AMD is the world's No. 2 in PC processor market for around 1 ½ decades. AMD is distinguishing itself by products with an attractive price-performance ratio. Despite much lower brand awareness than the overwhelming market leader Intel, the Californians have acquired a loyal fan-community.
Also I myself class among the AMD fans, my last 2 PCs have been equipped with one of their processors. All the more the last years developments make me feel very concerned:
Since 2006 with introduction of the Core 2 Duo processor Intel has re-gained and extended performance-leadership further more until today.
On the other hand AMD has fallen more and more behind Intel in terms of performance and has only been able to fairly hold it’s market-shares just by it’s products good price-performance ratio.
The need for action has been recognized by AMD and they have been working on alternative-concepts since 2006. At that time AMD has taken over the graphics-card manufacturer ATI and announced the goal to integrate CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processor) into just 1 chip.
Until these fusion-chips had been market-ready as APUs (Acellerated processing units) it took at least over 4 years. In early 2011, time had come: The first APUs in the entry-level segment had been introduced into the market - with great success.
In contrast at the processors in the mid- and upper-level segment, several delays and problems have happened:
The long-announced but delayed A-Series middle-class APUs have been living up to the expectations in terms of performance. Due to production-problems with the new 32-nm process, AMD has been unable satisfying the market demand in terms of production-volume and thus has been giving away easy to get market-shares.
The situation with the bulldozer-core equipped FX-processors has been even worse:
Problems with the 32-nm manufacturing process together with design problems are the main reasons for the ever-long delay in their market introduction.
Whereas it would have been reasonable for customers to wait as long for the FX-CPUs as they have, if they set new standards in terms of performance, these parts have only reached modest benchmarks in several disciplines. Sometimes the Bulldozers have performed even worse than their own predecessors, the Phenom II.
AMD is leaving behind many users who want to buy a new computer in the autumn-winter season 2011/2012 stumped.
Shall they wait with the purchasing an new PC?
Shall they buy a PC with a more powerful but also much more expensive Intel processor?
AMD does not only has the pressure to act, but the compulsion to act. After this harsh criticism, I am going to present concrete ways how AMD can get out of this mess in my next blog entry.