AMD sees a tablet chip in its future, and an end to the core-count wars

AMD told us that it wasn't terribly interested in the iPad market, and would wait and see if touchscreen slates took off, but CEO Dirk Meyer changed the company's tone on tablets slightly after reporting a $118 million net loss (on $1.62 billion in revenue) in a Q3 2010 earnings call this afternoon. First revealing his belief that tablets will indeed cannibalize the notebook and netbook markets, he later told investors that he actually expects AMD's netbook parts to start appearing in OEM slates in the next couple of years, and that AMD itself would "show up with a differentiated offering with great graphics and video technology" when the market becomes large enough to justify an R&D investment.

Elsewhere, AMD CTO of servers Donald Newell prognosticated that the number of individual CPUs on a chip won't go up forever: "There will come an end to the core-count wars," he told IDG News. Just as the megahertz race was eventually defeated by thermal restrictions, so too will the number of cores on a chip cease to increase. " I won't put an exact date on it, but I don't myself expect to see 128 cores on a full-sized server die by the end of this decade," he said. So much for our Crysis-squashing terascale superchip dreams, we suppose.