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AMD to lay off up to 30% of its employees
Brian posted a topic in General Notebook DiscussionsWith continually dwindling marketshare and poor growth, AMD's fortunes have been taking a turn for the worst for quite awhile now. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that keeps a close eye on the tech sector although what may be eye opening is the fact that this round of lay offs will include engineers. Rumor has it that the engineers to be laid off are the ones in Canada and Charlie from SA makes it seem like this is the result if mismanagement and will seal AMD's fate. Personally I think he's over sensationalizing the entire situation. Yes, AMD is in deep trouble financially because their CPU division has not been competitive for years, especially with their recent CPU architectures being utter failures compared to their Intel counterparts. However, upon closer inspection, you will notice that the engineers in Canada are not the core team of AMD engineers--those guys are located in Sunnyvale, California. The main GPU design team is also in Sunnyvale, CA. The Canadian division did have a smaller GPU + Catalyst team out there but AFAIK, the key guys were moved to California awhile back. Furthermore, AMD has been ratcheting up their AMD India development team who have been busy making SoC's and graphics chips for the company. This enables AMD to pick up engineers at a much cheaper price in a rapidly developing region (India/China/Pakistan etc). The argument that quality will suffer can't be made either because industry giants like Microsoft, Intel, IBM and others employ a huge chunk of Indian/Pakistani engineers that are on their chip development teams. So will this be a good or bad thing for AMD in the long run? In the short term, AMD is hemorrhaging market share and money and they need to consolidate quickly. This round of lay offs may be the beginning of a larger restructuring that the company desperately needs to survive. Another avenue AMD should consider is getting an ARM license like their rival nVidia has done with Tegra. While nVidia faces stiff competition from Samsung, Qualcomm and others, it isn't as intense as the 800 lb gorilla known as Intel. Intel has basically made AMD unviable in the x86 market (consumer and server) so their only way of surviving is to start focusing heavily on low power SoC for smartphones and tablets. The PC is in decline in general and AMD is very late to the party. AMD India: http://www.amd.com/in/aboutamd/Pages/aboutamd.aspx