After a short bus ride from our hotel, the13 invited bloggers showed up at the beautiful new AMD Lone Star Campus. Parts of it are still being finished, but the company began moving in late last year.
Mauricio Freitas of GeekZone (we met at Mobius 2007 in Amsterdam) standing in front of the entrance to “our” building
Nick White, who is now with BuzzCorps, and who I remember well from his Microsoft/Mobius days.
Once we were in our room, we picked seats and got set up around a long table; being at a single table and in such a small group allowed for very easy round table discussion and interaction.
Chris Cloran – Welcomed us and presented information about the Puma (say “pooma”) launch, mentioning that we would see demonstrations on Puma and information on their upcoming road map.
Pat Moorehead – went over the day’s itinerary and let us know what we could expect.
David Rooney – Puma product manager, talked about key factors driving notebook adoption in the consumer market. PUMA uses a “Better By Design” logo that demonstrates a higher level of evolution.
Puma’s hybrid graphics use the Discrete card and integrated graphics together, allows for a 1.7x boost in 3D graphics performance over the ATI Radeon HD 3200.
They are also expecting an increase in battery life using the hybrid; according to their slide, you can expect over a 2.4x increase in 3D graphics performance or over a 90 minute increase in battery life. Consumers want desktop performance and long battery life from their laptops now, this hybrid is meant to provide that.
Puma offers over 4.5 hours on XP, and over 3.5 hours in Vista, depending upon the hardware design.
Vista is a much more power and graphics intensive CPU hog, and that is part of the reason for the huge battery hit. Explanation is that more productivity things are going on in the background…but heck, I would rather have the better battery life! XP please! :-/
Asking about CPU Benchmarks brought a comparison to the thinking that “the world is flat”, in that the whole game has changed. It is now all about the quality visual experience, not synthetic benchmark numbers.
Puma is the codename for the platform, and it will be marketed under the Turion and Radeon brand names.
Nigel Dessau, Pat’s boss AMD’s CMO, welcomed us and acknowledged the importance of bloggers in getting information to consumers. After a quick run-through of his qualifications, he answered the question “Why did he join AMD, and why now?” He said that when he joined things were not great, and so he had to consider the people at AMD, their customers, was the base technology good?, and was their core strategy good and could it be articulated? He acknowledged that the strategy has not been articulated well, and that there has been a long cycle of failure, but his goal is to make AMD’s marketing work well and his strategy to turn it around. Stage one – improve product momentum, stage two – improve business momentum, stage three – improve financial momentum. Stage three is obviously an end result of improving the first two stages. His goal is to make the company more transparent without being “stupid” about it. He wants to share the failures as well as the successes AMD experiences, so that the company is more clear to consumers about their position.
When I posted that I was coming to AMD for this Tech Day and asked for comments or questions to present to them, Clinton had said:
The problem is that they have spent next-to-nothing marketing themselves other than “geek speak”. All their marketing has been around “we can do this many more calculations per second”. That’s great… my cat can also poops in multiple colors just like I can depending on what we eat JUST like Intel can do calculations per second. They need to learn how to speak to the common man much like Intel has been able to do.
It sounds like they are trying to get away from the “Geek Speak”. As Nigel continued, he said that consumers look for good, better and best, which is a simple way of defining use at home, work and play. There needs to be a clear way to communicate these capabilities without falling into technical terms, benchmarks or other phrases that might not mean anything.
Matt Mazzatini, spoke to us about Shrike – codename for AMD’s integrated platform, the first substantiation of their fusion processors. It will be most useful in the smaller and thinner (sub 1″ form factor) laptops, and it is meant to provide exceptional performance, lifelike visual quality and longer battery life. But it will also go in products competing in the ultra-value and gaming categories.
Shrike is not a Via or other low-end processor competitor; it is expected in 2009.
For those who were wondering, a Shrike is a bird of prey.
Hal Speed, Senior Product Manager, presented on accelerated computing…
…which opened up a lively discussion where we were able to give feedback on battery strategies, CPU, large screens as power sucks, and what
Charlie Boswell, the Director of Advertiser Marketing, spoke on “AMD Goes to Hollywood,” including how AMD is working with the entertainment industry, (including George Lucas on Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3)…
AMD technology allows directors, such as Steven Spielberg, to see immediately what the action they have shot will look like – on a simple laptop, on the set, shortly after the action has occurred.
We watched a filmed presentation by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, GrindHouse) on , and shorts from live videos shot of various music acts and spliced using the technology, which was interesting from a marketing perspective…
And then it was time for lunch.