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AMD To Shed 10% of Its Workforce

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the hitting-the-streets dept.

AMD 276

stress_life writes "Recent rumors about AMD firing 5% of its workforce proved to be understated. AMD just announced that the company is going to deliver pink slips to 1600-1700 workers, or around 10% of its employees. AMD needs revenue of $2 billion per quarter, but Q1'08 is expected to come in around $1.5 billion. These firings have to be complete by Q3'08, the quarter by which Hector Ruiz promised to be profitable." We most recently discussed AMD's struggles in February.

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276 comments

And if... (5, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#23002900)

AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.

We saw something like this with Blu-Ray when HDDVD was announced to be dead.

And Via.. Well, they're VIA. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Re:And if... (3, Interesting)

wattrlz (1162603) | about 6 years ago | (#23002936)

+1 apropos for the quote on the bottom of the page.

The real value of KDE is that they inspired and push the development of GNOME :-) -- #Debian

Re:And if... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23004018)

Offtopic I know, but KDE has always been far and away the technical leader, and only recently lost its majority usage standing, and not by much. So that obviously tongue-in-cheek quote doesn't apply to the Intel/AMD situation at all.

Re: And if... (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 6 years ago | (#23003016)

AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.
Of course. But we've seen AMD "lose" the CPU war before, and recover. Hopefully that will happen again.

Too bad about the layoffs, though. I think this is going to get worse (across the whole economy) before it gets better. Business is so slow that my state's tax revenues have plummeted.

Re: And if... (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 years ago | (#23003080)

The problem this time is that they seem to be failing both sales-wise and technically. As much as I hate Intel, you have to admit, when you look at the product lines, and what's coming down the pipe in the next year or two, Intel has a pretty major advantage over AMD.

I think there is a risk over the next five years of Intel again gaining monopoly or near-monopoly status in the x86 world (or whatever precisely it has morphed into now).

Re: And if... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003572)

We don't care about suppliers of proprietary solutions because we have OpenSparc. We wouldn't run an open source OS on closed source hardware and firmware.

http://www.opensparc.net/ [opensparc.net]

Re: And if... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 years ago | (#23003618)

That doesn't help the very large majority of the desktop market. Now that Apple has adopted Intel's chips, there's not exactly of alternatives out there if AMD goes tits up. Long ago Microsoft had some interest in portability, but that's gone the way of the dodo.

Re: And if... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003738)

But we are Slashdot here. We run GNU, Linux, OpenSolaris etc. and we put our money where our mouth is.

Re: And if... (2, Interesting)

nuzak (959558) | about 6 years ago | (#23003852)

Well, speaking of Apple, you don't want to count the PPC line out yet. I mean yeah, you can strike it from Apple's current roadmap, but if Intel sits on its heels, they do have PPC who would like to come back from behind, and Cell which would like to become more mainstream.

Never. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003862)

There is yet one dwarf in Moria who still buys AMD.

Seriously, though, I realize I'm a bloody hypocrite for laughing at Mac fanboys whilst being an AMD fanboy, but I love AMD. I want to do things illegal in Texas to my Opteron.

I also realize I'm partially moronic for having brand loyalty in this day and age - but I've never had a problem with any AMD chip. They just work. Perfectly.

So the rest of you Slashdotters go ahead with your 'logic' and 'benchmarks'. I'll keep AMD afloat so you can enjoy competitively priced Intel chips. :P

AMD isn't comatose (4, Insightful)

jmichaelg (148257) | about 6 years ago | (#23003940)

AMD's product line can't beat Intel right now but they started out that way and managed anyway. They had gotten along quite well selling a second-rate cpu that was good enough for a lot of applications whereas Intel was always pushing the performance envelope and charging accordingly.

When the Athlon came along, I think AMD was as surprised as the market was that Intel couldn't compete technically. Those days are gone, at least for awhile, and AMD is back where they started. There'll always be a market for a cheap cpu that does the job.

Re: And if... (1)

diegocn (1109503) | about 6 years ago | (#23004016)

Is there any non-x86 pc targeted at consumer market that's comparable in performance with x86 pcs? A quick google search didn't come up any good results.

Re: And if... (4, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | about 6 years ago | (#23004196)

Intel has a pretty major advantage over AMD.

Measured by performance, yes. But then, I haven't based CPU purchases on performance since I was a teenager and computers had single-digit MHz's. Over time you end up with far more computing power if you buy best price/performance more often and every time, instead of spending the premium for higher end on more rarely occuring purchases.

I think there is a risk over the next five years of Intel again gaining monopoly or near-monopoly status

I doubt it. It's not a new situation, and as long as AMD can keep delivering better price/performance they will retain significant marketshare. If they fail at that tho, or if Intel lowers prices... but then again, Intel is too fond of charging what the market will bear, so that would be unlikely.

Transportation Stocks Suggest Recovery (4, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#23003098)

Too bad about the layoffs, though. I think this is going to get worse (across the whole economy) before it gets better. Business is so slow that my state's tax revenues have plummeted.

People that I have talked to in the transportation business seem to think the recession already took place from around mid last year into this quarter, but now they think the economy is recovering. They are basing this on a rather dramatic falloff in freight shipments and then a recovery.

This followed a similar pattern in the early 1990s.. that is, by the time Clinton said "It's the economy stupid", the recession was already technically over. It's just now the pundits and papers need something to scare people with to sell more punditry and their papers.

Re:Transportation Stocks Suggest Recovery (2, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | about 6 years ago | (#23003510)

The FED just issued another $60 billion auction to keep the banks alive. This thing won't end until someone figures out what to do with all these lousy loans.

Re:Transportation Stocks Suggest Recovery (2, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 years ago | (#23003948)

This thing won't end until someone figures out what to do with all these lousy loans.


Well, if things were operating as they should in a capitalistic/free market, the bad loans would be written off, the banks/loan originators/brokers/hedge funds would take their lumps and we would move on.

However, as the Fed has resorted to socialist policies to thwart the free market, the loans will stay on the books as more tax dollars are used to prop up Wall Street firms and banks, we will stay mired in this zero to negative growth situation and people will not be able to save because of the Fed's efforts to prevent saving from occurring.

After all, debt doesn't matter. Spending every paycheck, borrowing against the value of your house and maxing out your credit cards is the only solution, according to the Fed, that we can get out of this Fed-induced quagmire.

Re:Transportation Stocks Suggest Recovery (3, Informative)

bladesjester (774793) | about 6 years ago | (#23003630)

It's a little more complicated than that.

For one thing, perception of the economy affects the economy - if businesses think that the economy is taking a downturn, they are likely to react accordingly. That sort of thing can actually cause or prolong a recession where there may not have been one or it may have been shorter.

re: perception of the economy (3, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | about 6 years ago | (#23003806)

I suspect we'll see the economy get a boost whenever the next person is elected President in the U.S. Traditionally, that's been the case, again due to perception much more than reality. (We like to have a scapegoat for our problems. When they're economic in nature, the President tends to be that scapegoat. The fact he's shown the door and someone new comes in is enough to make people believe things "can get better now", even if nothing has really changed yet.)

The "trend" I've observed in the last couple years is one of businesses trying to be more efficient with the employees they keep. Instead of 3 people, they're always asking, "Can we get by with one higher-paid worker who can then be asked to do the work of those 3?" If not, then they ask "Can we do things differently so we don't need to hire a replacement for employee X who is leaving?"

The statistics I saw published a few weeks ago bore that out. Despite the 5.9% unemployment rate shown, it also indicated average pay was UP over last quarter.

Re: perception of the economy (1)

bladesjester (774793) | about 6 years ago | (#23003980)

Agreed on the change in leadership tending to spur an economy that is in a downturn. It's the same reason that company share prices tend to increase when a new CEO takes over an ailing company and is part of the reason that I said it was a little more complicated than just looking at the shipping industry.

I certainly hope things improve this time as well, but I have a gut feeling that, depending on who gets elected, that improvement may be very short lived.

Re:Transportation Stocks Suggest Recovery (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | about 6 years ago | (#23003710)

Last night on NPR's Marketplace they talked about how the credit crunch was showing signs of easing.

Only problem, none of the things that caused the credit crunch have been fixed:
* No regulations for transparency, so you can know the real risk of the "financial product" you're buying.
* The responsibility breakdown between loan origination and loan execution remains. (How the HECK can you get into a position to get a commission for writing a loan, with no responsibility to know that the borrower can really pay? What a job!)
* No regulations on allowable margin, or even for margin transparency.
- I'm sure there are more.

Nothing has been fixed, we merely appear to have dodged THIS bullet, but the madmen are still out there with their machine guns.

Re: And if... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 6 years ago | (#23004160)

The article implies that the most layoffs will be in Germany, so I'm not sure what long term impact that would have on the "whole economy". I'm not one to poo poo job losses, but the sky definitely ISN'T falling (yet), especially if you check out the new AMD Campus here in Austin.

Re:And if... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003028)

I'm all for supporting the "little guy", even if it costs a little more to get an equivalent product, but in this case, what choice does one have? Intel currently makes a better processor, plain and simple. When buying something as significant as a CPU, I'm not going to pay more for an inferior product, especially if it's supposed to last me a few years.

Just my two cents.

Re:And if... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 6 years ago | (#23003226)

I never said we should support the little guy.

I just made the connection that our prices would probably approach double if AMD did die (or got out of the low-price sector).

Re:And if... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 years ago | (#23003920)

Exactly so. I've got some budget money for a new machine for myself, and need a good 64-bit machine capable of reliable virtualization. AMD's processors are practically a generation behind in this, and I've got to go where a) I'm going to get the biggest bang for the buck and b) where I'm going to get the biggest bang.

Part of the problem is simply an economy of scales. AMD does not have the capital that Intel has, and while they've done some amazing things over the last decade, it's mainly been because Intel has mistepped so much in the last six or seven years. Now that Intel is putting out some really impressive chips, AMD has a real problem. In the short term cutting the work force will shore up the bottom line, but in the long term I think they have huge problems.

True, but for a limited product range. (1)

Visaris (553352) | about 6 years ago | (#23003988)

> Intel currently makes a better processor, plain and simple.

That is true on the high end of the CPU market, as Intel's QX9770 [newegg.com] proves with a commanding price of $1,499.99 vs. AMD's top price of around $235 on the Phenom 9850 [newegg.com]. The problem is your lack of a definition for the word "better." In the dual- tri- and low-end quad-core market, AMD does pretty well with performance/price.

Re:True, but for a limited product range. (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | about 6 years ago | (#23004204)

I can't speak for original, but "better" to me exists REGARDLESS of price. The price of something is totally irrelevant to how well something works. As stated, Intel just makes a better processor at the moment.

Re:And if... (2, Interesting)

slifox (605302) | about 6 years ago | (#23003052)

Yeah, it sucks... but they screwed up big with the Phenom release.

Besides the terrible publicity for the launch of a new generation of CPUs, the covered-up TLB bug which prevents reliable virtualization (even 1 crash a week is NOT acceptable)... they almost completely dropped their support for the linux community with this CPU & chipset release. Their 780G chipset + SB700 southbridge is absolutely terrible in linux (even with 2.6.25-rc8)--20MB/s on a Raptor SATA with AHCI mode enabled (usually gets 75MB/s). AND, almost all the motherboards that supposedly support the 125W Phenoms will blow their voltage regulators within minutes of booting!

Or maybe I'm just bitter... I just got burned by this stupid fucking Phenom & 780G+SB700 release. Q6600, here I come--at Fry's its even cheaper then the mid-range Phenom now!

How about the "compatible" AM2+ CPUs? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003324)

Compatible? Not really.

AMD states that AM2+ is downward compatible with the AM2 socket. That's not the whole truth of course. The Phenom processor is so choke full of bugs that the required microcode updates basically need an 8 meg BIOS to hold them. Most AM2 mobos only have a 4 meg BIOS chip, so that claim is a lie when it's applied to reality.

So if you want a Phenom chip, you pretty much HAVE TO buy a AM2+ motherboard which are pretty new and use the so-so ATI chipsets. Anyway, how about not changing socket every year?

AMD has been screwing itself all by itself with its bugs and other business inabilities.

My advice: don't be an AMD customer until they get their act together (if that ever happens.)

Re:And if... (5, Informative)

Visaris (553352) | about 6 years ago | (#23004098)

> the covered-up TLB bug which prevents reliable virtualization

Where is this FUD comming from? The bug was never covered up. They delayed production for an entire quarter and publicly announced why. All CPUs have errata, and AMD took a huge hit by doing the responsible thing with disclosure and a delay.

Second of all, AMD provided a BIOS patch to motherboard makers that ships with every K10 capable board. If you want to argue the patch degrades performance or bring up the faster B3 revision, fine. However, don't imply AMD's chips can't do virtualization reliably. The patch completely fixes any chance of a crash from the TLB issue.

Re:And if... (4, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | about 6 years ago | (#23003198)

AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.

We saw something like this with Blu-Ray when HDDVD was announced to be dead.
You're obviously correct that Intel would drop the fast pace a bit and increase the rates, but comparing this situation to the media disk war of HDDVD and BD is just wrong. The industry was basically waiting for a winner because two competitors on this type of market is just too much. Certainly, the industry is not waiting for AMD or Intel to die.

On the other hand, I doubt that Intel would eliminate competition completely because there is certainly room for more than just one company. I'm not saying AMD is going to survive, but sometimes the best thing for a business is to terminate and reinstate itself.

Re:And if... (4, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | about 6 years ago | (#23003600)

Please tell me about all of the successful new entries into the non-embedded CPU marketplace in the last 10 years.

If you're working on stuff like CPUs, the semiconductor industry has positively WICKED barriers to entry.

I don't disagree in general... (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | about 6 years ago | (#23003332)

But Bluray drives dropped in price by almost half when HDDVD kicked it. They were about $250-$300 then, and are about $150 now.

remark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003520)

Only because they are "obsolete".

Coincidently, just as HD-DVD died, Blue-Ray Live just came out. So the crappy old Blu-Ray drives are discounted and replaced with new ones for about $100 more than the old ones were.

At the end of the day, there's only one good Blu-Ray drive: Playstation 3 40GB.

Re:I don't disagree in general... (1)

slifox (605302) | about 6 years ago | (#23003634)

Now that there is a clear winner--Blu-Ray--everyone is swarming to use/produce/sell/buy Blu-Ray stuff... bulk production increases by orders of magnitude, competition increases, and prices drop

As for CPUs--a much smaller portion of the market is waiting for a winner between AMD and Intel quad-core processors. I think the Q6600 is the clear winner against the current Phenoms, as far as price/performance goes. The prices for the Q6600 are dropping officially on April 20, and some places are already selling it for way below during special sales.

Re:I don't disagree in general... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 6 years ago | (#23004214)

Now that there is a clear winner--Blu-Ray--everyone is swarming to use/produce/sell/buy Blu-Ray stuff... bulk production increases by orders of magnitude, competition increases, and prices drop
That would be why standard prices are now $399 on sale for the cheapest of BD players? Woo hoo, let's hear it for the winner, they sure are sweeping the cash up.

As for CPUs--a much smaller portion of the market is waiting for a winner between AMD and Intel quad-core processors.
I'm not sure anyone's waiting in the CPU market. You either need a quad and go buy one, or you don't and you don't.

I think the Q6600 is the clear winner against the current Phenoms, as far as price/performance goes. The prices for the Q6600 are dropping officially on April 20, and some places are already selling it for way below during special sales.
Dang, did I buy mine too early? $180 was a pretty good price in my book, but maybe I was 2 weeks too early. Oh well.

Re:I don't disagree in general... (2, Informative)

San-LC (1104027) | about 6 years ago | (#23004080)

No, Blu-Ray drives (BD-ROM) dropped in price by almost half to make sure that HD-DVD kicked it. If you look at the Blu-Ray DVD Standalone units, they actually went up in price after HD-DVD announced its retreat from the market.

Re:And if... (1)

Sta7ic (819090) | about 6 years ago | (#23003370)

I don't think Intel will be able to kill AMD ~ we have these funny anticompetition clauses if Intel tries to burn AMD. They'll keep pace and offer comparable products, albeit with the smaller fab processes and the seemingly better design, but they won't jump ahead. The FTC would come down on Intel like a bag of bricks.

AMD needs to stay floating and push to the 45mm, and figure out the tricks to make their designs just as efficient, if they want to reclaim market share.

Re:And if... (4, Interesting)

idiotnot (302133) | about 6 years ago | (#23003386)

AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double.

AMD, as a company, may die. I seriously doubt their processors and GPUs will anytime soon. My guess would be either IBM or a Japanese semiconductor fab will resurrect their product line out of the smoldering crater.

A not-so-outlandish idea, however, is Samsung. To me, Korean ownership, development, and production makes a hell of a lot of sense.

Re:And if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003838)

Agreed. We should all root for AMD. Without AMD, Intel would still be selling us P3 or early P4 performance for $500 a processor right now.

Re:And if... (0, Troll)

tuaris (955470) | about 6 years ago | (#23003884)

AMD dies, then Intel will jack their rates up about double. We saw something like this with Blu-Ray when HDDVD was announced to be dead. And Via.. Well, they're VIA. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I couldn't care less about AMD, their CPU's suck. Have you ever used them? They overheat and become unstable. Nothing but trouble. Intel doesn't do this. I just wish they hadn't gobbled up ATI first. If AMD Dies, ATI dies. It really sucks because my shares of ATI were up in the $20 range before AMD got a hold of them :(

Well that's good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002904)

maybe now they can stick to desiging a better produck and not was everyones time

Re:Well that's good (3, Funny)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | about 6 years ago | (#23002940)

What is wrong with amateur ducks?

Re:Well that's good (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003040)

They're all quacks of course.

Re:Well that's good (3, Funny)

explosivejared (1186049) | about 6 years ago | (#23003152)

Once you've heard the real deal MONSTER GOLD INSULATED PRO EDITION DUCK(TM) than you can't settle for any less quality duck. I wouldn't expect a non-audio lover like yourself to understand though! Such swine is so prevalent on /. these days. Amateur ducks!

Howard... (1)

TypoNAM (695420) | about 6 years ago | (#23003494)

Did anybody else have the urge to lookup Howard The Duck on IMDB after reading the parent?
Weird I know... :)

No shit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23002958)



If I wanted to find out about stuff LAST, this is the place. Too busy duping to find real NEWS ?? Keep it up and I am outta here !!

AMD and ATi (4, Insightful)

phalse phace (454635) | about 6 years ago | (#23002960)

I guess AMD buying ATi didn't help things either (?).

Re:AMD and ATi (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | about 6 years ago | (#23003160)

In the short term, it was always a bad idea and I think they knew that. ATI didn't have anything to offer against nVidia for dx10 and they wouldn't for a while. In the medium term it looked like it might start being profitable, and in the long term they were hoping to be able to start revolutionizing the video industry with tighter integration between the CPU and video card.

Right now (heading into the medium term) it looks like they had some missteps but they're doing okay. It's still hard to tell what's going to happen long term, though. Intel's in the entrenched position since they're already the #1 video card maker because of their integrated chipsets. If ATI actually started changing the video card industry, then Intel's in a very good position to start competing with them quickly. I doubt Intel wants to start lagging behind AMD in performance again, especially with their CPUs actually beating AMDs for the first time since the original pentium came out.

All told, buying ATI was questionable, but it's not to the point yet where I would call it either way. AMD's already come into a market dominated by another company and beat it on its own ground, I wouldn't be surprised if they can do it again.

Re:AMD and ATi (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#23003442)

In the short term, it was always a bad idea and I think they knew that. ATI didn't have anything to offer against nVidia for dx10 and they wouldn't for a while.

As far as current products go, I think AMD was more interested in ATI's chipsets and embedded graphics, which are quite good, and help AMD build better 'platform' stories. Now they can provide a platform using mostly AMD chips, and that offers high performance, whereas before AMD made chipsets but they were generally not the best performing.

in the long term they were hoping to be able to start revolutionizing the video industry with tighter integration between the CPU and video card.

It's a neat idea, and there's a lot of potential there. We'll see if the potential ever becomes reality.

If they keep shedding people, probably not would be my guess. :P

In other news... (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 6 years ago | (#23002970)

Hector Ruiz closes AMD's India plants and outsources the jobs to Mexico. AMD's 'Barcelona' is renamed 'Tijuana', while 'Shanghai'(AMD's first 45-nanometer quad-core microprocessor) is renamed 'Mexicali'. AMD's new slogan(with apologies to Taco Bell) becomes, "Make a run for the border".

AMD has no chance (1, Funny)

sadgoblin (1269500) | about 6 years ago | (#23003142)

Actualy, nobody has chance against the "Intel Inside" propaganda. It's just too cool.

Re:AMD has no chance (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#23003238)

Actualy, nobody has chance against the "Intel Inside" propaganda. It's just too cool.

"Intel Inside - Idiot Outside" was the way it was for much of the cpu wars.

Re:AMD has no chance (1)

sadgoblin (1269500) | about 6 years ago | (#23003308)

Those who dont agree always find something mean to say...

Re:AMD has no chance (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | about 6 years ago | (#23003518)

Read up on the Intel P4 class action lawsuit [girardgibbs.com] - all those misleading commercials about the P4's enhanced performance, when, clock-for-clock, it lagged the P3.

Kind of like the "Vista Capable" mess.

This lawsuit alleges that Intel released the Pentium 4 prematurely, and that Intel and HP marketed the Pentium 4 to create the impression that the Pentium 4 outperformed the latest Pentium III, when they knew it did not. The lawsuit further alleges that Intel and HP exploited consumers reasonable expectation that the Pentium 4 would outperform the cheaper Pentium III by charging premium prices for the Pentium 4.

Re:AMD has no chance (1)

sadgoblin (1269500) | about 6 years ago | (#23003668)

Don't forget it happened in the past, and AMD still going to experience hobo-like lifestyle. People of the next generation wont have much of a choice.

Re:AMD has no chance (1)

miscz (888242) | about 6 years ago | (#23003700)

Yup. Intel had great position and marketing when AMD finally did something good and Athlons64 were making Pentium 4 32434GHz look silly. But consumers ignorance, reinforced by gigahertz myth allowed them to still sell a lot more processors. Of course a part of that is bigger production capacity of Intel but still I was amazed how many people made uninformed decisions when buying processors (they still do, it so happens that Core 2 Duo is actually awesome :)).

Re:AMD has no chance (1)

sadgoblin (1269500) | about 6 years ago | (#23003800)

There's no difference between choosing clothing or processors... Advertisement get's 'em all.

P.S. Ofc. I talk about the average-clueless human beings.

Buggy products (5, Interesting)

dgym (584252) | about 6 years ago | (#23003176)

I wonder if they will be getting rid of the people who decided to release the Phenom X3s and the energy efficient Phenom X4 with the TLB bug intact? By releasing a lot of new chips at the same time, some with the fix and some without, it seems as though AMD are trying to confuse people into buying buggy chips with awful performance.

Apparently we have to wait even longer before this mess will be cleared up. Is it any surprise that revenue is down?

Oblig. Annoyance (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003282)

Child voice from the back: Is it a recession yet?

Bush administration: No

Child: Is it a recession yet?

Bush administration: No

Radio: AMD cuts workforce by 10%

Child: Is it a recession yet?

Bush administration: DON'T MAKE ME TURN THIS ECONOMY AROUND YOUNG MAN!

1929 (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | about 6 years ago | (#23003418)

If there is anything we don't need its the government trying to stop recessions from happening. Remember that recession that turned into the Great Depression? We don't need any more "experimenting" with the economy like Hoover and FDR did.

Re:1929 (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 6 years ago | (#23003788)

You're an idiot. The great depression was caused extreme wealth inequality and a consumer debt spending. (The installment plan first became popular in the 20s). Hoover tried to wait it out. FDR's programs actually made a difference, and the regulations his administration enacted stopped the boom-bust cycle that had plagued the economy for hundreds of years.

Now that we've repealed a huge portion of the new deal legislation, we're seeing a return to the same extreme wealth concentration, and a return to the same old boom-bust cycle. We need to re-instance the new deal regulation, and even go beyond it, in order to ensure a stable economy.

Unless you want to return to the gilded age, of course.

Re:1929 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23004136)

You're an idiot, flameboy.

FDR's socialism didn't get us out of the Great Depression. WWII did.

Lay off 10%? (5, Insightful)

Mr.Fork (633378) | about 6 years ago | (#23003438)

I'm not an economist, but I have a good head on my shoulders and I have a masters in business. Help me understand how AMD hopes to turn around their company by laying off 10% of their staff? They're hoping the remaining 90% demoralized, repressed, deflated staff will do it? What are the chances the 10% that walk out the door may be their best and brightest and may have the answers to turn their company around?

It drives me crazy when companies think that the only way out of their mess is to lay off the staff, when the people responsible for the mess (board of directors and executive), don't give themselves a pay cut of 10%. Chances are, knowing how US exeuctives pay themselves, it would proably equal the amount saved laying off 10% of their staff. But what do I know?

Re:Lay off 10%? (5, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 6 years ago | (#23003646)

Well, if your revenue is down, you've got to cut costs in order to remain profitable. Since employees are by far the largest expenditure (ignoring for a second the opening of a new fab), it makes sense to cut costs there. Furthermore, in light of the fact that the last set of products were pretty underwhelming, I'm sure that there was some fat there that needed some trimming.

That said - I agree with your feeling that executives never seem to take responsibility for screw-ups. Instead, they take million dollar golden parachutes into semi-retirement. I'd love to see an exec who says: "Wow, we stunk this year. I'm cutting my salary in half to help the company stay profitable." Or a CEO who says "Wow, we stunk these past two years. I'm obviously the wrong person to run this company, and am forfeiting all salary, bonuses and payments that were supposed to come my way." I guess that technically, the Board of Directors is supposed to do this, but that's a whole different issue.

Re:Lay off 10%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003686)

Indeed. The CEO and the board recently voted themselves massive raises and then started cashing out their stock in the company. Now they are laying off the staff that actually gets the work done. Where are they going to find investors stupid enough to buy stock in a company that is as badly run as AMD is?

Re:Lay off 10%? (1)

Cyclon (900781) | about 6 years ago | (#23003792)

The CEO and the board recently voted themselves massive raises and then started cashing out their stock in the company.

Surely you can provide a link to back that claim up?

Re:Lay off 10%? (4, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | about 6 years ago | (#23003784)

IMHO here in the US we don't have real managers any more, who know their business. We have a bunch of snot-nosed hothouse MBAs who are comfortable only with spreadsheets and abstract numbers. I'm sure there are more, but it sure seems that Steve Jobs, reality distortion field aside, is the only US CEO who understands his business and can make it grow - the only CEO with a growth plan other than, "Do what we did last week, only cut costs."

But take what you said for a moment... We need a general expectation around here: Executive suite cuts the workforce 10%, they take a 10% pay cut. They get NO credit for growing profit by shrinking the company. Rather than shrinking the company, an executive worth his pay would figure out how to turn that "idle" resource into more revenue.

Re:Lay off 10%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003878)

"What are the chances the 10% that walk out the door may be their best and brightest and may have the answers to turn their company around?"

10%?

Re:Lay off 10%? (4, Informative)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#23003898)

No need to speculate, as a public company, executive compensation is public information:

http://amd.edgarpro.com/redirect_frames.asp?filename=0001193125-08-057479.txt&filepath= [edgarpro.com]\2008\03\14\&cols=7%2C0%2C4&SortBy=receivedate&AD=D&startrec=1&res=25&pdf=0

It looks like the executives made ~ $20 million in 2007(including option and stock grants, not just salary, also, the totals are lower than 2006).

I think cutting 1,600 jobs is going to save a bit more than $20 million, probably more than $100 million.

Re:Lay off 10%? (1)

andphi (899406) | about 6 years ago | (#23004246)

Perhaps cutting the jobs will save more money more quickly, but the long term costs will likely be exorbitant in terms of work lost. Some of the work loss cost they're incurring now, in hopes that the value that the work lost is less valuable than the money saved. Some of the work lost will stay with them, in the form of demoralized employees. Some of it will may never go away, if some of those laid off have strong working relationships with people outside the company - contractors, vendors, or otherwise.

If the executives had cut their own salaries, they could layed off fewer people. They could have been more selective instead of almost literally decimating their own ranks. But these days, corporate executives (and legislators too) seem to approve cuts in their own pay about as often as a Pope converts to Islam.

Re:Lay off 10%? (3, Insightful)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | about 6 years ago | (#23003984)

I'm not an economist, but I have a good head on my shoulders and I have a masters in business. Help me understand how AMD hopes to turn around their company by laying off 10% of their staff?
 
Not necessarily. There may still be some significant overlap between ATI and AMD especially in the non-R&D positions.

Re:Lay off 10%? (0, Redundant)

assertation (1255714) | about 6 years ago | (#23004074)

It drives me crazy when companies think that the only way out of their mess is to lay off the staff, when the people responsible for the mess (board of directors and executive), don't give themselves a pay cut of 10%. Chances are, knowing how US exeuctives pay themselves, it would proably equal the amount saved laying off 10% of their staff. But what do I know?
Traditionally, when a ship sank you put the officers on trial and reassigned the crew. The crew didn't make the decision that led to the ship sinking, their decisions were not the problem that needs to be fixed.

I was amazed that after my VERY well funded dot.com (remember Broadband Office ? )failed that almost all of the management got rehired quickly into good positions. They were the people that made the decisions that led to the company failing.

Rehiring those people is like taking a broken part out of a car in junkyard to keep your car running.

A lot of that was cronyism, but even so, the healthy of your company comes before helping your friend out. Your company is your job and your livelihood.

Re:Lay off 10%? (1)

Kelz (611260) | about 6 years ago | (#23004106)

Intel laid off 10% of their staff, and then some. When I left a few years ago, morale was in the crapper, stock options were worthless, and honestly it wasn't the greatest place to work. However they still did concentrate on revamping their core business, and the product is good. But its not like Intel is doing absolutely great right now either.

Re:Lay off 10%? (1)

TheHorse13 (908512) | about 6 years ago | (#23004148)

Your non economist observation is pretty accurate. I've gone through the "streamlining process", yes they called it that, and those who were left behind were way too busy pumping out resumes to care about the strategic vision of the company. Those who weren't busy with resumes, were strapping computer hardware to the roofs of their cars and driving off with the goods during their lunch hour. The only way this could have been better is to read the news on the media before the company told the employees. Yes, I've had that happen too. The sad thing is that when companies derail, you almost always see the highest paid people on the payroll until the doors are locked. Talk about irony.

Re:Lay off 10%? (1)

Mr.Fork (633378) | about 6 years ago | (#23004206)

Lots of great insight into this all - thanks for the replies. Of course, $20,000,000 in executive salary is still $20,000,000. And the comment from the past Intel employee is also good insight into what happens when you lay off staff. I bet there is a direct correlation to productivity loss that most VP's don't take into consideration when laying off 10% of your staff. I bet it hits productivity of staff by 50%.

I wonder what would of happened if they went to their staff and said "We need to be more profitable by improving our efficiencies - by XXX million dollars. What can we do?" You would of had a) employee buy in, and b) increase morale because staff are now part of the solution.

BTW - I have an MBA, and I don't believe that staff cuts make good business sense in the long run. Improving processes through efficiencies in how you make money does - and the people with those answers are usually the ones in the trenches - not some Ivory Towered MBA VP Executive. How come this hasn't caught on?

Re:Lay off 10%? (3, Interesting)

boris111 (837756) | about 6 years ago | (#23004232)

Really depends how they do it. If they say to every middle manager cut 10% of your staff... that's the wrong way to do it That's what 3Com did during the bubble bust (3Who? you say).

If they strategically cut groups that are not performing (including the managers)... that's cutting the fat.

Re:Lay off 10%? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 6 years ago | (#23004242)

If you really had a Masters in business, you would know that executive pay is between the shareholders and the executives, and NOBODY ELSE.

If AMD's sales are falling, and the people who were hired to support those nonexistent sales are sitting idle, of course it makes sense to axe them. That frees up wasted money so they can invest it in R&D to take the lead from Intel once more.

Shed? (3, Insightful)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 6 years ago | (#23003506)

They're firing 10% of their workforce. Not "shedding" them. Is "lay off" not enough of a euphemism? Now we're going to use "shed"?

"Firing" vs "laying off" (3, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | about 6 years ago | (#23003560)

Depending on the jurisdiction, "laying off" someone is different legally from "firing" them. Where I live, when you fire someone, you have to do it for cause, but you don't have to give notice or pay in lieu of notice; When you lay someone off, you can do it for any reason (or no reason), but you have to give notice or pay in lieu of notice.

Re:"Firing" vs "laying off" (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 6 years ago | (#23003734)

Yeah, I guess it's a gray area. In Texas you can file for unemployment when fired for no cause, or when laid off due to lack of work. Fired to buoy share prices isn't listed oddly enough. Our labor law does not include the technical term "shed", however.

Re:"Firing" vs "laying off" (1)

cheese_boy (118027) | about 6 years ago | (#23004000)

Where I live, when you fire someone, you have to do it for cause, but you don't have to give notice or pay in lieu of notice; When you lay someone off, you can do it for any reason (or no reason), but you have to give notice or pay in lieu of notice.

Many places you do not have to fire someone for cause - you can fire them for no reason at all (but you can't fire them for a discriminatory reason - ex. age, sex, marital status, etc.)

A "lay off" usually means they are firing enough people that they have to worry about keeping themselves legal under the WARN act.
http://www.doleta.gov/layoff/warn.cfm [doleta.gov]

Most companies that are possibly going to be hitting the conditions of the WARN act (closing a plant or laying off significant number of people at a given site) are going to give employees enough to stay legal under it. (60 days notice or 60 days pay/benefits)
A lot of companies will even give more than that, as the managers recognize that they want to not alienate people - they want people to be willing to come back if/when things pick up again. And sometimes the severance package has additional money in it but with the condition that you do not sue. (Which gives the company a definitive cost vs. the potential of an unknown cost of a court case.)

Re:Shed? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003588)

In the US "firing" is usually taken to mean "for cause" i.e. the employee is being terminated because of insubordination, sexual harassment or some other actionable offense. Whereas a layoff does not imply any misdeeds on the part of the employee.

Further, someone who is laid off is eligible for unemployment compensation.

Re:Shed? (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 6 years ago | (#23003794)

They're firing 10% of their workforce. Not "shedding" them. Is "lay off" not enough of a euphemism? Now we're going to use "shed"?
Don't be naive. What goes on in The Shed defies euphemism.

Hopefully they'll be from ATI (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | about 6 years ago | (#23003584)

Hopefully the ones layed off will be the geniuses from ATI who made the decision to stop publishing the interface between the drivers and the card.

Other Layoffs: Dell, Google, Chrysler, Motorola, (5, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 6 years ago | (#23003632)


"Dell Job Cuts to Top 8,800 as U.S. Spending Slows" (Dude! You're getting a pink slip!)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aEO1GX_CC.8U&refer=u [bloomberg.com]...

"Google DoubleClick cuts 300 jobs"
http://www.newsoxy.com/google_doubleclick_cuts_300_jobs/article10671.htm [newsoxy.com]

"Motorola to lay off 2,600 workers"
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-fri-motorola-8k-jobcuts-motap [chicagotribune.com]...

"Chrysler Slashing Tech Jobs - The latest cutbacks affect 400 technology workers"
http://www.thecarconnection.com/blog/?p=1095 [thecarconnection.com]

In other news, according to the NYT:

> The economy shed 80,000 jobs in March, the third consecutive month of rising unemployment, presenting a stark sign that the country may already be in a recession.

> The unemployment rate ticked up to 5.1 percent from 4.8 percent, its highest level since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005.

> The downturn has even come to San Francisco, where highly trained workers with elite degrees flock to work for some of the world's biggest technology companies. CNet Networks, the online media giant, laid off 10 percent of its staff -- about 120 workers -- this year in an effort to increase profitability and its share price. Yahoo, the search engine company, said it would cut its work force by 1,000.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/business/04cnd-econ.html?em&ex=1207540800&en=c1de4fb13c4ec4bd&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

Re:Other Layoffs: Dell, Google, Chrysler, Motorola (4, Informative)

TheVoice900 (467327) | about 6 years ago | (#23003932)

Your examples are good, other than the Google doubleclick one. Google is not laying off these people because they are doing poorly, they're just not needed any more. It's fairly typical of acquisitions, you end up with a bunch of redundant employees and someone has to go.

Also, your link to newsoxy seems to be some kind of spammy site. A better article is here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/03/BUA2VUNAO.DTL&tsp=1 [sfgate.com]

They should do something radical (1)

mario_grgic (515333) | about 6 years ago | (#23003652)

like offer 32 core CPU for the price of single quad core Intel Xeon. It doesn't have to be more powerful or anything it just has to have more cores :D.

Re:They should do something radical (1)

joe 155 (937621) | about 6 years ago | (#23004154)

I agree they should do something radical, but to me it seems that a free way to gain market share is just to be more open than the competition. How would our buying habits change if they made the spec 100% open source? Unless they think that tens of thousands of early adopters with (usually) large amounts of disposable income just aren't worth the hassle of opening up. The same goes for ATI.

Turn "ATI: enemy of your freedom" into "AMD/ATI: we love your freedom"

Wrong people going (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | about 6 years ago | (#23003666)

The first person going should be Hector

That would save a boatload of money, and the next guy (Dirk?) couldn't run the company worse. (why does Ruiz get bonuses for running the company into the ground?)

We need an investor revolt for the good of the world.

AMD NOT going under (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23003858)

I heard this story on NPR this morning. The reason for the layoffs is only slightly due to intel beating them in the market. It is mainly due to the acquisition of ATI. They are taking a loss with the purchase but are expected to be back up to par by the end of the year IIRC. They are expected to use the new acquisition to improve the graphics performance of their chips in the future. So before people start freaking out AMD DEAD INTEL MONOPOLY OMGWTFBBQ!!111one! it's just a phase. Don't worry. (well anyone that keeps their jobs don't worry...)

Re:AMD NOT going under (1)

turgid (580780) | about 6 years ago | (#23004124)

Indeed. AMD has superior chip technology to intel. So what if intel's 6 months ahead with process size, AMD has the better architecture, 5 years better than intel.

Re:AMD NOT going under (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#23004216)

What the fuck? A q6600 on stock beats the fastest Phenom. And if you have a q6600 its probably running at 3GHz, and its faster and cheaper than anything on market.
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