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Phil Hester  (Source: AMD)
When it rains, it pours in Sunnyvale, CA

Just when you thought it could not get any worse for AMD, someone throws another gallon of gasoline on the fire to stoke the flames. Earlier this week, DailyTech reported that AMD intends to cut 1,600 jobs by year's end to improve its financials.

AMD, which has yet to release its first quarter earnings, issued guidance suggesting that its Q1 revenues will come in 15% lower than the year ago period at about $1.5B USD. AMD experienced losses in every sector of its business and we'll be able to see the full damage report once the official tally is brought down from Sunnyvale, CA.

In the mean time, the company today lost its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Senior Vice President, Phil Hester. According to AMD's bio on Hester, which has since been removed from the site, he was "responsible for setting the architectural and product strategies and plans for AMD’s microprocessor business." Hester also chaired AMD's Technology Council.

According to MarketWatch, Hester wishes to "pursue other opportunities" in his absence from AMD. Strangely, AMD says that there will be no replacement for Hester at the CTO position.

Hester's departure couldn't have come at a worse time for AMD. AMD is just now trying to gain some traction after shipping B3 Opterons sans the TLB bug that made the news circuits in December 2007.

AMD hopes to push its Opteron and Phenom processors based on a 65nm manufacturing to 2.6GHz by the fall of 2008. 45nm Shanghai processors will have to wait until early 2009 if all things go according to schedule for AMD.

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By SiliconAddict on 4/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: *sings*
By SiliconAddict on 4/11/2008 2:39:26 PM , Rating: 5
Speak of the devil....the quote at the bottom of the page:

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

Yah AMD can go bite me.

RE: *sings*
By FITCamaro on 4/11/2008 2:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
Uh...really they're right.

- on die memory controller
- x86-64 extensions
- first unified dual and quad core designs.

I say this as a guy who's got two (running) desktops, one with an AMD X2 and another with a Core 2 Duo.

RE: *sings*
By Regs on 4/11/2008 3:11:27 PM , Rating: 5
Yes, AMD made the first commercially viable on die memory controller and x86-64 CPU for the masses. Worded carefully for the Google dweebs that will disagree with you from a quick search on wikipedia.

Though AMD has nothing to show for it. They have a underperforming CPU, they can't supply the channels as well as Intel, and again their marketing sucks and they simply can't make big enough penetration in most market segments. They're back to square-one just from one product launch from Intel . Of course, when Intel buys (and can buy) out most of the vendors and retailers there might also be a problem.

RE: *sings*
By darkpaw on 4/11/2008 3:18:27 PM , Rating: 3
I mostly have to agree. From an engineeing standpoint, the native quade core is pretty, but it sure didn't get them any performance benefit.

I can admire a nice design, but at the end of the day I'm still going to buy whichever one is faster at the mid range price point.

RE: *sings*
By Master Kenobi on 4/11/2008 3:42:36 PM , Rating: 3
True, AMD has pushed newer designs into processors for quite some time now. However, Intel seems to be able to still slap them around both on the market, and in the benchmarking labs using older methodology. It's like AMD had all the right cards at the right time yet couldn't make use of it properly. I'm curious to see what Intel does with Quickpath and an on die memory controller.

RE: *sings*
By slayerized on 4/11/2008 3:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
I just can't help but think of the southpark episode this week, while reading this thread!

RE: *sings*
By CmdrFly on 4/11/2008 8:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
Though AMD has nothing to show for it.

Not anymore... though they did have some semblance of a performance crown for a few years in a row. Not that it does much good today.

RE: *sings*
By psece on 4/11/2008 4:09:48 PM , Rating: 4
Wasn't the Alpha EV-7 the first to have a on-die memory controller?

Intel was capable of x86-64 but didn't because they didn't want to bleed sales of Itanium. Stupid marketing decisions have nothing to do with ability.

The first commercial dual core processor was IBM's Power 4 processor for it's RISC servers in 2001.

IBM Cell was launched in the Playstation 3 in November 2006 with 8 cores.

And I am sure that there were even more specialized chips that beat those dates. Don't believe all the marketing crap as this stuff has been done for many years before it ever gets to x86. Commodity does not make it first....

RE: *sings*
By Penti on 4/13/2008 10:06:57 AM , Rating: 3
CELL BE only has one ordinary execution engine. (PPE)

And he probably meant first to market, driving the market to x86-64. And first commercial consumer-product.

RE: *sings*
By clnee55 on 4/11/2008 6:48:42 PM , Rating: 3
Wow!! with all that innovations, AMD still runs slower than an old architecture with some modifications like the Core2Duo. No wonder the CTO got kicked.

AMD won during the Opteron time because Intel screwed up with Prescott and Itanium. Intel now gets back to their feet now. If AMD wants to win, they have to earn it.

RE: *sings*
By ats on 4/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: *sings*
By clnee55 on 4/12/2008 11:39:03 AM , Rating: 5
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel. And if you look at the last 3 years on the business side, all of the loss came from AMD, not a single one from Intel" -- This is what AMD CEO Hector Ruiz shoud have said

Someone need to be responsible
By clam1199 on 4/11/2008 2:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
For the delays in the Barcelona architecture and the TLB bug. Both looks like to be technology related. So anyone that heads the technology side may have to answer for its shortfalls.

RE: Someone need to be responsible
By clam1199 on 4/11/2008 2:35:51 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like he is responsible for the fusion project that made amd to acquite ati in 2006 in which all troubles for amd start to break loose. Maybe he's the one that's responsible for the awful mess that amd is currently in afterall?

RE: Someone need to be responsible
By crystal clear on 4/11/2008 4:07:12 PM , Rating: 3
His job responsibilities were-

In his role as global CTO, Hester was responsible for driving AMD's "technical vision and technical directions," and his "primary focus" was the company's so called - accelerated computing initiative - an effort to incorporate specialized third-party silicon into AMD chip platforms.

"[Hester] was not in an engineering position," Prairie told us. "He wasn't driving the day-to-day engineering operations for the company. He and his team were looking out further and helping to set direction and chart a course, with a primary focus on accelerated computing."

The accelerated computing initiative will continue. But the global CTO post will not.

"We don't have plans to continue the position," Prairie said. "Each of our business units had and will continue to maintain their own CTOs. These people are responsible for driving technology forward when it comes to product development, processor roadmaps, etc."

For the most part, the rest of Hester's global CTO team will be sprinkled across these business units. Mike Uhler, AMD's new vice president of accelerated computing, will continue to oversee the initiative, but will now report directly to CEO Hector Ruiz

RE: Someone need to be responsible
By erikejw on 4/11/2008 8:05:03 PM , Rating: 2
What is so bad about that AMD fires some people?
I think it is great. Clearly some of them have underperformed the last years and it is about time some new ones get the chance to turn the ship around.

RE: Someone need to be responsible
By SlyNine on 4/12/2008 10:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Question is though, are the people that are actully underperforming being fired, More often then not it's who you know, not what you do or what you know.

Not to say that this isnt the case though, we just dont know what happened and its sad we all just assume they just fire the "bad guy".

RE: Someone need to be responsible
By erikejw on 4/13/2008 1:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
I meant the upper management.
There gotta be 4-5 top people that have been kicked now.

You are right about the lower levels.
It is who you know etc.

RE: Someone need to be responsible
By Regs on 4/11/2008 3:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or maybe the board should give him a raise to promote stupidity.. I mean perseverance.

By eye smite on 4/11/2008 3:22:36 PM , Rating: 1
We also don't know what's going on with the Ati side and they may have someone in mind from that camp to fill the position. This could be their way of slowly consolidating the 2 camps into a more uniformed structure. Who knows......

By StormEffect on 4/12/2008 2:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
And what exactly about AMD IS NOT technology related?

*bangs head against wall*

He was a business dude, he had nothing to do with engineering.

Seriously? Are they in the housing market or construction or WHAT?

Wrong Person
By Trisagion on 4/11/2008 2:08:43 PM , Rating: 5
If anyone should quit at AMD, it should be Hector Ruiz. The company has been doing badly for a year now and this guy's still the CEO? AMD needs somebody who can turn this ship around. I'm surprised they haven't asked for his resignation yet.

RE: Wrong Person
By Operandi on 4/11/2008 2:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
Just open speculation; but I would guess Ruiz as the CEO probably had a lot to do with this.

RE: Wrong Person
By SlyNine on 4/12/2008 10:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
Guys I realized I've been bad at this, I'm going to fire my self. Good luck every one. First though I need to sign my multimillion dollar severance pay.

AMD in 3 easy steps:
By jiteo on 4/12/2008 12:55:58 AM , Rating: 1
1. Have great idea
2. ???
3. Fail

RE: AMD in 3 easy steps:
By Silver2k7 on 4/12/2008 3:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
4. sell x86 license to Nvidia :P

im not sure if nvidia really wants the market to change but it looks like there could be an integrated cpu/gpu from intel.. and if there is, they have really no choise but to make their own full platform wich includes cpu's and or cpu/gpu hybrids.

RE: AMD in 3 easy steps:
By Penti on 4/13/2008 10:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
Hehe, why would they? They would probably get more for there fabs in Germany. That is also something nVidia doesn't have. But it's not like they will be bankrupt tomorrow :)

RE: AMD in 3 easy steps:
By vignyan on 4/13/2008 3:43:57 PM , Rating: 2
Nah... AMD cant sell the x86 license... Nor can it share... coz its not theirs and got it from Intel in first place. :)

Nvidia has to go with Via or AMD (-ATI) if they really want to sniff up to Intel's Nehalem or Sandy-bridge (options of integrated gfx). Coz a integrated gfx solution on CPU might cost lesser cost of the platform as opposed to Only cpu + on-board gfx by Nvidia. It only favors more for Intel in Mobile segment.

But i doubt Nvidia will do that. They have well established discrete gfx segment. They will push that harder... well.. atleast till Larabee kicks in...

Interesting couple of years of future to come for gfx.

By tfranzese on 4/11/2008 2:48:59 PM , Rating: 4
Just when you thought it could not get any worse for AMD, someone throws another gallon of gasoline on the fire to stoke the flames.

Not to be picky, but I hate seeing expressions butchered.

Talk about...
By StillPimpin on 4/11/2008 2:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
Talk about rats jumping off of a sinking ship. At this rate, they'll have a totally new management team in 12 months or so. It seems that every few weeks another senior officer is quitting this company, which is very odd in light of the fact that everything seems to be turning around right now, all be it slowly.

Kind of makes you wonder what they know that the rest of us don't. I wonder if they're leaving voluntarily or otherwise.

That was a shock...
By tejas84 on 4/12/2008 7:01:35 AM , Rating: 1
Oh dear. I have completely lost faith with AMD. Hester along with Dirk Meyer were actually people who had some talent.Thankfully Meyer is still COO and Chairman.

Unlike Hector Ruiz who clearly has friends in high places..*cough* President Bush *cough*.Ruiz is possibly the worst CEO on the planet and I think Wall Street analysts could back me up on that.I personally have a hunch that Hester was fired by Ruiz.

Well Im going to sell both my 3870X2 cards and jump ship to Nvidia as I have real concerns as to the viability of AMD as an ongoing operation.Boy am I glad that I went Intel for my CPU...

AMD was always overated...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/12/08, Rating: 0
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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