We speak to Paige Shi, Director of AMD Consumer Business (Asia Pacific, Japan & Korea), on how AMD’s technology and products are in a lot more products than people would think, and about how AMD is staying committed to bringing high-end products to market.
Q: Paige, tell us first where we can find AMD?
AMD is in more places than you know, for example, PlayStation 4, the upcoming PlayStation 5, Xbox consoles and of course, more traditionally, PCs, laptops and server businesses like Google, Microsoft and Tencent also use AMD.
I would say that AMD has many pockets of opportunities, but our core business continues to be the PC and Radeon side of the business.
Q: So, with that pocket of opportunities that you mentioned, it’s probably what investors are seeing as well, with the stock value surging. How did that happen?
I think the stock price reflects the faith in the company, in the future. A lot of them are buying the future of AMD and I think it’s the roadmap that gives the confidence to the investors.
We stay very committed to building that roadmap and bringing really high-end products to the market. It’s also AMD’s consistent execution of the roadmap. If you look at the Zen core that we released about three years ago, we’ve consistently brought it to the market on time, with Zen and Zen 2, and you’re going to see Zen 3 coming this year.
Q: One technology will lead to the next one faster and faster, and things are improving every week it seems. But with AMD ahead, how do you maintain that? It’s a constant race.
I have to give credit where credit’s due, the most important ingredient for AMD’s success is our engineers. They are the ones who started million of hours ago to put bets into what technology they want to do, to put it into this little chip so salespeople like me can sell it.
The engineering guys really planned this and put bets years ahead. The Zen core was built seven years ago, so whatever you’re seeing today has been planned at least five to seven years ago and they’re just hitting shelves now.
Q: Which brings me to my question that I’ve always wondered about, if you’re working on something for seven years and you know it’s gonna come, why wait?
Because you can’t just… You know, I love bags, and you know the end product of a bag, but you still need the handcrafted hours to put the leather together and start building the bag.
Q: So it takes a longer time to perfect and make sure that it functions the way it was imagined to be seven years ago? And it takes that long?
Correct, it does take that long.
Q: Most of the things that are powered by AMD, it’s all in the background, you don’t see it. People won’t really think about it as luxury or premium, but it is. You have a more powerful machine. Is it a challenge to bring that idea out and market it in such a way?
For AMD, we’re an ingredient brand. So we really work with our partners and it’s really up to them to bring the best product. We do see a beautiful array of products, from the gaming side to the creatives and thin-and-light.
Q: In this time of our history, COVID-19 disruption, people are unsure about what’s happening or what will happen in the next couple of weeks or months. Do you think it’s important for people to be looking for this premium aspect that AMD can offer?
It’s important to get premium or high performance and reliable products. For me personally, I’m working a lot remotely and finding a reliable product really helps the workload point. You get things done, you don’t have to worry about it.
Q: What would your advice be, then, for companies who are struggling right now?
This is the new normal, we’re not going back to the old times. But personally, ,my philosophy is to always stay true to your core, what you truly believe in and be humble and loyal. Continue to work closely with your partners and that will really make a difference in a winning formula.
Q: How did you get to where you are?
I joined AMD about eight years ago, for me personally, the eight years were very interesting because I’ve had a couple of opportunities. For me, it’s being open to opportunities, to really see and challenge yourself to go to different places because you never know what you’re going to get.