AMD admits to having no plans for smartphone chips

You might think that one of the biggest processor makers in the world, AMD, would be interested in creating a chip specifically for smartphones. After all, the smartphone market is in the middle of a huge boom with more and more of these devices being released every year from a variety of makers. Yet, according to a new story at PCWorld.com, an executive at AMD claims that AMD has no plans to introduce any smartphone-based chips.

The article quotes Rick Bergman, the senior vice president and general manager for AMD's product group, as saying, "We haven't announced any plans to go in that handheld space. We've got plenty of opportunities... in server, notebook and now tablets, that's our immediate focus. But if the right circumstances come up and we can see a way to impact the market, we'll obviously continue to look."

That would seem to leave things open for one of AMD's biggest rivals, Nvidia, to take even more market share in the mobile processor space. The company has had some success with its Tegra series of processors which are already used in a number of smartphones and tablets. Nvidia is expected to release a powerful quad-core mobile processor, code-named Kal-El, later this year. In the meantime AMD has already launched its first processor designed specifically for the tablet market: the Z-series. It is also still working on its long awaited next generation desktop chip, code named Bulldozer, which is expected to launch later this fall.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Study: Windows 7 to be on 42 percent of PCs by end of 2011

Next Story

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 blocked from sale in Europe

20 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This is a wise move, especially if AMD is aligning to fulfill GPU/CPU for the next gen consoles as rumored, fulfill windows 8 demand and continued growth in notebooks and tablets. AMD should really be able to have a good lano or APU system available for tablets that should really shine with windows 8.

I'm not sure why they would risk getting into cell phone chipsets.. they probably make money off IP sharing anyway

yowan said,
ARM cpus are the dominant ones...

Not just dominant, every smartphone on the market runs on an ARM based CPU. "Dominant" would imply that there were other architectures in the market, but there simply aren't.

yowan said,
ARM cpus are the dominant ones...

They're years away to take the PC market, I for one I'm very happy with my APU A6, one of the best processors that I have been have the opportunity to play with.

They need to do what's right by them they will have invested alot in the bulldozer then piledriver, the z-series and a-series APUs. They prolly havnt got much spare cash lying around to put into a mobile processor in a Market that's full of it. It'd be like wp7 except amd won't have the resources spare to try bulldoze there way into the Market. I'd say good call

thealexweb said,
Very bad move considering smartphones are where most of the growth is gonna be :-/

yet they could lose more money then they could make by going into a new market, the market is pretty much cornerd by ARM based chips right now, by a few very large mfg's..

ARM designs have the smartphone market all bought up. The margins are thin too a lot of the processors in use cost under 10 dollars. AMD are making x86 chips at 3-4x that cost.

SpyderCanopus said,
AMD hasn't taken a risk since it bought ATI. Just same old stuff slowly getting better... very slowly.

slowly? what are you talking about? AMD pumps out so many new products its almost impossible to keep up

Pretty shortsighted if you ask me.
Smartphones is a massive market. They should at least be testing the waters.

ahhell said,
Pretty shortsighted if you ask me.
Smartphones is a massive market. They should at least be testing the waters.

AMD, being a large tech company, should have more insight into the current state of the mobile market than you and I, and probably have discussed the possibility of entering this market thoroughly before making the decision not too.

ahhell said,
Pretty shortsighted if you ask me.
Smartphones is a massive market. They should at least be testing the waters.
Testing the waters doesn't mean releasing a product. The problem is that they would have to get an ARM license, which costs money. Then invest in a whole new CPU archetecture (and more personel). That costs money too. Then, you enter a market that has already been saturated by Intel, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, to name a few...

greenwizard88 said,
Testing the waters doesn't mean releasing a product. The problem is that they would have to get an ARM license, which costs money. Then invest in a whole new CPU archetecture (and more personel). That costs money too. Then, you enter a market that has already been saturated by Intel, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, to name a few...

why exactly do they need an ARM license? they could just make extreamly low power chips based on models they have now... not everything portatble has to be ARM, it could be x86 based too, just massively tweaked for power savings

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

why exactly do they need an ARM license? they could just make extreamly low power chips based on models they have now... not everything portatble has to be ARM, it could be x86 based too, just massively tweaked for power savings


You really don't have the first ****ing clue do you? Every smartphone OS on the market right now runs on ARM-based chips. Introducing a new architecture for smartphones would therefore also require them to develop a new OS for it.

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

why exactly do they need an ARM license? they could just make extreamly low power chips based on models they have now... not everything portatble has to be ARM, it could be x86 based too, just massively tweaked for power savings

So basically the exact same processors they're going to ship for table use....

And there are no mainstream mobile OSes that run on x86 architecture.
The only OS I see that would benefit from AMDs stuff would be WP7, for some awesome DirectX games, but entering the market only to be used on one OS... waste of time and money.

roadwarrior said,

You really don't have the first ****ing clue do you? Every smartphone OS on the market right now runs on ARM-based chips. Introducing a new architecture for smartphones would therefore also require them to develop a new OS for it.

Wrong, Android (Linux) can run on x86, also WebOS, MeeGo, Windows 8 and even iOS...these are all Operating Systems which can be ported to x86 or already have some x86 versions on the market...

bluefisch200 said,

Wrong, Android (Linux) can run on x86, also WebOS, MeeGo, Windows 8 and even iOS...these are all Operating Systems which can be ported to x86 or already have some x86 versions on the market...

While Android can run on x86, no current Android devices run on that platform, and no apps are compiled for it. iOS doesn't currently run on x86, and even if Apple were to port it, it would also require developers to re-compile all of their apps for it. All current WebOS devices run on ARM, so I'm not sure where you get the idea that it can run on x86, and MeeGo simply isn't a large enough player in the market to even be considered.

I am glad they are not they can spend their resources on improving their current product lines (I use AMD products, both for my CPU and GPU)