back to article Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

Tattered AMD says it's done with its SeaMicro server division, following a grim quarter that saw the ailing chipmaker weather losses beyond the expectations of even the gloomiest of Wall Street analysts. In guidance issued alongside AMD's earnings report for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015, CFO Devinder Kumar said the …

  1. Crazy Operations Guy

    Hope this isn't going to sink the Seattle chips.

    I'm quite looking forward to getting my mitts on some of those. Especially if we can get them in high-density servers similar to HP's Moonshot boxes or SuperMicro's Micro-blade. A couple cores, dual 10 Gig networking built in and a healthy number of SATA ports, I can see quite a few applications for them.

    The problem with SeaMicro was that they were trying to cram a bunch of chips into a single box and operate under a single OS, and there are very few reasons you'd need that. Even HPC applications don't need that many cores in a single box, and in many cases are more efficient in a bunch of discreet boxes anyway.

    1. phil dude
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hope this isn't going to sink the Seattle chips.

      I gave you an upvote for the sentiment.

      My desire (with my HPC hat on) is for low latency and higher density of computation.

      Hence I am messing around with Xeon-phi and Nvidia CUDA.

      Both have the disadvantage of needing PCie - AMD could have a pulled coup off if they could have gotten a faster, denser , x86 box together using a faster interconnect.

      My $0.02.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hope this isn't going to sink the Seattle chips.

      The idea with Seamicro wasn't to only use one OS, it was possible to use an OS per compute card or make every compute card in the chassis a hypervisor and then you can run whatever you like. It's a shame they've gone, it's going to leave some companies with a few issues now all of the technical staff have been laid off.

  2. x 7

    Daft question maybe......but if you add it all up over the years, just how much has AMD lost in total during its life?

    1. Queasy Rider

      And I'm curious as to why all those commenters, who are salivating over the remotely possible demise of Blackberry, are not going for AMD's throat the same way. Could it be because AMD is an American corporation, but Blackberry isn't? Hmmm? Vultures indeed.

      1. User McUser

        I've always disliked Blackberry because they used to be RIM who, in the early 2000s, sued a lot of people over some ridiculous keyboard and email patents. And as a Handspring shareholder at the time, I was especially upset by their antics.

        1. Queasy Rider

          Thanks for opening my eyes. I don't share your feelings about RIM but I have a number of other companies on my hate list for different but similar reasons.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        - And I'm curious as to why all those commenters, who are salivating over the remotely possible demise of Blackberry, are not going for AMD's throat the same way.

        Because being required to support a blackberry can cause an obsessive dislike of it in certain people. (though they aren't THAT bad.)

        AMD on the other hand, has probably been used by virtually everybody here in the early years from the point you could buy an AMD 486 for less than an Intel 386 to the relatively recent point that it made more sense to buy an intel chip on a price/performance basis. The only reason they don't have more of the market is intel successfully managing to illegally lock them out of the market. (for which intel was found criminally guilty and fined)

        Even the most diehard intel fan knows that without AMD occasionally thrashing intel's best chip designs there would be a total monopoly of the market by Intel and R&D would be greatly reduced, and with no competition on prices they would go up significantly as well. So if AMD dies then we will largely stop getting faster chips, and we'll pay a lot more for them because there is nobody to cause the prices to stay down at a reasonable level.

  3. gavpowell

    Any Way Back?

    I don't understand why AMD still can't make any damn money - they sold off the fabrication arm, they've started making pretty good strides with their APUs and they've got half the market for graphics cards. If their losses are getting worse, why, how long can they continue like this and what can they do to fix things?

    1. CarbonLifeForm

      Re: Any Way Back?

      If I read the article right, server is where they made money. But they've for awhile been enamored of consumer because it's a bigger market overall. As a small company with cash problems, I'd stay away from consumer because of its razor thin margins which plays to the strengths of deep pocketed competitors that rhyme with "Intel". And I'd stay with embedded and server. Longer product runs, higher margins, less sales effort. And I'd stick to discrete, geoconcentrated markets where the sales effort is less.

      But they didn't ask me...

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: Any Way Back?

        I tend to agree. AMD are overly focused in the same way that Palm made the fatal mistake of locking their focus onto riding the back of iTunes.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Any Way Back?

        Or they've been more interested in consumer because it has been proven that Intel are deliberately and anti competitively keeping them out of the server market by screwing the OEM's if they take AMD chips?

        Going for the consumer space does make quite a bit of sense because it's impossible for Intel to stop, unlike in the business sector.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Any Way Back?


  4. Nate Amsden

    wonder what verizon is doing

    They made a big splash about their next gen seamicro public cloud maybe a year ago? Seamicro did a bunch of custom work for them if i remember right

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want one!

    I hope they auction off all their bits in the sort of yard sale auctions that they do here in the US.

    My garage is in need of a cloud and a few seamicro boxes would do the trick very nicely.

  6. Fenton

    What has happened to R&D at AMD

    They came up with multicore before intel, 3Dnow before intels equivalent,then x86-64, on die memory controllers, on die GPU, shared memory between GPU and CPU

    Did they play too nice in allowing intel to copy?

  7. Roadcrew

    Hope they make it...

    ...but it is looking less likely, now.

    @peter2 - yes, I was one of those using AMD CPUs pretty often. Our first totally dedicated Linux box was a mildly clocked early-ish Sempron that still works fine after.. ummm.. some 9 or 10 years?

    Mates of mine who worked there did OK, mostly.

    One of them who went to the USA with AMD was really well looked after despite health issues.

    That's pretty unusual.

    Be sorry to lose AMD.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn shame

    Seamicro had some great ideas, and I'm sad to learn that AMD dumped them. Seamicro was also probably one of the original vendors to try what we now call "hyper-converged infrastructure systems."

    Hopefully they come back in some form.

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