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AMD losses top $3bn in 2008

Present "crummy," future "murky"

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45nm on track

Part of holding that roadmap intact will be making no changes in the company's efforts to move a majority of its products to a 45nm process in the current quarter and to continue development of a 32nm process.

The continued move to 45nm will not only help keep AMD competitive with Chipzilla. It will provide a direct financial boost as well. Moving to 45nm lowers costs.

AMD's manufacturing arm is being drastically slowed in order to keep inventory levels low - so much so that for the immediate future, "factory utilization will be crummy" because "we're slowing everything down pretty considerably."

Also shrinking will be pay stubs. AMD recently announced a "temporary" comprehensive salary-reduction plan.

Meyer said that "In Q1, our server business will be our strong suit," but it looks like laptop-chip sales have yet to bottomed out. The notebook supply chain is a long one and orders from Asian laptop makers may not yet reflect the crunch.

After Rivet said that there's been a "massive inventory correction in the fourth quarter," he asked rhetorically, "Is it done? We don't feel like it's done in the notebook space." To shrink inventories, Meyer said, "We're manufacturing below our shipment level."

Meyer and Rivet also discussed AMD's plans to spin off the Foundry Company, a joint venture with Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC).

When asked if the recent changes in Washington will affect those plans, Meyer said that there will be "no new closing conditions as a result of the change in administration." (In a related development, AMD today claimed that Intel is trying to sow "uncertainty" to delay or scuttle the deal.)

Finally, when asked for specific numbers on the company's planned - hoped for? - resurrection, Meyer admitted that "its awfully tough to forecast," because demand is "the real wild card."

As Rivet put it, "the current environment is pretty murky" and "It's an appropriate time to be cautious because the outlook is so murky."

Our dictionary defines murky as "dark and gloomy."

Seems about right. ®

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