AMD talks about its cloud plans

AMD chief executive Rory Read has been chatting to the Washington Post over tea and sticky buns about his cunning plan to branch out into cloud services and reduce his outfit’s dependence on PC chip making.

He said that when data was stored on local servers, AMD was focused on how to process and display it on one particular device. Now with the cloud, you have to be able to set all of that graphics and display on any device.

Traditional PC chips used to constitute the majority of AMD’s revenue, but that within two years, he expects about 50 percent of revenue to come from high growth segments involving the cloud.

Read said that because cloud-based services allow consumers to access them from any device,  AMD must change how it sees chips.

Since 2011, Read has been carrying out a plan to “reset and restructure the company” to meet new technology goals, mainly through a 10 percent workforce reduction and terminating contractual commitments.

So far this has involved cost cutting like a mad thing by selling and leasing-back its campus in Austin, Tex. in March, freeing up about $164 million in cash.

Read said that the next part of the cunning plan was to create reusable blocks of intellectual property, which will help it “execute a turn through a launch of new products”.

He has also been investing in cloud technology outfits such as CiiNow, a cloud-based video game company, through its investment arm AMD Ventures. CiiNow and AMD together allow gamers to stream video games onto any device with high-resolution graphics and speed.

But there has also been a move towards government services and away from the consumer market. AMD was selected for an award of $3.1 million for work with a Department of Energy computing research project, which focuses on data transfer.

Governments have data on separate, local servers but other agencies cannot easily access them. The moment this data is moved to the cloud, it is possible to access that information from any device, anywhere and at any time.