AMD targets Australian enterprise with Kaveri-powered notebooks

Intel has stifled innovation, the company claims as it unveils new chipset architecture

Channel partners will have a greater range of AMD notebooks to sell, with brands such as Samsung, HP, Lenovo and Asus, all announcing laptops powered by AMD’s new Kaveri range of processors.

AMD’s Kaveri processors source their compute power from pooling the resources of the processing cores and graphic cores, which means that AMD is now in the distinct position of having its product range run on the same architecture, from the Playstation 4 and XBox One to desktops and laptops. This means that any improvements made can be leveraged across every device.

For a more detailed technical breakdown, click here.

AMD concedes it doesn’t have the budget to rival Intel, but country manager Peter Chambers said the company is gaining momentum. "In Q1 of 2014, AMD was in 1 in every 3 Windows based PCs sold in retail in Australia and New Zealand, more than double that of a year ago."

Head of consumer marketing, Scott Shutter, said the company is precise when it comes to marketing efforts.

“We're incredibly effective with the market spend we have. We have 30 per of the market, but we don't have a corresponding 30 percent budget.”

Shutter would not disclose the local marketing budget allocated to Australia.

The company plans on launching local marketing initiatives — predominantly online and in store — with OEM partners, Shutter told ARN.

“We allocate marketing dollars down to a SKU in that region. Our idea is to really focus on differentiation: ‘how can we help you sell more PCs as our partner?’”

AMD will invest in online campaigns and promote the graphic capabilities of its processors. “The idea is to leverage our leadership in gaming. ‘Hey, if it can play 30 frames per second on Battlefield 4, imagine what it can do on your web browser.’”

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AMD’s Kaveri processor leans on the company’s experience in the gaming market. A single processor can have up to twelve cores, and AMD has programmed the hardware to work with standardised programming languages.

It is unlikely the new products featuring AMD’s Kaveri processors will support 2-in-1 modes. Company representatives maintain the space is being watched closely, but at present AMD is focusing its energies on what it describes as 'value-for-money' notebooks.

Intel stifling innovation, differentiation

However, AMD will not follow Intel’s example of uniting manufacturer efforts by setting standards such as the ‘Ultrabook’ brand. AMD’s director of mobility solutions, Kevin Lensing, said such standards stifle innovation.

“The Ultrabook campaign has artificially constrained the market place. Now [notebooks] are all the same. There's no differentiation," he said.

“The OEM becomes a sales channel for Intel.”

Lensing said the prohibitive price of Ultrabooks works in AMD’s favour, claiming 90 per cent of AMD-powered laptops were priced for less than $1000.

“We come in and say we can give you that value proposition at a more accessible price point.”

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AMD benchmarks between it's Kaveri APU and a current-gen Intel core i7
AMD benchmarks between it's Kaveri APU and a current-gen Intel core i7

”The commercial market is coming to us”

The growing demand for multimedia is better positioning AMD in enterprise, as more and more of the every day tasks undertaken by companies require a more graphically intensive approach to computing.

“The commercial market is coming to us,” Lensing began.

“This AMD Pro line will become part of our strategy across across the whole business-to-business market.

“The workloads coming to the commercial workspace play perfectly into the APU value proposition. More people are spending time with photos, with videos and with CAD software than they do with data sheets.”

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Tony Ibrahim traveled to Computex as a guest of AMD.

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