AMD engineer tells the story of when the PlayStation 4 saved the chipmaker from chapter

Recap: Those acquainted with AMD’s historical past probably know that the years from the center 2000s to the mid-2010s have been the corporate’s darkest, however a number of latest worker feedback have revealed simply how shut the corporate got here to chapter. Red Team enjoys a stronger market place than ever, partially because of PlayStation.

A LinkedIn resume footnote has introduced renewed consideration to AMD’s darkish days throughout and after 2008 monetary disaster. According to the CV and feedback from an engineer, gross sales of consoles primarily based on the corporate’s {hardware} have been a vital lifeline.

The on-line resume of Rentaro Fragale, AMD’s senior director of Consumer & Gaming Client Business, states that the PlayStation 4’s 2013 launch was probably the most profitable within the firm’s historical past, serving to AMD escape doable chapter. Engineer Phil Park responded to a clip of the resume on Twitter, confirming that these years have been extremely precarious for the corporate.

Everyone suffered from the 2008 recession, however rival Intel recovered comparatively rapidly by way of the success of IPs like Merom, Conroe, Woodcrest, and Nehalem. Meanwhile, the financial downturn solely compounded AMD’s hassle.

Team Red was struggling to answer Intel’s Core collection CPUs. It had paid far an excessive amount of cash for its ATI acquisition. To make issues worse, Intel paid OEMs billions to maintain AMD chips out of pre-built PCs. The struggling chipmaker raised money by promoting off IPs and divisions.

Imageon was one instance, which ultimately grew to become Adreno – the core of the graphics {hardware} in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon collection. Team Red additionally spun off its foundries into “Global Foundries.” Park mentioned most of these he labored with suffered short-term pay cuts.

Also Read: The Rise, Fall and Renaissance of AMD

The first signal of restoration was Bobcat, an structure designed for netbooks and different low-power programs. Furthermore, Bobcat practically did not launch, however it carried out higher than anticipated. Imagining a future the place it hadn’t is troublesome.

After that, Sony and Microsoft selected AMD’s Jaguar to energy the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. As of 2022, Sony had bought round 117 million PS4s, probably making Jaguar considered one of AMD’s most widespread chips. Park credit this success with preserving the corporate afloat till Zen introduced it again to competitiveness with Intel. He additionally teased different fascinating tales from the interval that he cannot expose with out permission from chief PS4 designer Mark Cerny.

Red Team’s present Zen and RDNA architectures are leaders within the trade, powering the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series machines. Later this yr and subsequent yr, AMD plans to introduce RDNA 4, Zen 5, and RDNA 5.

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