AMD creates a custom chip division

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Industry heavyweight AMD has formed a custom-chip unit that will allow the company to expand beyond the constraints of the anemic PC market to lucrative spaces such as game consoles and tablets.

As TG Daily previously reported, AMD recently confirmed it would be selling a modded version of the custom chip it designed for Sony's upcoming Playstation 4 console.

According to AMD exec John Taylor, the accelerated processing unit won't be quite as powerful as the PS4 chip, although it will be quite similar. The PS4 APU, says Taylor, is "by far the most powerful APU we have built to date."

According to AMD exec Saeid Moshkelani, the custom-chip unit will be tasked with designing the "best products" with a dedicated team of industry veterans. Moshkelani also noted that AMD would be open to combining x86 and RISC-based ARM architecture on a single piece of silicon.

"It's not something we do after 5 o'clock. It's a very focused... business unit," Moshkelani added.

Meanwhile, Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research told IDG that a custom-chip business would likely offer AMD stability with a long-term pay-off.

"Any one design win for a million units or more becomes a meaningful business for them," McCarron added. "They key to all of this is getting the right design win... Games consoles are a good one. "