Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has been suffering as the PC market has fallen over the past few years, ceding much of their market share to tablets, smartphones, and more flexible devices. But as PC makers, especially laptop makers, scramble to keep up, innovate, and return from their fall, they’re ready for anything that will improve their position. AMD is also in a position to make big changes if it means a rescue from decline. And they’re doing it by changing their supply strategy.
Carrizo processors are being designed and marketed to laptop makers as an easy, all-in-one, option. Their plug-and-play approach allows any laptop maker to use a Carrizo chip, any Carrizo chip in any laptop. A single motherboard will be supplied which will be compatible with any size or price of laptop. Then any Carrizo or Carrizo-L laptop chip can be used with the motherboard. This helps laptop makers to cut down on time and effort as well as providing them with an easy way to provide exactly the chip requested by consumers.
AMD’s previous chips, their Kaveri line, were not a great success. AMD is hoping to erase that failure by providing both the Carrizo-L for low-cost laptops and their higher performance Carrizo for more mid-range machines. They’re using a new core called Excavator CPU and the hope is that they’ll be able to compete with Intel’s Core chips. Intel of course introduced a new line of chips in January and is probably not going to lose clients based on performance. But the ease of installation and use of the Carrizo may make them preferable from a delivery standpoint.
AMD has struggled to compete and this innovative approach to motherboard and circuitflexibility may keep them in the game for a bit longer. PC makers have stepped away, except for AMD’s primary client Hewlett-Packard. With future announcements and disclosure about the way Carrizo processors will work and how delivery will promote PC makers to their consumers, it’s possible that they will make a bit of a comeback over the next year or so. For their sake, let’s hope this strategy is backed by solid engineering and design. If the Carrizo can compete, it will need to provide power efficiency as well as cost-effective and standardized design.