By Kim Yoo-chul
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is seeking to expand its customer base by securing new clients to respond to the rapidly-changing market where the traditional PC segment is shrinking, the company said Tuesday.
The world's second-largest producer of microprocessors used in PCs and servers added that it will focus more on non-conventional and profitable customized chips as its investment in those areas is resulting in more deals and yielding visible profits.
"The traditional PC market is shrinking. What's replacing is what we call new clients. The market has changed. AMD has been consistent in developing customized solutions for customers," said Gabe Gravning, director of client marketing of the firms said during a meeting with reporters in a Seoul hotel, Tuesday.
The executive stressed that AMD is uniquely positioned to meet the rising demand for advanced chips to customers.
"It's time to evolve. Business chances for AMD's customized chips are increasing significantly," Gravning told the local media.
As demand for conventional PCs remains sluggish, major chip producers including AMD, Samsung Electronics and Intel are shifting the focus to the mobile computing market by investing in System-on-Chips (SoCs) because those chips are less volatile and cyclical compared to memory chips which are already overcrowded.
AMD is also pushing its updated strategies to diversify itself beyond the PC market. Gravning said the firm has launched a semi-custom chip business unit, which combines its central processing and graphic capabilities and can be integrated with the customers' intellectual property.
"Our first customer is Sony with PlayStation4. That's the only customer and I can't comment, further," said the executive.
But industry and AMD officials who are directly involved in the issue told The Korea Times that those AMD-manufactured chips will be featured in new game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox and upcoming consoles to be introduced by Samsung.
"AMD is in talks with Samsung and Microsoft to ship its custom chips. If it plays out as expected, then that will be huge for the company, which is desperate to look for redemption after a difficult 2012," said one top-ranked industry executive, asking not to be identified.
On the issue of patents, Gravning said the U.S. chip producer is one of the few players which has solid portfolios in patents. "We are licensing some of our patents with our partners, although I can't name them," the executive said.
Its diversification strategy is set to be expanded to next-generation technologies as AMD is currently working with all of its partners to bring new solutions and technologies.
"We are investing in human interface-, gesture- and touch-based scenarios, the next parts of our technologies. We are working with our clients with those areas."
This was in response to a question over whether AMD was approached by Samsung or even Google regarding a possible partnership for wearable PCs and "Google Glass."