can be created at a much lower cost with APUs. To do so, it has revamped the Fusion Partner Programme and will be reaching out to smaller businesses and retailers in the year ahead.

“The low power strategy has really worked for alternative form factors as well,” enthuses Spicer. “It works for tablets and all-in-one desktops too, especially as fanless design has got more popular.”

Along with these options, AMD is looking forward to the launch of the Windows 8 operating system. The visual nature of the user interface offers an ideal opportunity for a company that combines the best aspects of computing and graphics performance. Meanwhile, the smaller, less power intensive nature of the devices that will work with the new OS are a perfect environment for the APU’s to thrive in.

So, while there are certainly challenges ahead, AMD is maintaining its optimistic attitude.

“We’re still the best brand to offer bang for your buck,” says Spicer. “No one else can offer the performance, the power consumption and the longevity at that price point and if you take a look at the APUs you can see why.”


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