We are Democratizing the Mar­ket by Giving the End Users a Choice to Buy High Per­form­ing PCs

In a con­ver­sa­tion with Dataquest, Vinay Sinha, Di­rec­tor, En­ter­prise Busi­ness, Asia Pa­cific & Ja­pan, AMD, talks about how semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try trans­form­ing the tech­nol­ogy space and what is AMD’s busi­ness plan. Ex­cerpts:

Dataquest - - CONTENTS - —VINAY SINHA Di­rec­tor, En­ter­prise Busi­ness, Asia Pa­cific & Ja­pan, AMD

How is semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try trans­form­ing the tech­nol­ogy space? We are now en­ter­ing a new era de­fined by bil­lions of con­nected de­vices. If you look at the ma­jor trends in the IT in­dus­try – like VR and AR, ar­ti­fi­cial and ma­chine in­tel­li­gence, deep learn­ing, self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles and cloud com­put­ing – they have one thing in com­mon: they all re­quire vast amounts of pro­cess­ing power to man­age the ex­plo­sion of data re­sult­ing from these tech­nol­ogy im­ple­men­ta­tions. In ad­di­tion, new forms of fi­nan­cial man­age­ment that lever­age blockchain for ap­pli­ca­tions like cryp­tocur­rency and bank­ing ledgers will ex­pand de­mand for high performance com­put­ing. As a re­sult, there is an in­cred­i­ble resur­gence in over­all semi­con­duc­tor de­mand.

The prom­ise of this new era to trans­form our econ­omy will also be based, in large part, on the abil­ity of the semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try to pro­vide high-per­form­ing and ef­fi­cient semi­con­duc­tors that can con­nect bil­lions of smart de­vices across gov­ern­ment, in­dus­try and the con­sumer mar­ket­place. It is key to ad­vance the use of in­ter­net of things (IoT) prin­ci­ples to a grow­ing num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions such as in­dus­trial sys­tems, smart cities, in­ven­tory man­age­ment, med­i­cal dis­plays, and point of sale.

We used to rely on Moore’s Law – i.e. ev­ery 18 months you could dou­ble the num­ber of tran­sis­tors in an inte- grated cir­cuit and in­crease performance – this has slowed down. Semi­con­duc­tor process nodes, now have to be de­signed in such a way that you are putting more types of so­lu­tions to­gether on a sin­gle chip – het­ero­ge­neous so­lu­tions with dif­fer­ent types of com­pute so­lu­tions (CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other spe­cial­ized pro­ces­sors), more ag­gres­sive use of dif­fer­ent types of mem­ory, and com­bin­ing all this for hard­ware and soft­ware sys­tem op­ti­miza­tions. We will see this type of en­gi­neer­ing in­no­va­tion in 2018 and be­yond to stay on the his­tor­i­cal Moore’s Law pace. You will also see in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to sys­tem en­gi­neer­ing for CPU / GPU and other com­pute el­e­ments so that they func­tion op­ti­mally. There have been in­creas­ing con­ver­sa­tions around high performance com­put­ing. What is AMD’s roadmap in this do­main specif­i­cally in In­dia? Across the globe, con­sumer de­mands have changed in the last few years. To­day, they want higher com­pu­ta­tional power, bet­ter graph­ics and vi­su­al­iza­tion tech­nolo­gies that en­able them to over­come PC lim­i­ta­tions. Un­der­stand­ing this, our fo­cus this year is on HPC and our prod­uct line-up – from our Ryzen CPUs, EPYC chips and Radeon In­stinct GPUs – are now the build­ing blocks for a new era of Deep Learn­ing and HPC dat­a­cen­ters.

Our legacy is and will con­tinue to be built around de­liv­er­ing high-performance prod­ucts at competitive prices that of­fer high func­tion­al­ity and pro­vide the best ex­pe­ri­ences pos­si­ble. With over 200 sys­tem in­te­gra­tors, 80 moth­er­board part­ners glob­ally and de­sign wins from all top-tier PC OEMs, we have es­tab­lished our­selves with a strong mar­ket­ing push.

Our CPU’s power the best price to performance com­put­ers in the mar­ket to­day. Through col­lab­o­ra­tions with our strong part­ner base in In­dia, we are help­ing start-ups, small and large or­ga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­ment depart­ments and pub­lic at large, ac­cess these prod­ucts. We are democratizing the mar­ket by giving the end users in In­dia, a choice to buy high per­form­ing yet af­ford­able PCs. Over the course of this year and next, you will con­tinue to see in­no­va­tive AMD prod­ucts that push the bound­aries of what is pos­si­ble.

From a mar­ket per­spec­tive, what is your assess­ment of the In­dian mar­ket? How is the mar­ket clas­si­fied and what are the key growth driv­ers?

In­dia re­mains one of the few mar­kets in the world where the size of the PC mar­ket continues to grow. The growth is com­ing from both con­sumer and com­mer­cial seg­ments. We do not share re­gion spe­cific mar­ket data but as per IDC, AMD’s over­all mar­ket share grew from 14% in 2016 to 18% in 2017. In En­ter­prise Busi­ness Space i.e. de­ploy­ment of AMD-pow­ered sys­tems in pri­vate and pub­lic-sec­tor com­pa­nies, the share was an all-time high at 29% in FY17. In fact, In­dia was a large con­trib­u­tor to our com­mer­cial busi­ness. Growth in the com­mer­cial space is com­ing from state-owned man­i­festo deals. State gov­ern­ments are in­vest­ing in com­puter sys­tems un­der var­i­ous schemes to en­able the last mile com­put­ing ac­cess for pro­grams and ser­vices un­der Dig­i­tal In­dia, apart from Dig­i­tal In­clu­sion and fur­ther­ing ed­u­ca­tion. There is also high de­mand for pow­er­ful PC sys­tems in the BFSI space.

On the con­sumer front, there is a grow­ing de­mand for pre­mium PC sys­tems in In­dia, like the one pow­ered by AMD’s Ryzen CPU’s. Peo­ple are also spend­ing on Gam­ing PC’s and con­vert­ible lap­tops. We have seen great suc­cess with all ma­jor OEM part­ners – HP, Dell, Acer, Asus. In the Com­po­nent busi­ness i.e., sale of dis­creet CPU’s and GPU’s – mar­ket share of our newly launched Ryzen 7 against i7 was more than 30%.

The coun­try is also a key re­gion for Dat­a­cen­ter mar­ket growth. As this coun­try of 1 bil­lion be­comes highly dig­i­tized, or­gan­i­sa­tions need ro­bust, se­cure dat­a­cen­ters to store tril­lions of bites of data be­ing gen­er­ated each day. In­dia is poised to be­come the sec­ond largest data cen­ter mar­ket in Asia-pa­cific by 2020 on the back of gov­ern­ment’s dig­i­ti­za­tion ini­tia­tives and the in­creas­ing pen­e­tra­tion of in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity.

Af­ter hav­ing re-es­tab­lished our­selves as a high-performance com­put­ing leader in 2017, we will con­tinue to build on this mo­men­tum, with new pro­ces­sors that bring more fea­tures and more performance to cater to the grow­ing de­mands of mo­bil­ity de­vices in the coun­try. We will be look­ing at new form fac­tors that can lever­age more com­pu­ta­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties at lower power, a key fo­cus for In­dia. Our re­cently launched Ryzen Mo­bile pro­ces­sors will help us take a step fur­ther in this space. Ad­di­tion­ally, we are also work­ing with our OEM part­ners to bring thin and light note­books, de­liv­er­ing long bat­tery life and fast performance.

What is your busi­ness plan for 2018?

In 2017, we re-es­tab­lished our­selves as a high-performance com­put­ing leader with the in­tro­duc­tion and ramp of 10 dif­fer­ent prod­uct fam­i­lies – AMD’s strong­est port­fo­lio of the last decade. In 2018, we will build on this mo­men­tum with our next wave of pre­mium prod­ucts that bring more fea­tures and more performance to a broad set of mar­kets. Peo­ple are us­ing our prod­ucts and see­ing the tremen­dous value we pro­vide. We will con­tinue the mo­men­tum by fo­cus­ing our mar­ket­ing ef­forts to com­mu­ni­cate the in­no­va­tion we bring to cus­tomers through high performance PCs that of­fer out­stand­ing value per dol­lar.

At CES 2018, AMD an­nounced its first desk­top Ryzen pro­ces­sors with built-in Radeon Vega Graph­ics, and a full line up of Ryzen mo­bile APUs, in­clud­ing the new Ryzen PRO and Ryzen 3 mod­els. We ex­pect to have a 12nm, 2nd gen­er­a­tion Ryzen desk­top CPU by the April time­frame. In graph­ics, we will ex­pand the “Vega” ar­chi­tec­ture-based family with Radeon Vega Mo­bile GPUs. This ra­zor-thin GPU is de­signed to en­able new, pow­er­ful gam­ing note­books in 2018 with ex­traor­di­nary performance and in­cred­i­ble ef­fi­ciency. We will be sam­pling the first 7nm prod­uct, a Radeon In­stinct Vega GPU specif­i­cally built for ma­chine learn­ing ap­pli­ca­tions.

The server mar­ket will also be a big fo­cus area for us in 2018. Last year, we re-en­tered the server mar­ket in a big way with our EPYC pro­ces­sors. We brought in­no­va­tion back to the mar­ket with a high-performance pro­ces­sor with ground­break­ing sys­tem fea­tures and unique se­cu­rity al­low­ing for a truly dif­fer­en­ti­ated sys­tem cre­at­ing sub­stan­tial TCO op­por­tu­ni­ties for end cus­tomers. HPE, Mi­crosoft Azure and Baidu have an­nounced EPYC pro­ces­sor-based de­ploy­ments and we are ex­pect­ing to ex­pand this cus­tomer base in 2018.

We have shown that with our Ryzen, EPYC and Vega prod­ucts, that we are in the right mar­kets and we can de­liver great prod­ucts. With con­sis­tent ex­e­cu­tion, I be­lieve AMD can be one of the best growth sto­ries in the semi­con­duc­tor in­dus­try over the next few years.

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