AMD CEO Lisa Su lays out custom silicon blueprint
Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: why AMD’s plan to offer a custom silicon service could help it achieve big revenue goals, how VMware sold the Broadcom deal internally, and why Upstart could face possible regulation after years with a card without DC.
A memorable day
AMD’s first financial analyst day in two years was a flex. Executives predict the company will double its annual revenue by 2025 – a number Wall Street will remember.
The case largely painted by numbers (“These things were a lot more fun when AMD was in big trouble,” one attendee joked) involved four hours of presentations by most of the chipmaker’s executives. AMD is now aiming to snatch a $40 billion chunk out of what it sees as a $300 billion opportunity within three years.
Beyond AMD’s Grand Strategy – the not so new approach of tackling the data center market, because there is a lot of money there! — is something intriguing: AMD’s custom chip design business.
- At the moment, what AMD calls “semi-custom” is shorthand for the video game console chips it designed for the two recent Xbox consoles and Sony’s PlayStation 5.
- But AMD has strong ideas on how to turn it into something much more in the years to come.
- “We’ve been in the custom silicon business for 10 years, right?” AMD CEO Lisa Su said on Thursday. “If you look at what we’re doing in the games console market, it’s all about custom silicon, bringing our silicon to our customers’ vision of the market and system and software applications. And my belief is that the trend towards custom silicon will only continue to grow. »
That makes a ton of sense.
- Google, AWS, and Microsoft all have their own efforts around custom data center chips. The idea behind these efforts is that with a little work, and maybe a little marketing, cloud companies can stand out from the competition.
- Su said on Thursday that a number of the company’s customers have asked him to help them differentiate themselves.
- AMD’s strategy for its custom chips relies in part on its ability to connect several smaller, specialized chips (chiplets) into a single package. It already manufactures dozens of its products this way and plans to help customers add chips based on their own technology.
- But the easy customer chip swap won’t be ready until 2025, AMD executives have estimated.
— Max A. Cherney (E-mail | Twitter)
A MESSAGE FROM VERSAPAY
Less than half of executives (44%) see better communication with customers as a benefit of augmented reality digitization. Meanwhile, 72% say their AR department isn’t customer-centric enough, implying that leaders understand the need for customer-centric AR departments, but don’t know they can close this gap as part of their business. AR scanning project.
How VMware Parried Employee Questions on Broadcom
A new regulatory filing has revealed that VMware may have been expecting some backlash from employees over chipmaker Broadcom’s proposed $61 billion acquisition of the virtualization and cloud computing software provider.
In a supplemental proxy filing yesterday with the SEC, VMware offered answers to anticipated questions about the deal, which came just seven months after it spun off from Dell Technologies. Two of the nominations sought to justify why VMware backtracked on the value of being an independent company: “You sold me on the benefits of being an independent public company. Why don’t we stay the course? and “You said being an independent company was the best way forward for VMware. How do you reconcile that with this announcement? »
Briefly, VMware said that Broadcom’s unsolicited offer included a significant shareholder bonus, that Broadcom saw great value in VMware’s portfolio and multicloud work, and that Broadcom’s focus on “solving complex IT infrastructure problems” complemented VMware’s role as a “trusted foundation for accelerating innovation.”
“[T]Together with Broadcom, VMware will be even better positioned to provide valuable solutions to even more of the world’s largest enterprises, with a focus on technology innovation,” the filing states. “Broadcom will invest in VMware to help us continue to build a robust ecosystem across all cloud and on-premises infrastructure vendors, as well as new partnership opportunities. This is a historic moment for VMware.
VMware also felt the need to explain why it calls Broadcom innovative.
“Their broad portfolio responds to customer issues in ways that drive efficiencies and reallocate resources to scale quickly and scale their business to new opportunities,” the filing states. “And their R&D investments reflect that, with R&D investments totaling $4.9 billion in their last fiscal year, or 24 times their fiscal 2009 spending. Broadcom’s strong vision, coupled with its strong and R&D capabilities, continues to drive the industry forward, at scale.
— Donna Goodison (E-mail | Twitter)
You can’t fire me, I quit
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to protect people from opaque loan decisions that prevent them from getting fair access to credit. Its latest move: The CFPB told fintech AI firm Upstart that it must now give the agency details on any changes it plans to make to its machine learning model or face enforcement action under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
“Companies are not exempt from their legal responsibilities when they let a black box model make lending decisions,” CFPB director Rohit Chopra said in May.
Upstart integrates its “AI-based credit decision API” into lending partner apps. Under pressure from the agency, the company agreed in 2017 to be part of a compliance program protecting it from potential law enforcement.
The program required Upstart to obtain an independent assessment of its ML underwriting and pricing model. Upstart needed to show how its automated ML model fit a traditional credit model – the non-AI type. The CFPB wanted to know if it provided better access to credit and fairer credit.
In this system, Upstart would have to have its possible model change assessed if it wanted to remain protected by the program. But Upstart didn’t want to wait, so he asked to leave the program. The CFPB obliged, which exposes him to possible prosecution.
So what’s the result on Upstart? Financial services firms need to track AI/ML model data, outputs, and how the models made decisions, which companies like Capital One transpire. Expect financial services firms to continue investing in data governance, AI/ML model monitoring technology, and data storage to track model results in case regulators come knocking on the wrist. gate.
-Kate Kaye (E-mail | Twitter)
Around the company
Larry Ellison said Oracle will seek to offer a national health records database following its acquisition of Cerner, keeping alive the dream of many unaware mid-2000s tech companies is a lot harder than it looks.
AT&T said it successfully tested a 20 Gbps fiber network, which could have interesting ramifications for edge computing strategies.
A MESSAGE FROM VERSAPAY
96% of respondents said there was work to be done in digitizing their AR departments, but 60% agreed that their AR departments had not been prioritized as much as other departments for digitization. At a time when securing cash flow is more important than ever, many companies don’t give it enough importance.
Thanks for reading – see you Monday!