Jim Cramer of CNBC Mad Money interviewed AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su on the floor of the NYSE remarking her company as the year’s biggest tech turnaround stories. The two spoke a variety of topics, including how the company went from a single-digit stock and a loss-making entity to one of the hottest tech-stocks, which threatens both Intel and NVIDIA. Dr. Su placed emphasis on taking long term strategic decisions that bear fruit years down the line.
“We decided to make the right investments. Technology is all about making the right choices, where we’re going to invest, and where we’re not going to invest…three or four years ago, it was mobile phones, tablets, and IoT that were the sexy things, and we were like ‘hey we know that those are good markets, but those are not AMD.’ We focused on what we thought the future would hold for us,” said Dr. Su. “We are making decisions now that you won’t see the outcome of for the next 3-5 years. We’re making some good decisions,” she added.
AMD Can Stay Competitive Even If Intel Sorts Out Its Foundry Mess
AMD is armed with a deep CPU architecture roadmap going all the way down to “Zen 5,” stated Dr. Su. She seems to express pride in some of the investment decisions taken in designing AMD processors, such as the way AMD is building its EPYC chips (a multi-chip module as opposed to a monolithic die that would have eaten up far more resources to design and manufacture alongside a smaller die). Right now AMD only has to manage two dies – a CPU-only die that builds Ryzen and EPYC processors; and a CPU+GPU die for Ryzen with Vega APUs and some of the company’s mobile Ryzen SKUs.
There Can Be Many Winners in the GPU Market
Cramer’s interview focused on the secrets behind AMD’s giant-killing feat against Intel, which is saddled with not just a dated CPU architecture peppered with security holes, but also silicon fabrication foundry issues that are preventing an advance from 14 nanometer. Dr. Su mentioned that AMD does not count on competitors underperforming, and is mindful that the competition is “very strong.” Towards the end of the interview, almost like a “one more thing,” question, Cramer questioned how AMD’s rivalry with NVIDIA is going. Dr. Su’s response was crafty.
In the first part of her response to that question, she mentioned that “competition is good for the marketplace and GPUs is a great market, but I’ve always said that there can be multiple winners in this market.” With this, AMD hinted that although its market-share in the discrete gaming GPU market is on the decline, there are areas where the company is winning. AMD rode, although conservatively, the crypto-mining boom over the last year with highly marked-up graphics cards; and is dominating the game console semi-custom SoC market.
AMD is Helping Both Microsoft and Sony with Their Own “Secret Sauce”
Elaborating on AMD’s partnerships with competing firms Microsoft and Sony (in the gaming console market), Dr. Su stated that her company is providing semi-custom chips, and is helping both firms develop their own “secret sauce” for their consoles. The partnership with Microsoft spans not just consoles but also Windows and Azure. AMD could be working with Microsoft in future cloud-computing projects driven by its EPYC and Radeon Pro/Instinct products. “Our strength is that we can work with all customers and we can differentiate for each one of them.”
You can catch the full video in the source link below.