Lauren Delisa Coleman (10 Jan. 2019.). CES 2019: AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su Reveals Sizzling Developments In Computing Power. Forbes. Retrieved from forbes.com
AMD President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lisa Su delivered her first-ever CES keynote address during the massive technology conference currently taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, but judging from the audience response it will probably not be last. Dr. Lu and various guests talked processors, computing power, graphic technologies and future trends in a manner that oozed passion and excitement. Gamers, content developers and scientists rejoice. This is about computing power about which most have only dreamed. Here’s all you need to know about what’s next in processors. Fasten your seatbelts. These are the trends that will shape the next few years in all things high-performance computing.
First, celebrating its 50-year anniversary, AMD has come a long way since its early days in Silicon Valley and has managed to consistently take the lead in its industry. The company launched the world’s first gigahertz central processing unit (CPU) in 2000. Soon after, the company launched the first x86-64 bit architecture. Later, the first-ever teraflop, as well as the world’s first APU. Don’t worry if this seems to be another language. The important thing to note is these elements are absolutely vital to everyday tasks like browser loading, buffering banishment and more that intersect our lives on a daily basis. A true concern for those owning the more than 30 billion connected devices projected by 2020, as per Su.
Such demands, therefore, require new approaches, new innovation and new leaders. Innovation in particular because, as Au noted, time between introduction of new manufacturing of technologies has increased but scaling has become much more difficult. “So our focus is always to get that trend line up,” explained Su. “One way to do this is through heterogeneous computing. That simply means the right computing for the right task.” That signifies the fact that AMD has to make some pretty big bets on trend directions in technology based on analysis. And the 1.5 billion install-base of PCs is a key focus of the company given the fact that these devices are used for content creation, gaming and as a consumer platform – and performance expectations are high.
Looking first at the content creation portion of that equation, Su spoke to unique problem-solving capabilities around content rendering as it pertains to such things as 3D modeling and virtual production. AMD tackles such issues with its Threadripper technology, the number-one selling high-end desktop processor. This technology now offers three times the performance (think: speed) from a few years ago for the very same price of $1700, and judging from the roar from the crowd by just the mere mention of the name, Threadripper possesses a fanbase with a level of devotion that could easily go toe-to-toe with that of Beyonce’s BeyHive.
Use cases were shown to the audience via short video testimonials from principals at virtual production company Fox VFX demonstrating that AMD is working to re-define the creative process in this space with innovation now and for years to come.
“We know that one of the biggest trends in computing needs is that people want all day battery life and desktop level performance. So we gave it to them,”
Lu then made a segway toward discussion regarding the computer notebook arena and the fact that 160 million such devices will be sold this year, alone. “We know that one of the biggest trends in computing needs is that people want all day battery life and desktop level performance. So we gave it to them,” explained Lu. Now via AMD’s Ryzen desktop CPUs users will get 14% faster-loading web pages, a modern standby (think: how your mobile phone is always ready) and up to 12 hours of battery life, among other elements. Ryzen-powered notebooks will hit the market during 2019 in products from such companies and HP, Samsung and others.
But it is the company’s Radeon Vega Graphics technology of which Su is very proud. “We’re absolutely passionate about making sure gamers have the latest and greatest drivers,” she explained. To which more cheers from the audience rose. And in watching some of the examples played on screen, it’s easy to see why. The resolution, movement and colors are fascinating.
Drilling down into the gaming industry, Su noted that this sector is projected to grow annually 15% through 2021 making it a key trend to watch. “Gaming is powerful because, quite frankly, it brings people together,” she remarked. Indeed, to discuss various elements of the industry, Au was also joined on stage by Phil Spener, Microsoft Head of Gaming who noted that the industry has not only become a mainstream form of entertainment but that it is a great on-ramp to technology for children.
Through AMD’s work, things like the near impossible feat of backward compatibility for such devices as Xbox are a reality. But high-bandwidth memory, resolution and peformance are also major factors in gaming and content creation, and AMD has not shied away from the task of aiming for perfection. Indeed, the Radeon 7mm CPU which offers 25% more performance, among other elements, was revealed by Su on stage.
Another stand-out during Su’s talk was AMD’s work with Google Project Stream which will enable enthusiasts to stream games with merely a wifi connection and Chrome browser without one second of buffering. “Pushing this many pixels,” Su said, referring to a video on a screen on stage, “through a small pipe is not an easy task. We’re thrilled to make to work on this project with Google.”
However, the future of computing is obviously not just about entertainment nor content creation. “We see incredible opportunity to solve some of the biggest social challenges we have by combining high-performance computing and AI such as climate change and more,” said Su. The company’s EPYC technology offer supercomputing used for work in the realm of space exploration, Formula One racing and much more. “Scientific researchers will actually get to do more and solve problems faster as a result of this advanced power of computing, ”
“I just really love building chips,” the AMD CEO told the crowd. “We’re so excited about technology. We can help turn the impossible into the possible.”