AMD chief: 'Core wars are misdirected'

AMD 's chief technologist has slammed the so-called 'core wars' between his company and Intel. In an interview featured in the latest PC Plus magazine, chief technology officer Phil Hester says the "whole 'core wars' thought is as misdirected as the megahertz wars were".

Yet he's enthusiastic about AMD's multi-core future. "What you'll see us provide is heterogeneous processors that really focus on a whole wide range of applications that enthusiasts can take advantage of.

What we have coming is a native quad-core. We didn't take two dual-cores and stuff them together - that's what Intel did." And, taking another swing at Intel, Hester added "core for the core's sake to us has no purpose."

During the interview in the September edition of the magazine, Hester talks in depth about the company's future technology roadmap as well as discussing the motives behind the ATI acquisition.

He also talks up AMD's "future vision" for processors and its hopes for harnessing the power of graphics processing to ease the dependency on the CPU. "If you look at a PC today, and you look at the graphics subsystem, graphics are equally important, if not more important today than the x86 processor for general purpose instruction processing," he says.

Fusion the next stage

"The GPU is starting to become a much more general computing component as opposed to something that only deals with graphics. Because it was created as a specialised processing unit, it wasn't really thought about as a general computing resource.

"By putting the CPU and GPU together on the same chip, you can solve a lot of the efficiency elements because the data now stays on the chip and not off chip," Hester added, with AMD's forthcoming Fusion processor developments in mind.

Hester as been at AMD for a year. Prior to this he spent some time running a start-up and had 23 years at IBM. He revealed to PC Plus that he thinks Intel was taken aback by AMD's acquisition of ATI. "I think Intel was thoroughly surprised by what was going on."

And of ATI's competitor? "Nvidia is a partner of ours, it continues to be a partner, and we're not trying to block it out... We are not in the Intel school of thought that says we are going to tell you every single chipset vendor that you have to have in order to qualify for a sticker. We think that is a fundamental mistake."

Read the full interview in the September (259) issue of PC Plus out now, priced £4.99.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.