Grazie a SeekingAlpha possiamo conoscere precisamente di cosa ha parlato il CEO di AMD Rory Read alla Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, così da non doverci limitare a leggere qualche citazione estraniata dal contesto. Spesso, prendendo frasi a destra e a manca, si può essere portati a mal intendere il senso di un discorso, soprattutto se molto articolato, come in questo caso. E, come vedremo, è quello che è accaduto.

 

 

La prima affermazione di Read riguarda la necessità di puntare su quei mercati in salute e che, considerati i prodotti attualmente disponibili in AMD, possono garantire margini elevati: “So we said hey there is five growth businesses where we can take the same client and graphics IP and win, embedded, semi-custom, dense server, new form factor client and professional graphics, really longer terms stickier businesses that last two, three, four, five years in length, better gross margins”.

Read prosegue parlando dei futuri prodotti, e non si fa scrupoli a definire Bulldozer un fallimento a 360°: “Everyone knows that Bulldozer was not the game changing part when it was introduced three years ago.We have to live with that for four years, but Zen, K12, we went out and got Jim Keller, we went out and got Raja Koduri from Apple; Mark Papermaster; Lisa Su; we’ve built and are building now next generation graphics and compute technology that customers are very interested in, and they'll move to the next generation node and they’ll be ready to go. So now you'll have an efficient model, you’ll have restructured the business, you’ll have more consistent performance, diverse portfolio, and better technology”. Read ha così puntato su una riorganizzazione totale portando, o riportando, in AMD personaggi di peso.

Si prosegue parlando dei possibili mercati dove AMD ha più possibilità di guadagno e, oltre a quello delle schede video professionali, si parla dei settori Server e Workstation (quest'ultimo, come affermano diversi studi, decisamente in salute): “I think server at the commercial level still looks good. There is a lot of data being consumed, a lot of server demand both dense and traditional, so I like server, it’s going to be I’d say mid kind of single-digit growth but steady. And I think workstation activity will continue to expand”.

Si passa a discutere di un altro grande mercato in espansione, quello dei Tablet, e l'intervistatore Ross Seymore non manca di essere pungente: “So, a couple of last questions on the computing side before we move into some other segments of your business. You mentioned, about tablets and mentioned about them slowing already. What's AMD’s strategy for addressing that market? One of your big competitors is addressing it but kind of wrapping $20 bills around every one of their processors”. La risposta di Read è un telegrafico: “Sure”. Nel proseguo dell'intervista, comunque, il CEO di AMD afferma candidamente che AMD non può permettersi di pagare i produttori di Tablet affinché utilizzino i propri SoC, contrariamente a quanto fa Intel: “Mark Papermaster did a talk about how we're going to lower our power 25 times over the next x years and that is all going to position us better for that space. But in the mean time, don't go after bad business. If it makes sense, we want that business, but we're not in a position where we could wrap $10 bills around it or if someone is doing $20, God bless them, but I can't -- I'm not going there. It doesn’t make sense”. AMD vuole entrare in questo mercato, ma per guadagnarci, non per perderci.

Si prosegue parlando di Intel e delle attuali tecnologie produttive, e Read conferma quanto molte testate ed aziende fabless (ad esempio Xilinx ed Altera) affermano da tempo: i 28nm saranno il nodo produttivo dominate ancora per molti anni: “28-nanometer node is going to be the dominant volume of node for the next three, four years. I mean I don't think there is any question about that. I mean I don’t think we’re at the peak of volume for 28-nanometer. We’re going to continue to leverage that and I think there is great opportunity to make money on that. The mix for us has to be where we can get the yields and the business like game consoles, semi-custom, embedded, and even in client, 28-nanometer is going to be just fine for the next several years. Now, will we move down to Fins? Yes, absolutely, and our next generation products go there and as we introduce them in 16. But we want to do that as you’re catching the cost curve and the yield curve at the right place so that it makes sense for us”.

AMD passerà ai 14nm/16nm FinFET quando potrà utilizzarli per prodotti dai margini elevati, non prima, se leggiamo tra le righe: “So, I like how Mark Papermaster, Lisa, Keller, those guys are all looking at it, and there is a whole set of people that are really doing the work to say when does the cost curve come over, where do I want to match that into the roadmap, but let’s be clear, 28-nanometer is going to be the dominant space for a long period of time. We’re going to leverage that, it’s got the best dollars, the best yield”.

Sì, AMD utilizzerà anche i 14nm FinFET di GloFo, e probabilmente il nuovo CEO Sanjay K. Jha ha portato un po' di fiducia: “I think Sanjay is a great add to that company, he’s a very straight, clear, execution leader. He has also been on both sides of the fence, so he has been the consumer, the customer. So he can really appreciate that. We have monthly team sessions where we are going through it and working through it, and I like the execution and the proved partnership, and again that’s better”.

E Zen, il tanto chiaccherato Zen, dov'è? Beh, Zen viene citato poco, e soprattutto in maniera vaga: “Server, there is very few people who know how to create server chips. Jim Keller has a lot of experience in that space. You get Zen and K12 capture ARM before it happens”. E le GPU a 20nm? Non ve ne è traccia nella trascrizione.

Come abbiamo detto all'inizio, su questa Conferenza sono stati montati troppi teoremi, per la maggior parte inventati di sana pianta.