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AMD Closes OSRC, Lays Off Several Linux Kernel Developers

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the reversal-of-fortunes dept.

AMD 94

From the H reporting on LinuxCon Europe comes news that several Linux kernel developers have been laid off by AMD as part of its workforce reduction. From the article: "OSRC staff primarily worked to develop the Linux support for AMD's server processors, but they also wrote code and extensions for related desktop and notebook CPUs – for example, they looked after the code to support CPU frequency scaling for the PowerNow and Turbo Core technologies. While working on the kernel's IOMMU and KVM support, one of AMD's former employees contributed to the development of the "IOMMU groups" feature that was integrated into Linux 3.6; this feature provides the basis for a new Linux 3.6 technology that allows a host's PCIe devices to be passed through to virtual machines and can also be used with Intel CPUs." Looks like the group was doing interesting research on hypervisors, lockless data structures, and multi-core synchronization primitives among other things. The Open Source Radeon driver developers are not affected by this at least.

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OMG Ponies!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909117)

first post?

I guess they don't want me to buy their products (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909133)

The AMD/ATI linux drivers suck, they are laying off their kernel folks, and no indication they have any plans to change. I hope they survive, but convincing me not to buy your products is not going to help.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (5, Insightful)

Grave (8234) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909179)

AMD is betting the farm on ARM-64. If it fails to take off in the server world, there won't be anything left of the company. Too many cuts and too deep. The worst part of that is that not only would we lose competition in the x86 space, but graphics competition at the high end would also be gone (unless Intel starts working miracles).

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909369)

AMD is betting the farm on ARM-64. If it fails to take off in the server world, there won't be anything left of the company. Too many cuts and too deep. The worst part of that is that not only would we lose competition in the x86 space, but graphics competition at the high end would also be gone (unless Intel starts working miracles).

Is there a good reason Intel doesn't get more serious about graphics hardware? With the fabs and expertise and funding they've got I am convinced they could do it if they wanted to. Why wouldn't they as a company want to expand into this market? Wouldn't it be a way to diversify?

And I mean, the drivers on Linux for intel graphics Just Plain Work. Even more hassle-free than nVidia's linux drivers which are quite good, just of course not bundled with the kernel like almost every other driver.

And no Nouveau sounded nice but just isn't there yet, not if you actually need the performance, tho I sure hope that changes. Some major distros bundling Nouveau as a default driver is just a repeat of the same mistake they made with installing Pulseaudio by default. ESPECIALLY distros aimed at newbies like Ubuntu, hey here's a free tip, newbies aren't so good at isolating and fixing the kinds of problems that causes, they just go back to Windows because Linux "didn't work so good".

And really I hate pulseaudio. If i wanted to play sound over a network I'd share the files via nfs or samba on a local network. Superior in every way. Then I have something generic that can share video, documents, anything. It's *nix man, everything is a file, local or not. And per-app volume adjustment is needless complexity and more stuff to waste time tweaking for no real gain. But I digress.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (2)

snadrus (930168) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909491)

I suspect Intel doesn't want to give any more help to GPU processing efforts which are making inroads at obsoleting their main CPU line for large workloads.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909579)

More to the point, they have no need to produce better graphics. People who play more than casual games buy a discrete GPU, so they only need to support desktop displays and basic games; about a third of the die in my i7 system is wasted on an IGP I don't use, and I really don't want that situation to become worse in future.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910681)

I agree that IGP can be a waste, but why should Intel limit themselves to integrated graphics? AMD seems to have done fine with both discrete and integrated GPUs.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41914493)

It's profit margin, stupid. :P

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0, Offtopic)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909825)

i have been having a pulse audio problem on my linux box any suggestions for a replacement just use alsa or anything else?

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#41911251)

i have been having a pulse audio problem on my linux box any suggestions for a replacement just use alsa or anything else?

I personally just use ALSA for everything.

I use Gentoo so this system has never had PulseAudio installed (the way Gentoo works, I would only get Pulse by putting it there myself, which I won't).

Ubuntu and most major distributions have wiki pages concerning PulseAudio and how to remove it. Most of the time it's as simple as running a command or two involving your package manager. Binary distros tend to build programs with all features enabled and they simply won't use functionality you don't actually have (for example mplayer on stock Debian complains about not finding LIRC support when run in a terminal but this won't stop playback).

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 2 years ago | (#41914065)

Honest question, how do you get multiple apps doing sound without pulseaudio?

Im pretty hardcore linux user, and I dont know a better option then pulse audio, and it does not crashes on me, it is a little PITA on first install, but after that it works great for me, maybe I am lucky? ( currently using it on a dell laptop, asus lapto, and amd desktop)

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#41916187)

You have always been able to get multiple apps doing sound. You've just not been able to individually control the sound levels before. OSSv4 allows you to do this too.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 2 years ago | (#41930175)

For real, that is totally not my experience, just one app will work, any other simultaneous app trying to send sound would lose the ability to until the working one is killed and sometimes a restart of both apps is required

This must be related to sound card model I guess, but I have never been able to do multiple apps with plain OSS or ALSA

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41919285)

You're not lucky. I haven't had any issues with PulseAudio since about Fedora 11. Obviously distro support will be different, and Fedora is intentionally bleeding edge, but that was 3 years ago that a mainline distro had PulseAudio just work.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41921167)

Well, here's a quick rundown:

1. Google for the website with two ships with black sails on it. Sometimes they put some dumb photo up to imply they're repressed, but it's just mental masturbation.
2. Search for Windows 7 Ultimate and download ISO.
3. Burn ISO and insert into drive and reboot.
4. During Windows setup, click the advanced setup. Be sure to delete the partition containing linux.
5. Proceed with your Windows installation.
6. Your audio should be functioning now. Downloading updated drivers is optional, but not necessary. If you do decide to download the drivers, just click Next through the installer. I assure you that you won't have to spend 50 hours reading wikis and forums and fucking around with config files.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41910205)

They haven't been serious about the graphics market since before the millenium. I didn't know they'd ever reached market, but intel's successor to the i740 (752/754, basically the i810/815 in dedicated card form.) was canned for being too slow after only one hardware generation, and relegated to life support status basically until the 965 chipsets came out (The X3000 series GPUs, which were a complete rearchitecting. Everything from i810 to i915/45 were basically iterative designs with few real increases in feature capabilities. As evidenced by the number of games that were incapable of running on them, before even factoring in usable gaming performance.)

Larrabee just proved they don't have the technical assets to produce a competitive graphics chip design even though they're 2 process techs ahead of everyone else.
If that wasn't proof, their utilization of SGX graphics processors for the low end ATOM chips in preference to GMA designs should've cemented that fact for anyone watching.

Honestly though, if AMD dies, I think we're going to see the desktop as we know it die with them. Once intel has no competition in the desktop space they'll be able to cut down their feature offerings (since it'll be take it or leave it) and unless somebody comes out with an ARM, Power, or MIPS (Or even just a generic socket/firmware design allowing a mix of processors) PC-style system at competitive pricing, the available motherboard designs and thus expansion card opportunities will continue to dwindle until your only options are keep it as it is or purchase a predesigned upgrade.

I'm not really looking forward to either option, but maybe we'll get lucky and the vacuum left by AMD's departure will stimulate renewed competition in the 'low end' PC landscape and provide us with new and varied desktop platforms of every shape, color, and architecture.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910829)

I don't even want to consider how many patents are involved in GPUs these days. Hardware AND Software have probably got to be in the 10s of thousands. If they started to get uppity and make something very good, they'd be blow out of the water in the courts because they couldn't possibly have gotten better without deliberately copying our patents...

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41913441)

Is there a good reason Intel doesn't get more serious about graphics hardware?

Well, I'd say that the biggest reason they wouldn't is because then they'd have a problem "explaining" why they use up your CPU die for an IGP. Intel wants your GPU to be something that comes with your CPU, because that's obviously a huge advantage for Intel. That's why they've made real effort to improve Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell promises to take this even further. Reportedly their fastest IGP configuration GT3 is supposed to have 40 EUs compared to 16 in IVB, obviously it's unreleased yet but Intel claims to achieve same FPS on Skyrim at 1920x1080 on high quality as the HD4000 did at 1368x768 on medium quality. They're looking to win over the mass market laptops, the high end graphics cards are increasingly a niche for FPS gamers. There's a lot of WoW addicts that don't need anywhere near a GTX 680 to get their kicks.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909759)

Trust me, even if AMD goes under the company will be bought by someone else to salvage the Radeon GPU business. That's basically whats keeping AMD afloat right now, and it it might not be enough, but someone can profit from it.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (3, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910389)

Well if you look at who is at the industrial park at the 407 and Leslie (where ATI HQ is in Markham, just outside Toronto), qualcomm seems to have setup shop, and has a conspicuously large number of job openings for graphics people...

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#41912465)

That was a point I made to a co-worker. If there's anyone that would be interested in swooping down and grabbing the GPU division, it'd be Qualcomm. They bought AMD's mobile GPU IP for Adreno, no reason for them not to add another feather to their cap and restore the ATi name for a discrete graphics brand, while having all the same knowledge to enhance their mobile GPUs even further.

I just hope that if it happens, Qualcomm doesn't drop all non-Android Linux support.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41913849)

I just hope that if it happens, Qualcomm doesn't drop all non-Android Linux support.

hard to say, Qualcomm doesn't seem even remotely interested in the desktop market, but that's what acquisitions are for.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910373)

, there won't be anything left of the company.

There's nothing left of the company now, and what is left has the vultures, notably qualcomm, feasting on its remains. The main potentially profitable enterprise from the old AMD was globalfoundries, and that's a separate company now.

AMD is basically just a chip design firm now, they sold their ARM business to qualcomm a couple of years ago (the snapdragon and adreno products), and they are going to struggle to catch back up to the big ARM guys at this point, and the GPU products business will probably be absorbed by someone.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41911457)

They've done this before. When Intel went Itanium, AMD went x86_64. AMD won big, and AMD lived to see another day.

AMD has realized that it's slowly losing to Intel, and catching up would take resources that they don't have. Making the switch to ARM allows them to compete in power usage, but without having to develop the tech to compete with Intel (sub-32 nanometer production, intelligent scaling, etc).

Linux already runs on ARM, so they can keep their server market. Since servers are often IO bound, not CPU bound, this sounds like a great nitch that AMD can take over. With ARM getting more popular, AMD can have a presence in the laptop/tablet/netbook markets.

Servers are often IO bound, not CPU bound, so ARM makes sense. Expand the max memory it can use and it's just as good as an x86_64 database/file server.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#41927373)

Competition in terms of price? Possibly. But competition to push the envelope in terms of performance? I thought game makers pushed hardware makers to innovate?

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909203)

This has nothing to do with graphics drivers at all, those were completely unaffected. It might impact implementation of some new server features on Linux, but it is strictly about CPU and related features, not APU or GPU stuff.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909241)

I realize that. I only meant they were already crap, so this was basically their only way of making those products less attractive to me.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41911661)

in other words, you had nothing new to add.

your 2 cents has already been priced in.

about 5 years ago. bugger off.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909269)

Because the actual article does not state that the Radeon driver developers are unaffected....

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41911327)

I was convinced a couple years ago that AMD/ATI had no intentions of actually supporting open source despite their repeated promises to do so. This is the nail in their coffin. Two years ago I decided to start buying Intel despite the fact that I was against them up until that time. I'm actually quite pleased with the outcome as my system works and the issues I have with Intel graphics aren't nearly as bad as what I had with ATI over the years.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (1)

zixxt (1547061) | more than 2 years ago | (#41917941)

The AMD/ATI linux drivers suck, they are laying off their kernel folks, and no indication they have any plans to change. I hope they survive, but convincing me not to buy your products is not going to help.

AMD is the only choice in my mind. Intel is big and evil monopolist who hates consumers , and Nvidia hates Linux and OpenSource.

AMD is the only alternative to these goons in the PC market.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41919453)

AMD "loves" Linux and open source but won't do anything for it. Hey fanboy, AMD drivers still suck today many yeas after they started "loving" open source. AMD gives you a crash happy blob with less features than its competitors (and less features than its Windows version) -OR- open drives which are stable, rock solid, but devoid of features. You can either crash with AMD or you can turn your discrete graphics card (you payed extra $$ for it) into something competitive with the low cost on-board solutions.

Meanwhile the hateful NVIDIA Doubles Linux Driver Performance [slashdot.org] . Aside from a philosophical argument against closed source software, there's basically nothing wrong with the drivers from NVIDIA. Queue FUD about NVIDIA or the Linux kernel pulling the plug on it all.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41921617)

Interesting that neither my 4870 or 7770 has ever give me crashes in Linux (or Windows). As for doubling their performance they only did so due to a brand new incentive , namely steam and the best ever opportunity for a gaming market in Linux. With that in mind I expect major improvements in AMD's performance to follow as well. Of course for some people in linux nvidia is a sacred cow for reasons that maybe applied some years ago but most certainly don't today.

Re:I guess they don't want me to buy their product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41921047)

They're okay with that. They ran the numbers and found that the sells to freetards like yourself don't pay the salaries and overhead of their linux development department.

It's business. I know it's foreign and not well-understood by the freetard, but this post will hopefully serve as a first step.

Not sure I understand... (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909157)

The server market, usually Linux-based, appears to be AMD's most stable market. Opterons are very often preferred over Xeons for a variety of reasons. So why exactly would AMD start axing developers in areas related to that? If anything, it'd make more sense to throttle down consumer processors and focus on graphics and server processors, no?

Re:Not sure I understand... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909247)

I guess the problem is that the work of these guys affected real server performance in contrast to generic benchmarks. What they achieve is real life performance improvements in real applications running on Linux. But generic benchmarks rarely capture these advances, so their work has limited marketing value.

Re:Not sure I understand... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909467)

I'll agree with this. Under Linux, much of the performance edge for Intel chips over AMD chips disappear. But what websites have these benchmarks? Phoronix has some simple ones but nothing that relevant. So we end up with review after review of Windows + Games even though AMD server optimizations in Linux would make it a compelling purchase option IF PEOPLE FREAKING KNEW ABOUT IT!

Re:Not sure I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909563)

People do know about it. They just don't want it or care.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909607)

Do wonder how much this disappearance has to do with the compiler used.

That is allegations floating around that the Intel compiler puts checks in the binaries that will only turn on MMX and other advanced bits when running on a Genuine Intel. On any other hardware it drops back to 386 generation code.

On Linux the most common compiler is GCC however, something that is more likely to be CPU agnostic.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909687)

Sure, if all that Windows software was compiled with Intel's compoler. That is highly unlikely.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909823)

Sure, if all that Windows software was compiled with Intel's compoler. That is highly unlikely.

When I was writing high-performance Windows software it was compiled with the Intel compiler. Since Intel CPUs were 99% of our market, not optimising for them would have been silly.

Your word processor probably doesn't use the Intel compiler, but when was the last time you complained that your word processor's code wasn't optimised enough?

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909957)

When I was writing high-performance Windows software it was compiled with the Intel compiler

Good for you? Plenty of other people use MSVC, GCC, and various other compilers.

Since Intel CPUs were 99% of our market, not optimising for them would have been silly.

Sure, if no other compiler optimized their code generation for Intel
CPUs. This isn't the case, though. Also ICL's benefit on the average case in code generation over MSVC or GCC is marginal.

Your word processor probably doesn't use the Intel compiler, but when was the last time you complained that your word processor's code wasn't optimised enough?

Yes, and neither are most applications. MSVC is quite dominant for softwate on Windows.

Re:Not sure I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41919579)

when was the last time you complained that your word processor's code wasn't optimised enough?

Last time I saw this was the last time any article featuring any word processor that wasn't MS Word. Yeah, probably unfounded... but it does come up a lot in some trolling circles. Does that count?

Re:Not sure I understand... (4, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909849)

That is allegations floating around that the Intel compiler puts checks in the binaries that will only turn on MMX and other advanced bits when running on a Genuine Intel

Its not just allegation...

Due the the FTC ruling against Intel, its still not too late to get reimbursed by Intel if you purchased Intels compiler. [compilerre...rogram.com] Only a few more months left on that.

Re:Not sure I understand... (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910821)

I guess getting reimbursed by Intel if you purchased AMD's processor is out of the question... :p

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909249)

The company is being run by people who don't understand the technology. I expect a lot of question marks in the coming months.

Re:Not sure I understand... (3, Funny)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909441)

No, they see the obvious: Windows 8 will dominate the supercomputer OS market [Unicode: U+2E2E]

Re:Not sure I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909477)

Opterons are very often preferred over Xeons for a variety of reasons.

Oh, god, please tell me this is a clever troll. I haven't so hard in ages.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909593)

You're exactly right, so the only available conclusion is that they're getting out of the x86 market. See also their recent ARM deal.

It's too early and too risky, IMO. The might know something I don't know, but I suspect they're just being foolish.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910243)

Getting out of the x86 market would be the wrong move they are after all responsible for the AMD64 architecture. If I where them I would look into a multi-architecture computing. Have a board support running on ARM for low power and fire up the x86_64 core when you need more power. Possibly put both cores in the same possessor similar to the APU design where the CPU and GPU are built one on top of the other. Or maybe I'm just crazy. I admittedly know little about the processor design if someone would be so good as to enlighten me on the subject it would be much appreciated.

I would not be surprised to see AMD go up for sale but what ever happen they will probably keep building x86 family processors i could see anothe tech company snap them up just so that they could build them. Best case would be someone like IBM buying them and continuing the development and manufacture, more likely though I could also see Apple buying AMD so that they wouldn't have to buy chips from Intel anymore. worst case scenario though Microsoft buys them as a way to further their aspiring dream of being a hardware company. (shudder)

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910989)

If I where them I would look into a multi-architecture computing. Have a board support running on ARM for low power and fire up the x86_64 core when you need more power.

They are doing multi-architecture computing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMD_Fusion [wikipedia.org]

How much of a benefit do you think they would receive from adding an ARM core to the mix?

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909603)

The current trend is: focus on tablets. Discard anything else as unimportant.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910007)

The current trend is: focus on tablets. Discard anything else as unimportant.

AMD has products suitable for tablets?

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#41930807)

Hondo

Re:Not sure I understand... (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#41911273)

I know. First that Moses guy, and now this.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909621)

AMD's marketshare in server is less than 6% and that was after the 1.5% estimated drop back in March. Opterons "very often" preferred over Xeons? Sorry, but the actual data doesn't bear out this claim.

Re:Not sure I understand... (2)

corychristison (951993) | more than 2 years ago | (#41912955)

You can't pack 64 cores in a 1U server for ~$5000 (with moderate RAM and HDDs) with Intel.

If you need massively parallel, high density, x86_64 compatible servers then AMD is king.

Re:Not sure I understand... (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909731)

The server market, usually Linux-based, appears to be AMD's most stable market. Opterons are very often preferred over Xeons for a variety of reasons.

If all you read is slashdot, yes. Actually AMD's server market share has been in big decline from 15% in 2007 to below 5% today. They're quite well represented in the TOP500 as apparently they give good quantity discounts for the PR, but mainstream companies are >95% Intel now. And with AMD now betting on ARM servers that's certainly not going to improve in the short term.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41914145)

they give good quantity discounts for the PR

Care to provide a citation with that? Because based on competitive benchmarking (on Linux) we built 3 generations of small/medium sized AMD-based HPC clusters; they simply offered better price/performance, and I'm pretty sure there were no quantity discounts involved. Prior to Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge, AMD ruled HPC; no quantity discounts required. Even now, it's still pretty competitive for some HPC workloads (such as ours).

but mainstream companies are >95% Intel now.

Care to provide a citation with that?

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41916215)

Care to provide a citation with that?

If Google doesn't work on your machine, sure.

"AMD is aware that these very chips Intel produces are found in around 95.5% of servers around the world, as per Mercury Research. AMDâ(TM)s share of the server processor market is around a dismal 5%." [fool.com]

Graph at bottom shows AMD at 4.5% [forbes.com]

"AMD lost server processor unit market share (now down to just about 5%)" [kajashi.com]

"The Intel x86 architecture has clearly won the server segment, and within the x86, Intel has 95% market share and AMD has 5% market share and is declining." [seekingalpha.com]

The more "official" source is probably IDG, but they only provide yearly figures. For 2011 they listed AMD as having a 5.5% server market share, and Bulldozer isn't going to improve that for 2012 but still a few months until you get those numbers... Oh yeah and that is x86 servers, not all servers just the Intel-AMD turf war.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909793)

So why exactly would AMD start axing developers in areas related to that?

Because maybe it's one step away from closing the front doors? AMD has their financial ass in a financial sling. I hope they pull through it but a cut like this is a bad sign.

Re:Not sure I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41912045)

All of the reasons we chose Opteron were eliminated when Intel released the Nehalem Xeons. They killed/still kill any AMD price/watt/whatever. It is unfortunate :(

Re:Not sure I understand... (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#41914901)

No, because since the economy failed companies are getting by on 2-3+ year old servers. Consumer computer purchases are still going strong, though.

When you have a datacenter full of mostly idle servers, it makes no sense to upgrade them all. Especially because virtualization now allows one to consolidate 20+ mostly idle machines into a single physical computer.

Re:Not sure I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41918515)

The issue is that AMD axes staff, among them a few Dresden researchers.

Re:Not sure I understand... (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 2 years ago | (#41927467)

The server market, usually Linux-based, appears to be AMD's most stable market.

Servers are a market that AMD has been losing for years now.

AMD stole over 20% market share from Intel while they were fucking around with the Pentium 4 disaster, and they've been losing it ever since the release of Conroe. Nehalem with high-scaling QPI interconnect was the last nail in the coffin - AMD's server share has been in free-fall since then.

2010: 7% server market share! [seekingalpha.com]

This year: 5.5% server market share [fudzilla.com]

Like the first linked article stated, AMD bet the farm on Bulldozer, and it's killing them. There's no way in hell AMD can reverse this trend with their existing silicon - that's already been made clear. So they're cutting to stay afloat, while they slowly rot from lack of innovation.

It'll be HP all over again, and that makes me sad.

Too bad for AMD and all of us (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909167)

Wish they'd start at the top... just look for the fuckers preparing their golden parachutes and sack them before they can deploy.

Re:Too bad for AMD and all of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41910171)

I see a C&C style of mod in the making: The Corporate Wars, got them before they deploy their golden parachutes! Choose your gender and evade the harassing bosses, the overwork weekends and the miserable Mondays, before you get the case of Mondays! Collect the evidence, leak to the presses and testify in an FBI case before the security gets a clue.

Re:Too bad for AMD and all of us (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910835)

Like a smoker shooting themselves in the head for getting lung cancer? After all, it was the brain that made the stupid decisions... :p

Re:Too bad for AMD and all of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41910963)

Quit defending them! You... You... You... *gasp* ENABLER!!!

And now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909191)

Cue the shills to tell us why preferring open source Linux drivers is bad and we should all be happy to run binary blobs on our systems.

Re:And now (1)

bjwest (14070) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909387)

I wouldn't mind the open source drivers for my AMD video card (HD-6870) but last time I checked (last month) using them constantly kept the fan at full speed. I duel boot into Windows for gaming, so don't need super graphics performance in Linux. I do however, like not to have to wear ear plugs when on my computer. Of course when Valve releases Steam for Linux, I may need more performance in Linux as I migrate my gaming over, but that's another topic.

Re:And now (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909549)

Run this as root, to turn the fan speed and GPU power to low:

echo low > /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

Further details here:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/ATI#With_KMS_enabled

Re:And now (1)

bjwest (14070) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910245)

Thanks! I'll give them another try later today or tomorrow.

Re:And now (1)

greenfruitsalad (2008354) | more than 2 years ago | (#41917015)

in windows you can have high(er) power and low fan (if the processing unit is cool enough). with what you're suggesting, you lower noise by throwing performance out of the window (speaking from experience). on low setting, i can't even scroll webpages smoothly. amd's drivers are just sad.

Re:And now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909927)

I duel boot

So who else is booting at the time?

Re:And now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41911641)

The other core in his duel core machine

Re:And now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41911445)

Duel booting? Is that like, fighting with footwear?

Re:And now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909513)

Cue the shills to tell us why preferring open source Linux drivers is bad and we should all be happy to run binary blobs on our systems.

As opposed to the shills telling us why the crappy open source drivers should be used?

As an AMD shareholder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41909375)

:~(

I only care about linux support.

Re:As an AMD shareholder... (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909601)

You really should care more about their stock which is 25% of their high.

Re:As an AMD shareholder... (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909801)

You really should care more about their stock which is 25% of their high.

I'm guessing you mean their 52-week high? They've had a stock price of over 40 both in 2000 and 2006, since Intel introduced their Core micro-architecture they've lost over 95% of their value.

Re:As an AMD shareholder... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41914353)

Sell! Seriously! AMD still has a small base of HPC clients who discovered that, due to the work of the people who have just been laid off, Bulldozer actually performs pretty well on recent Linux kernels - much better than any mainstream (windows-based) benchmark would indicate. This small base probably contributes significantly to AMD not being bankrupt yet. With the current move, AMD's basically conceding the x86 market and making a reckless bet on ARM64.

It sucks (2)

chadruva (613658) | more than 2 years ago | (#41909631)

Time to look at alternatives...

I wish I knew this before buying a quad core A6 laptop, their graphics card driver is abysmal compared to nVidia, which is increasing the performance of their drivers even more.

AMD is doing a very risky bet, the ARM64 has not been well tested in real server workloads, it may as well flop and take the company with it, their opteron line was excellent for virtualization thanks to the many cores, hardware virtualization support and a good performance/price point this new ARM64 has only the low power utilization and low heat as main selling point.

Next card purchase (0)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#41910157)

Well, I get I know from whom my next video card will be purchased. Thanks ATI, for making the decision easier.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot [slashdot.org]

Tablets, Smart Phones, Servers, Gaming Desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41910361)

Most Corporations is investing in their own Operating System(s) for the device(s) that they are making. They want to be like Apple, controlling their own HardWare & Operating System(s). I have been using Unix since 1994 and Linux since 1995. Due to my conditon, I no longer teach Unix and C++. But, I still use the latest version(s) of Linux &GUI(Graphic User Interface). Gnome 3.4 was way too limited for me. I prefer KDE with extra features, functionality, & multitasking. AMD needs to make sure that they have talented Linux programmers for the CPU & GPU products. Gnome, KDE, & Mozilla is adding smart phones & tablets to their HardWare list. When I invest in a Graphic Cards, I try to research the new and old drivers available for the Graphc Cards either proprietary or open source. I don't mind installing closed proprietary drivers as long as it is stable and includes all the functions and features of the Hardware, Graphic Cards.
With Linux growing globally, I don't know why HardWare companies would want to limit themself. I am saving monies to purchase the 4th generation of Bulldozer and an ARM Computer.

How does that work? (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 2 years ago | (#41911687)

How does one go about laying off a hobbyist?

Re:How does that work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41913243)

How does one go about laying off a hobbyist?

Quit feeding them Cheetos and Mountain Dew.

Re:How does that work? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#41913469)

Locking the door ?

Deceived. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41913259)

I trusted AMD since K6-2, was very dissapointed because of the ATI driver support on Linux, changed to Nvidia... they suck more, now if I have change in the future, if I have to change to Intel's going to be like a pain in the ass... what the heck are they doing? I remember the Athlon days... they were superb, X64 for consumers before Intel's one's... it was a great company. Nowadays I trully don't know what are they doing.

Priorities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41915571)

Looks like the group was doing interesting research on hypervisors, lockless data structures, and multi-core synchronization primitives among other things.

Lovely. The most interesting tech in the summary, and what is most of the discussion about? Drivers sucking, and who get's to pick over the carcass.

Re:Priorities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41921571)

This is slashdot. It's a site full of fucking idiots and retards.

embedded space dilema? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41924769)

It sounds as though this research could be tuked away for commercial release, perhaps embedded hardware would take the place of server pc's with this research. I hope the developers would continue to further development and I wonder what a non-compete contract with the developers would take precedence over gpl code development?

DAAMIT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41928713)

I love that rearrangement of their corporate names...

good job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41984597)

et least the boys know now what end wherefore (witch kind of processor) they are developing

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