RealTime IT News

AMD Realigns Chip Biz

In an attempt to streamline its business, AMD is consolidating its PC and embedded chip divisions, the company said Wednesday.

Dirk Meyer, previously an executive vice president with AMD's Computation Products Group, will lead the new division called the Microprocessor Solutions Sector (MSS). AMD also promoted Henri Richard to chief sales and marketing officer as part of the reorganization.

"Today's announcement further sharpens AMD's laser-like focus on the microprocessor leadership opportunities we have in front of us and will help us to change the competitive balance in an industry that has long demanded it," Hector Ruiz, AMD chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

The MSS group will focus on processor manufacturing, operations, R&D, hardware and software vendor relations, and product and platform definition, as it relates to AMD's current product roadmap and the emerging "Digital Life" markets as a future growth opportunity. AMD said it would continue to manage its enterprise processors like Opteron and its memory group separately.

AMD's PC chips include its 64-bit Athlon, entry-level Sempron and mobile Turion brands. The embedded product family includes AMD's Alchemy and Geode products.

The realignment announcement cames on the same day the company filed with the SEC to allow its Spansion Flash memory partnership with Fujitsu to seek an IPO. AMD also posted a 4-cent loss as part of its latest quarterly financial statement. The company did manage to record revenue of $1.23 billion, a bit more than the $1.21 billion analysts had forecasted.

In other consolidation news, AMD announced plans for a new master campus on a 60-acre parcel in Southwest Austin, Texas. The building would be used for local design and administrative offices and replace 12 buildings that AMD already has in the area.

AMD came to Austin in 1979 with Fab 5, the company's first U.S. chip manufacturing facility outside Silicon Valley. In 1995, AMD opened Fab 25 in Southeast Austin, which makes Flash memory for its Spansion spin-off. Fab 25 is expected to remain Spansion's flagship manufacturing facility for the foreseeable future, the company said.

As a separate item, AMD launched its 3700+, a new mobile Athlon 64 processor for full-size notebooks. Gateway said it would use the chips in its latest line of mobile computers.

The company said its 3700+ is priced at $336 in 1,000-unit quantities and includes advanced security features designed to prevent the spread of certain malicious viruses when enabled by Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. Mobile AMD Athlon 64 processors are now available in models 3700+, 3400+, 3200+, 3000+ and 2800+.