AMD is looking to quickly integrate Xilinx technology into its processor business, but it may be more important to develop software to enable a broad portfolio of applications for its hardware.
In a recent call for profits, AMD CEO Lisa Soo said the company sees opportunities to deliver stronger products as a result of the technology it acquired when it merged with Xilinx in February.
“As an example, we are integrating Xilinx’s differentiated AI engine into our CPU product portfolio to enable industry-leading output capabilities, with the first products expected in 2023,” Su said.
Xilinx’s expertise adds to the strengths of earlier acquisitions, Pensando, which develops intelligent, programmable software to support software-defined cloud, computing, networking, storage and security services that can be quickly deployed to peripherals, colocation or service -networks of suppliers. The Pensando team is putting a lot of effort into their GPUs, Su said: “So I think in general we need to see how we invest a lot more in software.
Victor Peng, a former CEO of Xilinx and now head of AMD’s adaptive and embedded computing team, said the AI engine is already being implemented in a number of embedded applications and endpoints in peripherals, such as cars.
“They do a lot of image recognition, all kinds of inference applications, and that same architecture can be scaled up and implemented in the CPU’s product portfolio, and as we mentioned, that’s exactly our plan,” he said.
He added that AMD is also working on unified comprehensive software to enable a broad portfolio, but especially in AI. He said there would be more discussions on the topic of Financial Analyst Day on June 9th.
AMD’s rival in the GPU space, Nvidia, has made a huge investment in software. Many analysts point out that Nvidia is not considered a hardware company, but rather a software company, and reportedly has five times more software developers than hardware developers.
So AMD has to play catch-up, and catching up is what it’s looking for.
Good quarter for revenue
In terms of financial results, five years ago, reading a quarterly report from AMD was about as enjoyable as reading an obituary, but that has changed.
For the first quarter, it reported sales growth of 70% year on year to a record $ 5.89 billion in the first quarter, and AMD forecasts second-quarter revenue between $ 6.3 billion and $ 6.7 billion. This is remarkable because Q1 and Q2 tend to be slower for chip companies like Intel and Nvidia. Business sales are usually scattered and at the mercy of the launch cycle, but consumer sales are tied to Christmas and back to school, so Q3 and Q4 are big quarters, while Q1 and Q2 are when things are declining. But not here.
In the six weeks of the first quarter in which Xilinx was part of the company, it contributed $ 559 million in revenue and is set to contribute $ 1 billion in the next quarter. AMD raised its revenue forecast for the year to about $ 26.3 billion a year. Five years ago, they were lucky enough to receive $ 4 billion.
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