I have always preferred AMD's processors and graphics for price performance in desktops for software that needs an x86 and Windows (normally used Mac or Linux). However, after a stint on Alchemy Semi Au1000 families, when AMD took that over, it withered away and almost died. MIPS vs ARM is a story of greed for licensing, otherwise why would an architecture that was 64-bit and multi-core long ago fail so badly. ARM gets a lot of hype, and I have programmed plenty of them, but AMD has the lost ground of Alchemy to recover before banking on ARM converts. Tell developers how the graphics work so we can use them without NDAs like Imagination or NVIDIA. Bare-metal is not Linux, so a binary and an API is useless. Proper data sheets are required.
I think they're on their way to finding their own niche in the market (and not just based on price). AMD's current A and E series APUs are successful products that accomplish quite a few objectives:
1. Good integrated GPU performance that surpasses Intel's offerings. AMD is right about CPU performance: beyond a certain point, you just don't need anymore. The value is in the graphics and gaming capability.
2. Competitive power consumption. This is the first time AMD has been competitive in this area.
That being said, Intel has taken note and is planning a counterattack. Their next generation CPU, Haswell, will have potentially 2.5x the performance of current Ivy Bridge processors. They might actually exceed AMD on pure GPU performance.
Given this reality, I think AMD's new focus on software through HSA is really the only logical next step. While Intel is busy brute forcing CPU, GPU performance and process nodes, AMD is executing its (shared) long-term vision for system architecture. And I do believe this will pay off for them. I am looking forward to Kaveri, the first APU to have a unified memory and a gpu with the GCN arcitecture.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.