Tuesday, April 7, 2009

AMD on cross-license dspute, Xeon 5500 and HP Pavilion DV2

Following my recent posts on the Intel-AMD cross-license dispute, I was fortunate enough to be able to meet up with Ramkumar Subramanian, VP, Marketing & Sales, AMD India, and Vamsi Krishna, Senior Technical Manager, AMD India, and discuss this, and more, in greater detail.

On cross-license dispute
On the cross-license dispute, Subramanian said: GlobalFoundries is a subsidiary of AMD. The agreement is already there with AMD. It is unclear what an artificial dispute will achieve. Intel is a much bigger company than AMD, and if they wish to divert attention from their difficulties, this is nothing much than a distracting strategy."

He added that if one reads what the European Commission's (EC) findings are, these steps are not taken unless they really believe there has been some abuse of monopoly power.

By asking questions on different angles, is Intel trying to gather more information? Remains to be seen!

Subramanian added that the end customers -- enterprises or home users -- they will tell you that the price of computing has reduced signiificantly and the quality of technology available to them has increased substantially. This is a direct result of competition. "We have merely asked for the competition to be fair and open," he contended. Value for money assumes great importance.

It is perhaps, fit that two people do not sit across the table and discuss to form a monopoly. A person who's looking to stretch their dollar would stand to benefit more from competition!

On HP Pavilion DV2
AMD also showcased a new notebook, released recently, the HP Pavilion DV2. This notebook is using the AMD Athlon NEO. Subramanian said: "We are working on platforms. At the platform level, a lot of innovation has happened in this notebook, which will give you a very rich, visual experience."

So, what does it bring to the consumer? According to Subramanian, it is the visual experience, which would be available in the normal notebook segment. Users can play HD content, complex games, etc. Krishna, added: "The moment you tune the notebook for high-end graphics applications, the Office applications become a cakewalk."

On workstation graphics
AMD also touched upon workstation graphics.

Subramanian said that AMD entered this business post the acquisition of ATI. The ATI FirePro cards available today -- whether in the range of application suites, or performance, or price -- seems to be an unbeatable proposition. "We are bringing the value of competition in the workstation space," he added.

Nvidia has been a partner in many ways, but in this space it is a competitor. AMD's FirePro series -- the applications certified on this particular card -- that's important. "We believe we will be able to penetrate this space very well," he remarked.

Why AMD commented on Intel's Xeon 5500?
I took this opportunity to ask AMD why it chose to comment on the Intel Xeon 5500, prior to its launch in India?

Krishna contended that AMD has brought a lot of innovation to the table ahead of the competition. "We have been leaders in this space, and brining innovative products to the marketplace," said.

Subramanian added: "The world should know that we are the leaders in technology. Our position would be much stronger if the market was fair and open."

Krisha noted that most people would think one-dimension -- performance. "It is the overall value you give in the whole package. A simple example -- Istanbul -- it is exactly pin compatible to the existing server platforms. The value -- customers have an extended product lifecycle.

Nehalem is a new processor, with a new platform. The IT managers would probably weigh all of the pros and cons, and arrive at decisions. Competition requirements are going up. Krishna added: "If your server investment is on the AMD server platforms, and they have a requirement of increasing computation requirements, they can swap the processors. Istanbul is a six core processor.

"In the same footprint, without changing the equation, they are multiplying the performance. Istanbul is also on the same power envelope as the existing dual- or quad-core Optron processors."

I surely need to have AMD and Intel on stage, someday, for a proper panel discussion and sort out all issues, if possible.

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