AMD Sets Its Sights Beyond PCs

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It seems revenue from PC sales wasn’t enough to whet processor-maker AMD’s (NYSE:AMD) appetite, as a new lineup of top brass could turn the company’s designs toward new industries.

In the past, AMD drew up to 80 percent of its revenue from PC sales. AMD’s processors and graphics cards have been popular in a broad array of different PC brands, including laptop and desktop PCs, and the company’s hardware has proved a cheaper alternative to computers running on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) processors.

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Now, AMD doesn’t want to rely so heavily on the PC market for its revenues. Being so tied up with PC was like hedging its bets, and as PC sales dropped 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter, from the previous year, it was time AMD found ways to diversify its technology’s deployment.

Enter Rory Read, Jim Keller, Charles Matar, Wayne Meretsky, and two new engineers. AMD has said that it wanted to reduce its dependence on PC sales to only 50 percent of revenue, leaving new technologies to fill in the gap. The company’s new chief executive, Rory Read, moved over from PC-maker Lenovo in 2011 to help improve the company’s efficiency…

In the most recent arrivals, Matar came over from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), bringing his knowledge of low-power and embedded chip design to his position as vice president of System-on-Chip Development at AMD. Meretsky came from AppleĀ (NASDAQ:AAPL), bringing his experience on iOS device processors to his position as vice president of software IP development. Two more engineers have been added whose roles were not immediately made clear. These new arrivals were preceded by Jim Keller, who came to be AMD’s chief architect last year after being in charge of mobile processor design at Apple.

The new lineup and new expertise can give the company a chance to push its technology into the smartphone and tablet market, which has boomed in popularity in recent years. AMD will continue improving its PC technologies, but wants to add more focus on non-PC devices, and is planning to ship a new low-power processor for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 tablets and hybrid laptops early this year.

The new areas of development should help AMD ensure that its revenues do not slip as sharply as PC sales decline against the growth of smartphone and tablet sales.

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