Why AMD Failed, Another Ex-Employee Confession

Why AMD Failed, Another Ex-Employee Confession

Some time ago, we have published an article, which gave you an insight on why Bulldozer failed.

As it turns out, we have missed few things that are far more interesting and as you will see by the end of this article, it’s the management who’s to blame.

Here’s what else an ex-engineer from AMD had to say about the company and its situation.

The team that designed the K6-2 was the CMD team, which was formed by the acquisition of a company called Nexgen. That team also designed Athlon 64 and Opteron (Athlon was designed by the TMD team). By 2007, all the key CMD folks were gone. The team that was left sucks, and has accomplished little since then other than shrinks to smaller technology and bolting more of the same cores on.

In case you missed: it wasn’t AMD who designed the legendary Athlon 64 and Opteron processors. What is worse, those people no longer work for AMD and have left the company nearly 4 years ago.

Yeah. Like replacing the 40-man team that designed A64 with a 250 man team for minor design changes. And like throwing away all the EDA tools because the vapor tools from the texas design team would be better if they ever were finished.

The new CEO [Dirk Meyer] is a guy that once told the design team (when he was a manager in Texas) “if you don’t like it, quit” – and 60 out of 100 people in Sunnyvale quit within a month. They used to hand place and hand instantiate each cell in the design for maximum efficiency and speed – now they rely on tools which perform 20% worse than humans (in order to save money).

Guys – I have nothing to be disgruntled about. I left on my own accord. I had great times at AMD making a64 and creating amd64. AMD paid me enough to pay for a house in silicon valley and a porsche. I quit on my own and was not pressured to do so. They were sad to see me go, and i was sad to leave

I am not disgruntled. I am sad. Sad that AMD squandered their lead because new management decided that the way to compete was design CPUs the way that chips in toasters are designed. And worse, to do it with giant teams of unskilled designers instead of a small team of highly experienced engineers who know how to design transistor by transistor.

It’s sad for us to see the talented team gone, destroyed by the wrong people. Thankfully, there is a new CEO in town and he might change things, for better or worse…

Stay tuned.

  • HPer

    HP has done exactly the same thing with their laserjet printer firmware. I can’t believe people are still buying them.

  • what.

    Printer firmware and processor architecture design are in two completely different leagues. A fresh graduate Computer Science major could successfully code functional printer firmware. A fresh graduate computer engineer could only hope to analyze and learn modern processor design, let alone help contribute to its refinement and advancement.

  • Kim

    Gotta love it when management (this does also apply to politicians, leaders, and so on) makes decisions about things they have no idea about what-so-ever.

  • pooprscooper

    Can we get a name/source to verify this isn’t just some story made up by someone? Your “things” link is just someone speculating about an AMD processor in an iMac.

    • doubtingthomas

      With out verification, Everything is pure baloney.
      NUFF SAID.

  • asdf

    you are an idiot

  • CoX

    hah, it just like comparing lu bu with thousand of soldiers..
    one lu bu will beat ’em to dust in term of experience and power