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Ruiz: AMD bent on bouncing back

Posted: 04 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AMD processors? Barcelona? India R&D facility?

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is focused on returning to profitability, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz said during a visit to India last week.

AMD recorded losses over the last several quarters and was forecast last week to fall off the top-10 list of global chipmakers in 2007.

"The number one goal [for AMD] is to achieve profitability," said Ruiz, despite continuing price pressures in the chip industry. "Pricing will not be anything other than competitive," Ruiz said, adding that so far there is little evidence indicating that concerns over subprime mortgages and other recessionary fears will slow technology purchases.

"In reality, the [U.S.] economy is still a vibrant one," Ruiz said. "The IT industry is critical to most other sectors of the industry and we do not see any slowdown in the adoption of IT by these sectors such as agriculture or automotive."

Ruiz graced the opening of AMD's third R&D facility in India and the second in Bengaluru. The executive said the Indian centers are an important part of AMD's future technology development.

'Shanghai' lead
"We desire to extend our capabilities in India, which has already played a very significant part in the design of our quad-core processors. The Bengaluru center worked on key IP for the first AMD quad-core microprocessor, previously code-named 'Barcelona,' and is now working in a lead role on 'Shanghai,' [AMD's] first 45nm quad-core microprocessors," Ruiz said.

Indian teams are involved in design testing and chip optimization, he added.

AMD also operates an R&D center in Hyderabad acquired when it bought ATI Technologies Inc. last year. The chipmaker expects to hire more engineers in the region, but would not reveal current staffing levels.

AMD, which has a technology partnership with SemIndia, India's first major chip manufacturing facility near Hyderabad, is studying the local chip market through the partnership, Ruiz said.

"It is too early to say when and how a fab of our own in India will be attractive to AMD, and we anyway have [sufficient] manufacturing capacity for some years," Ruiz added.

He said the SemIndia project is progressing at a slower pace than expected, adding that AMD has no current plans to acquire equity in SemIndia. "Such partnerships as the one with SemIndia will help us before we decide to do any manufacturing of our own in [India], which is not only important in creating IP but is also is a very important market for us," Ruiz said.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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