AMD to cut workforce, invest in mobile


Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is laying off 10% of its workforce in an effort to cut costs. The world’s second largest chipmaker will also terminate some contractual employees, resulting in about 1,400 total cuts. The move follows 1,100 job cuts last year. AMD will also end some contracts, resulting in roughly 200 additional layoffs. The company says the reduction will affect all job functions and all locations and should be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2012. AMD currently employs about 2,700 people here in Austin.

AMD says the layoffs should save it about $200 million, which it will use to invest in emerging markets, cloud computing, and especially in lower power chips, which are increasingly popular for tablet computers and other battery-powered devices. AMD has so far stayed out of the market for smartphone chips, focusing on servers, notebooks and tablets. The company says it leads the market in discrete graphics processors for netbooks.

Right now most of AMD’s chip sales are into the personal computer market. This market has been sluggish, and AMD’s board has known for some time that the company needs to focus more on chips for mobile devices. Early this year the board replaced former CEO Dirk Meyers with Rory Read, hoping Read would help refocus AMD on mobile.

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Martha DeGrasse

Wireless Martha DeGrasse has been creating content for RCR Wireless News since 2011. Recent feature reports include Building Tomorrow's Neworks, Outdoor DAS and Small Cell Case Studies, Wireless Infrastructure Service Company Review, and Investing in HetNets. (All of these can be found by clicking on Reports at the top of this page.) At RCR, Martha also developed the 5 Things to Know Today series and the Mobile Minute. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York. Martha left Dow Jones to move to Austin, Texas, where she managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Follow her on Twitter @mdegrasseRCR