In giving itself a fresh coat of marketing paint, AMD is tossing its 2-year-old "smarter choice" tagline, replacing it with "the future is fusion," which the company believes is more reflective of its future direction in developing microprocessors and graphics technology. The best example today of the company's road map is its Fusion Architecture, which combines the CPU and graphics processor on the same piece of silicon, or die. AMD calls its upcoming Future chip an "accelerate processing unit" and plans to deliver it in the second half of next year.
It the meantime, the company hopes the fusion campaign will breathe new life in the brand among consumers, especially PC gaming fans. In launching the campaign, AMD made available beta software designed to give nontechnical gamers a way to squeeze better performance out of their hardware.
The Fusion for Gaming utility includes an "auto-tune" for optimizing performance of a PC's AMD processor, graphics chipset, and hard drive, while maintaining system stability. Gamers often use tools to overclock processors to make them run faster, but pushing a chip too far can lead to instability.
PC and gaming enthusiasts, however, can use the new tools to customize the performance level of their processors, while also monitoring temperature, frequency, and stability.
AMD, which is a distant second to its larger rival Intel, is struggling to reverse a string of quarterly losses that have amounted to billions of dollars, much of it stemming from charges related to the 2006 acquisition of graphics chipmaker ATI Technologies. In an attempt to break even by the end of the year, AMD has been conducting layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, including the sale of its digital TV business to Broadcom for $192.8 million in cash.
In an interview with Fortune magazine this month, chief executive Dirk Meyer said the company plans to outsource CPU manufacturing and sell its own plants, which are called "fabs." "We're going to go away from a captive fab model to more of a fabless model for the CPU part of the business," Meyer told the magazine.
AMD's new campaign's focus on a "platform" of technologies is similar to an approach Intel has taken for years in pushing its products as providing a complete set of features for running desktops, notebooks, and servers. The strategy, for example, has been used in marketing its Pentium, Celeron, Centrino, and Core 2 brands.