The last half of 2003 has been a busy period for AMD. Fresh off the unveiling of their 64-bit processors for the server/workstation market in the form of Opteron, the company has recently launched its desktop and mobile 64-bit variants, Athlon 64 for the mainstream market, and at the very high-end, Athlon 64 FX. In light of these developments, we thought it was time to catch up with a representative from AMD to discuss these products, their adoption among both partners and consumers, as well as the challenges they face. Of course, we also didnít forget to ask about AMDís chief rival, Intel!
AMD's Henri Richard
Just recently we were given the opportunity to converse about these topics with AMDís Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Mr. Henri Richard. The following is a transcript of the first portion our phone conversation:
FiringSquad: Could you please introduce yourself to our readers and describe your role at AMD?
Sure, I joined AMD a couple of years ago. I run the worldwide sales and marketing for AMD, all three business units. As you may be aware, half of AMDís business is in processors but we also have another big business which is our flash memory business and we also have some embedded processors for platform devices and embedded computing. We have a few product lines that may not be familiar to your readers. One of them is Alchemy which is a MIPS-based device processor. Itís a very low power, high performance processor, and the other one is an x86-based processor that we acquired from National Semiconductor called Geode. We consider it a very popular product designed in many thin clients today.
So I came to AMD from the software industry, I was running worldwide field operations for a company called WebGain, who is the leader in Java development software. And prior to that I was with IBM Corporation where I ran their storage business. Iíve spent most of my career in Europe and moved over to the US five years ago.
FiringSquad: We hear that youíre a gamer. Could you tell us how you got into gaming?
Well I got into gaming because, well Iíve been in this business for many, many years. I started programming in assembly language on the 8086. So letís see, there were the 80s and the Apple II so I started gaming on the Apple II and then I moved onto the PC. Iíve always been a fan of high tech because I work in the computer industry so Iíve always built my own system and I find it important that if youíre in my position in this business to have hands-on experience with the products in the marketplace to assess whether the value proposition that manufacturers are putting into the marketing pitch are real or not.
So I have a very disciplined approach to buying all the latest graphics cards, the latest storage devices, and of course testing many motherboards and trying to figure out if the value that we bring to the customer is real. Iím also a [inaudible] pilot [Brandon laughs] and a faithful customer of Microsoft and every single version of Flight Simulator since its inception.
FiringSquad: Wow. What are your favorite games and genres? What games are you currently playing?
Well again, flight simulator is always a standard on my system but of course I have to confess that I like to shoot them up and so I have been a big fan of Quake and Doom and Unreal. I typically, well Iím a customer of Gamespy, and so I download automatically all the new games. I love Medal of Honor and [inaudible] also Return to Castle Wolfenstein of course.