3 min read

AMD sees growth in media experiences

The chipmaker's North American channel marketing director predicts SOHO opportunity with new Phenom processors

AMD has released a new line of processors, better known as its Phenom family, to its product lineup. The series includes its Phenom X3 8000 series of triple-core processors and its Phenom X4 9000 series of quad-core processors, both of which are designed for gamers and graphic and digital-intensive users. The line also includes its Phenom X4 9100e energy-efficient, quad-core desktop processor.

By introducing new triple-core and quad-core processors, AMD’s Gary Bixler, director of North American channel marketing, said customers now have more choice besides dual-core processors and can now decide on how much performance and horsepower they want to work with.

CDN recently had the opportunity to speak with Bixler about what these new processors mean for the channel, AMD’s goals and plans for the year, and his thoughts on the U.S. and Canadian economies.

CDN: What does AMD’s new Phenom X3 8000 series of triple-core processors mean for your channel community?

Gary Bixler: We’re really excited about this product and we’re seeing a lot of business users really liking the value proposition of having something more powerful than an entry-level, dual-core processor. Triple-core processors really do well with marketing and business because so much is built around media and rich media and playing and creating videos. It’s also great for a small business or a home office to have a computer that’s versatile using these triple-core processors.

CDN: Tell us about AMD’s green initiatives, and where the Phenom X4 9100e quad-core processors fit in?

G.B: We’ve been emphasizing energy efficiency as a pillar for AMD since we introduced Opteron in 2003. Energy efficiency and green computing is a major pillar of our business and we have seen tremendous acceptance and demand for our energy efficient products, beginning with our Opteron servers. Data centres are running out of room, and power and heating and cooling abilities, so they need something critical that will address these issues.

CDN: How can partners benefit from AMD’s Phenom X4 9100e quad-core processors?

G.B.: Our channel partners aren’t making money in their businesses by just selling generic PCs. They have to sell PCs designed for specific markets such as gaming, video editing and building for the media centre. Those are some of the areas where partners are focusing to help differentiate their systems from generic PCs, and that’s where our technology ­really shines. With our Phenom X4 9100e quad-core processors, those run at 65 watts, whereas most of our mainstream desktop processors run at 95 watts. Another great opportunity that’s getting excitement from our channel partners relates to media centre PCs. A lot of customers want to put this sort of computer next to their TV in their living rooms, so users will want it to be small and look good. They don’t want to hear fans and PC noise. With the 9100e, system builders can build a highly capable media centre PC in a small form factor. You then have a small and really quiet box that delivers a fantastic media experience.

CDN: What are your goals for AMD’s channel community this year?

G.B.: One of the things we’re excited about doing this year is translating some of our new ATI Radeon graphics products into significant market share gains. Another key focus has been and will continue to be enabling our partners to deliver complete platform solutions that combine our chipset technology with ATI Radeon graphics, multi-core processors and industry leading software that drives quality and stability. The channel has been, for a long time, very component focused and has not been putting the components into context within the broader platform. When you put all of these features together, it’s a great overall experience for the end user.

CDN: What’s your strategy for growth in North America and Canada?

G.B.: We’re always looking to grow our business across the board. Whether the mix of our business changes in 2008, I can’t say. At the highest level, the Canadian and U.S. markets are very similar and our market share in Canada historically has been very good. We want to focus on gaming experiences and on AMD Live, which is our media experience brand for media applications, and also focus on the SMB and enterprise with our Opteron processors.

CDN: Do you think that Dell’s entry into the channel will help or hinder your overall business?

G.B.: Dell has already engaged in selling our quad-core and triple-core products. They’re a great partner for us and they’re obviously a very powerful player in the PC market. As far as the channel goes, there are lots of things partners feel they can deliver better than Dell, and we will support that. But we will also support Dell and their products. With Dell aligned with AMD technology now, what that means for the channel is that every customer is now open to AMD technology.

CDN: With the slowing U.S. economy have you seen a dip in sales there, and also, are you at all worried of seeing that reflected in Canada too?

G.B.: I’m hearing that the Canadian economy typically follows the U.S. economy and I’m hearing some of the same concerns from our partners. When I talk to AMD partners, they’re not nearly as pessimistic on their business outlook for this market as the general market seems to be. Our partners are cautious about the economy but they feel that the businesses they are selling to are still planning to purchase from them this year.