In what has to rank as one of the most ridiculous rumours of recent months, unnamed sources have suggested that AMD is planning to quit making x86 processors altogether in order to better concentrate on its graphics products.
The rumour has spread like wildfire across technology blogs, with numerous sites claiming that AMD will either cease development of its consumer-grade processing hardware to better focus on enterprise products or that it is cancelling its x86 development altogether and handing the market over to Intel.
If true, it would be a blow for the industry: AMD and Intel have long been rivals, and as each develops new products it forces the other to up its game to stay competitive. Although Intel is in the ascendency now, it wasn’t always the case: AMD has held performance and price advantages in the past, and there’s little to suggest that – once it’s over the apparent Bulldozer hiccough – it won’t do so again.
The source of the rumour, it transpires, is an interview between the San Jose Mercury News and AMD’s Mike Silverman, which – as you may have guessed – isn’t as doom-laden as the blogosphere appears to be suggesting.
“We’re at an inflection point,” Silverman told the newspaper in the interview on 20th November. “We will need to let go of the old ‘AMD versus Intel’ mindset, because it won’t be about that any more.”
Silverman’s indication that his company would be forging its own path, rather than slavishly following Intel’s lead, should be welcomed with open arms – not with doom-filled headlines and rumours of an exit from x86 altogether.Leave a comment on this article