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AMD to let go 15 percent of workforce after disappointing third quarter

AMD has decided to let go about 15 percent of its workforce following a bad outing in the third quarter.  The chip maker announced in a recent press release that it had incurred a loss of $157 million last quarter.

In a statement to investors and the press, president and CEO of AMD, Rory Read, attributed part of AMD’s struggle to the contracting PC market.  Rory also noted that AMD is currently undergoing a restructuring process to ensure that it can adapt to the change in the PC ecosystem.

(Rory Read, president and CEO of AMD)

“The PC industry is going through a period of very significant change that is impacting bot the ecosystem and AMD,” Rory said.  “It is clear that the trends we knew would re-shape the industry are happening at a much faster pace than we anticipated.  As a result, we must accelerate our strategic initiatives to position AMD to take advantage of these shifts and put in place a lower cost business model. Our restructuring efforts are designed to simplify our product development cycles, reduce our breakeven point and enable us to fund differentiated product roadmaps and strategic breakaway opportunities.”

AMD is not the only big name chip maker that has seen poor numbers last quarter.  Intel, the big daddy of them all, reported earlier that its profit dropped 14 percent from last year’s standard.  Not surprisingly, the Santa Clara-based semiconductor giant also blamed the change in the PC ecosystem for the decline in profit.

Intel and AMD are trying to make it in the mobile market with their upcoming mobile enhanced chips.  Both chip makers will launch their own “Z” chips aimed at competing with other ARM-based processor makers.  AMD will launch its ultra-low power Z-60 APU, and Intel will launch a revised Atom chip of its own—the Z2760.  The key difference between the two is that Intel’s Z2760 is aimed at providing productivity for businesses, whereas, AMD’s Z-60 is meant for the average consumers.

Both AMD and Intel have criticized ARM-based Windows tablet as not being able to run legacy Windows programs.  Microsoft, a long time benefactor for Intel and AMD, will launch the ARM-based Surface tablet on October 26.  Demand were so high for the device that the 32GB model ($499, set for delivery on the day of launch) sold out within the first day.

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