Is AMD still relevant?

Any real Intel-AMD rivalry ended long ago. Not only has AMD lost the PC war, but as the world shifts to tablets, hybrids, and smartphones, AMD is a virtual no-show.


How much does Advanced Micro Devices matter these days? Not much.

But you won't find many headlines proclaiming this and then explaining why. This post at The Verge does a pretty good job, though.

I, for one, have been waiting for a bigger, badder AMD to emerge since CEO Dirk Meyer "retired" at the start of 2011. And waiting and waiting and waiting.

AMD's problem for many years has been to overpromise and underdeliver. It began in earnest with the quad-core Barcelona chip debacle and has continued with the perennial promise of a CPU-GPU combo that will KO Intel.

But it gets worse. Not only has AMD lost the PC war to Intel, but as the world shifts to tablets, hybrids, and smartphones, AMD is a virtual no-show.

Intel -- which faces its own very serious challenge from the ARM camp of Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments -- will at least be a force in Windows 8 ultrabooks, hybrids, and tablets while it continues to own the traditional PC space.

No, I'm not declaring an AMD death watch. Hewlett-Packard, for instance, will continue to use AMD processors in plenty of low-end laptops. And standalone GPUs from AMD (that is, from the former ATI) will be competitive, as will some of the company's server tech.

But the jig is up as far as any Intel-killer chip goes.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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