If there’s a place you don’t expect to see a Seamicro server, it is at a consumer-focused event like IFA. And yet, this highlights the dichotomy that prevails at international gatherings like MWC, CES or CeBit where the line between consumer and business is blurred.
Anyway, I met with Sasa Marinkovic, Technology Marketing lead at AMD, for a general chat about the company. He started by saying that the way forward is heterogeneous computing, one where CPU and GPU coexist. The problem though is that the number of developers that can code on a CPU is far higher than those who can do GPU coding.
This gap though is likely to be bridged by the work currently done by the HSA Foundation, an industry body that brings together the likes of AMD, Qualcomm, Imagination Technologies, AMD, Samsung and others who altogether account for around two thirds of the number of CPU/GPU/APU/SoC shipped globally.
This will help remove barriers that arise when combining CPU and GPU, obstacles that generate inefficiencies and are a drain on developer resources. Doing so removes the current master/slave relationship that exist between those two components.
Speaking of Samsung, we asked him to comment on the semi-custom business that AMD is currently ramping up, having enrolled the aforementioned company as its third major customer (after Sony and Microsoft for the PS4 and the Xbox one) and produced the first product, the Ativ book 9 lite.
He said that AMD will help customers optimise their portfolios of products by tailoring the technology (presumably in the chips) to suit their needs. In other words, AMD will not hesitate to provided added value by offering value added services that in effect allows AMD to sit between the strict Intel model and the more flexible-but-chaotic ARM one.
I also asked him whether AMD will one day switch to ARM, after Andrew Feldman, the former CEO of Seamicro and now head of AMD’s data center server solutions team, said that ARM will win in the long run at least in the server. He said that AMD will stick to an ambidextrous strategy for a foreseeable future, something that, regardless, puts it in a unique position where it can play on three different front, pure CPU, CPU and GPU and x86 + ARM.
Check out the pictures of the AMD booth below depicting respectively an enterprise all in one from Fujitsu, an Acer ultraportable laptop and a nice looking tablet.